5.07.2006

Sleep

As anyone who has ever had a baby knows all too well, sleep becomes the ultimate goal soon after you bring the baby home from the hospital. The evasiveness of this goal, combined with the realization that I would have had a lot more energy had I had a child at 22 instead of 27, has made for a long 7 weeks. One of the more interesting facts about this topic is that mothers all over the country have told me how "lucky" I am in that Charlie slept from about 11:00 or 11:30 pm until 3:00 or 3:30 am (and then again until 7:30 or so) since he was about 3 weeks old, giving me about 6 or so hours of sleep total, divided by that one middle-of-the-night feeding. So the reality that I have been totally exhausted in spite of being "lucky" has made me literally live in fear for the time when he begins to sleep less (and fearful about having any subsequent children who might, horror of horrors, want to eat every 2 or 3 hours during the night). This fear has made the times when I should be sleeping difficult, as I often just toss and turn, waiting for him to wake-up, convinced at any moment that he will become a screamer instead of a sleeper.

And the story of sleep continues...last week-end we visited Ryan's parents in Carrollton, GA and on Friday night the little guy slept from the last feeding (10:30 or 11:00) until 5:45 am! I woke up scared to death, fearing he was dead! But no, he was in his carseat in the bathroom (more on that later) sleeping peacefully. On Saturday night, he slept until 6:45 am!! I woke up at 5:45 in total shock and laid in bed awake waiting for his cry. When it finally came, I responded with JOY, so thankful to my small son for the nearly 6 CONSECUTIVE hours of sleep. For most of this past week, the trend continued - Charlie would wake up between 5 and 6 am.

Then Friday night (as in the night before last) he slept until 7:15! I was again totally shocked. Now I did not get to take advantage of all of that time since he did take about an hour to cry himself to sleep and since Ryan was on call, which entails him getting paged for ICU crises and admissions all night long. But the fact that he showed the ability to sleep that long was worth celebrating. Last night he was back to the 5:30 am wake-up time but that's OK - my little son has showed me that he can sleep until 7am. And I am learning slowly but surely, that this time of sleep deprivation, uncertainty and chaos will pass and that one day, I'll go back to sleeping 8 hours a night...At least until I have another child or until Charlie becomes a teenager and I am awake worrying about his safety instead of his sleep habits. :)

PS - About sleeping in the carseat: Charlie has an aversion for lying down flat on his back and since the American Academy of Pediatrics frowns on stomach sleeping, he sleeps in his carseat. He has done this since he was 2 days old. We've tried the crib with positioners, the crib with sleep wedges that prop up the head, the crib by itself and all resulted in those horrific every 2 hour feedings. In the carseat, he sleeps like an angel, probably feeling cuddled by the small space. We are kind enough to put a blanket in the bottom so he doesn't have to lay on buckles all night long. And of course the carseat is in the crib, safe from the dogs.


Here are some pictures of Easter week-end at the beach (Charlie was 4 weeks old):

The sisters with their boys
"Big Daddy" with his grand-boys:

3 comments:

maryanne helms said...

Em-

I think I see cleavage in that beach picture. Forget the sleep deprivation, celebrate the boobs! Seriously, I am grateful along with you that baby is a solid sleeper. Josh and Ann both slept 6-hour chunks by six weeks...and I rememeber the panic with Anna. With Josh it was just relief:) And the truth is, everything to do with motherhood becomes slightly easier with time. I think the initial adjustment is the toughest part, because it is such a shock to the body being tired, and such a shock to the lifestlye to be limited and constrained by somebody else. Praying for you, and we'll talk soon.

Love,
Maryanne

p.s. why aren't you at church?:) Oh yeah, I'm not either (Anna is sick)

amy claire said...

Ha, ha...well said, Maryanne. Us teeny gals should rejoice in this once and a lifetime opportunity to be able to wear spaghetti strap tanks with some pride :0)

I too am SO pumped for your stretches of sleep, Em! Sure, he might have a few disrupted nights here and there due to teeth or growing or whatever but feel free to enjoy each night you can. But I hear ya, I get tired of people telling me I'm lucky for this or that about Brighton when I actually feel like crap. I'm sure I'll look back and be thankful down the road, but in the present, I'd just like a listening ear and a hug, not someone telling me to be happy or get over it. Ah well. Such is the life of being a mommy and having a whole slew of onlookers/experts to tell you how to do it :0)

Charlie is too precious, by the way!

Also, did you end up going to those weddings?! Crazy girl!!

Love
AC

Emily said...

I'd trade my growing chest for my pre-baby body any day but thanks for the encouragement. :) And yes, I did go to the weddings. Well, one down, one to go. Charlie and I are flying to Cville on Thursday!