That’s how long Owen slept in one stretch the other night. More importantly, the feat was replicated last night (5 hours and 11 minutes) which means that this wasn’t entirely a fluke. Yes, after weeks of hoping and praying that one day our son would be able to sleep for an extended period of time, our prayers were finally answered.
Well, sort of.
It should be noted that this large block of time was preceded by almost six hours of intermittent screaming. Moreover, after waking up and spending an hour nursing and being changed, Owen only slept for forty-five minutes before waking up again (it took another forty minutes to get him back down). This pattern was also largely repeated last night. In an ideal world, Owen would sleep for five hours and then go back down for three to four hours. However, we recognize that that’s asking an awful lot from a five week old and isn’t the source of our ambivalence regarding this latest development.
It’s my breast.
Apparently, my body got used to Owen nursing every three hours or so and adjusted my milk production accordingly. As a result, about four hours into Owen’s slumber, I awoke in agony. The additional passage of time between feedings has resulted not only in the engorgement of my breast, but also blocked milk ducts. Those unfamiliar with this phenomenon, imagine hard, large painful cyst in your chest.
If left untreated, blocked milk ducts can result in mastitis which can in turn lead to a bacterial infection (and you don’t want a bacterial infection in your breasts). The stated remedy to blocked ducts is frequent feedings. However, this would entail waking our little one from a peaceful and hard-fought sleep in order to force feed him, which goes against everything we’ve been striving for the past few weeks.
What's the moral of our little story here? When it comes to newborns and monkey paws, be careful what you wish for.