Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sleeping Like a Baby

Twice in the last week people asked me if Incredibaby was sleeping through the night. I laughed casually and said, "Oh, no," as if it was silly to think that I could possibly have a full night of sleep.

Then I laughed out loud at myself. After our first child was born, I wallowed in self-pity as to the extent of my sleep deprivation. I would call one of the other builders, who would commiserate with me about the gravity of the situation.

Now, I sincerely enjoy the quietness of nighttime feedings. I enjoy rocking my sweet baby in the dark surrounded by silence. I think it is the quietness that I am enjoying more. I love silence. But with three little boys, silence is in short supply. And if it is momentarily silent, it is usually a bad sign. Someone is going to be in trouble for something, which will lead to not silence once again.

At night it is silent. I can pray or think or not think. And I can be silent and I can listen to silence. I can feel my baby's head grow heavier as he drifts back off to sleep. I can rock him uninterrupted by the urgent needs of two other toddlers. I am no longer desperate for these days to be over...for my baby to sleep through the night. I relish this time we have together.

Now, when asked how I'm sleeping, I think I'll say that, thanks be to God, I am sleeping like a baby - my baby.


Mary Alice said...

Good for you for finding reasons to be thankful for what you are doing, but I have to say that I never could manage my days when I didn't have good nights.

Related, though, I try not to mind some minor illnesses, because when they are sick even bigger kids want to snuggle with mom.

Juris Mater said...

Tex, beautifully said, I totally agree with you with respect to the 11pm feeding (since I haven't gone to bed yet at that time). I was just thinking last night about how much I enjoy Angelina's 11pm feeding, and how I have NO desire to drop it, whereas I was obsessed with dropping Bella's night feedings as quickly as possible. Both so I could have the option to sleep, and also so I could respond "yes" when people asked those sleeping through the night questions! I love nursing a baby right before going to bed myself, it really is a special uninterrupted time, the prolonged sweet goodnight that I didn't have the time to give her when I put her to bed in the evening as the other kids were running around wet and naked after baths.

But as for the 1am, 3am, and 6am feedings, no thanks : ) Falling back asleep is particularly difficult for me so those really take their toll. I have been sleeping 6-7 hour stretches lately, for the first time since Bean was born 2.5 years ago, and I finally remember what it's like to be happy!

Joanne said...

This is a nice sentiment, and it's one I'm going to try to think of in two months, when I am up with my third. With my second, I was just happy that I had some time to look at tv programs that I had dvr'd! I am also not a person who does well on so little sleep, but I'm going to try to appreciate the quiet time spent with my newborn once he or she is here.

texas mommy said...

I should add a strong caveat...that Incredibaby is waking up only 1-2 times a night. This means that I usually have 6 uninterrupted hours of sleep early on. I was thinking about this b/c I was so surprised to hear my own response to being asked about Incredibaby's sleep and was thinking about why. It's just so peaceful. I just had to write it down to reread when this is NOT how I feel!

And I am still NOT a morning person when I have to get up for the day. Mr. Incredible avoids too much conversation with me until it is 10am and I've had 2 cups of coffee.

Catherine said...

What a sweet post! I also viewed night nursing as a major chore with my older ones, but have enjoyed it, for the most part, this time around. My 17 month old twins just started sleeping through the night, and although I am rejoicing, I also miss the intimacy of nursing them alone at night (especially since during the day they always want to nurse together!).

JimmyV said...

I love it! I can't even get silence at church, 5 minutes after Mass is over.