The sleepless nights and nightmarish nappy changes had been taking their toll on Sharon. She was getting drained, physically and emotionally. I had been getting up to deal with nappy changes already, but now started sitting up with her during the night-time feeds as well, so she had someone she could talk to overnight. I may not be able to feed Lex's guts, but I could feed Sharon's sanity.
One of the best pieces of advice we've been given, other than 'Don't wait for things to get back to normal - this is normal now,' was 'The baby moves in with you, you don't move in with it.' So while we knew we couldn't expect him to work to a solid routine, we could attempt to shape his needs in a direction that would suit us better.
So yesterday we changed the rules on Lex. From the morning, after he'd fed we'd let him sleep/rest for no more than two hours, then feed and change him again. If he didn't want to feed, he'd get so upset by being changed, that then he wanted to feed out of the need for comfort. The plan being to (hopefully) have him have the three or four hour sleep during the night instead of during the day. We didn't know if it would work. We thought we may need to do it for a few days to see any change.
Yesterday was a hard, hard day. He was really screaming right through nappy changes, Lex's habit of soiling a fresh nappy within minutes of it being on had hit a new high (5 nappies in 2 changes), and he had developed mild nappy rash.
So last night he slept from about 12:30 to 2:30am, woke, had a feed, and then we couldn't get him to settle until around 4:30. But then... He slept until just before 10am! Over five hours of sleep in a session! It was like a gift from Heaven!
And today... he's been mostly fine through the nappy changes, only some very, very minor grizzling on the first (which ended up being an average two-nappy change), and screaming the house down only at the very end of the second.
It's the first time we've felt we were getting somewhere since he was born. While we would have felt that way with just the two quieter nappy changes, the extra sleep was a real bonus. We know it won't last, he'll change the rules again at some surprise random point, probably tonight. But getting a day when it's noticably easier than the hopeless first few days, when it seemed like it would never be simple, makes all the difference.
We've had our first really good day. Even if we have another run of rough ones, we know there'll be another good one coming.
At some point.