A few days ago, I contemplated posting that all I wanted for Christmas was some fricking sleep already, but I didn’t get to it because, well, I can’t seem to get to my computer these days.
And then Santa came to my house and brought me a Christmas Eve present of one 4.5 hour stretch of sleep by Tater, followed by a 3 hour stretch. Heaven. And then there was the unexpected Christmas night gift of the longest night of sleep we’ve had since Tater joined us. He slept 7 hours, and I got about 6.5 hours of that.
Holy crap, I heart Santa.
That probably doesn’t sound all that bad, but when contrasted with the sleep we’ve been getting, it truly is a small miracle.
A typical night has been looking like this:
*Tater nurses to sleep for the night around 10:30 p.m.
*He wakes between 1 and 1:45 a.m.
*He nurses and is back to sleep within a half an hour
*He wakes again between 4 and 5 a.m. and is up for about a half an hour
*and is up again between 6:15 and 7. (This last stretch can be lengthened if I sit up holding him instead of putting him in his crib.)
On the good end of that spectrum, that works out to a 3 hour stretch, a 3 hour stretch, and a 2 hour stretch, but that never happens. It’s usually more like, 3, 2, and 1.5, and then I just stay up because I have to take the tot to preschool and the coffee is already made*. If I’m not lucky (and believe me, this is all about luck – he’s not deliberately trying to kill me by sleep deprivation.) (Shut up and let me believe that), his night is 30 minutes, 2.5 hours, 2 hours, and 4 more if I hold him.
When I was pregnant with the tot, I used to hate all the people who told me that having to get up to pee two or three times a night was preparing me for getting up with a baby. I hated this for two reasons. First, I don’t know about you, but I can get up, pee, and get back in bed in under 5 minutes and without having to fully wake up. Getting up with a baby? Not so easy to do while sleepwalking. Second, (I heard this somewhere, loved it, and adopted it) it’s the equivalent of preparing for a famine by dieting. Um, no thanks.
With Tater, I started waking up to pee much earlier in the pregnancy than with the tot, and the chronic sleep disruption was compounded this time by insomnia that would hit me after my 3-4 a.m. pit stop. While lying awake in the wee hours, I began to see the kernel of truth in what all those well-meaning people were saying. The truth is this: the getting up to pee at all hours of the night doesn’t so much prepare you for taking care of an infant in the night as it breaks your spirit. In those late nights and early mornings of my pregnancy, I had to hand myself over to the sandman. I had to accept that I had no control over when I’d need to wake up or when I’d get to go back to sleep. I could use all my best tricks, but when it came down to it, it was no longer my choice.
The postpartum sleep deprivation is easier this time around for this very reason. I know and accept that I’m at this little person’s mercy, at least for a while yet. And the fact that I know it won’t last forever helps. (The tot did eventually sleep in stretches longer than 4 hours, though I don’t care to think about how old she was when that finally happened or what it took to get there [anemia].)
So that’s that. I’m tired, so very, very tired. But on the whole, we’re doing well. Tater is an adorable baby and a happy boy who seems bent on learning to talk already. The Tot is a doting big sister, even when she’s infected with every god-forsaken cold virus her preschool pals insist on sharing with her. (Preschool. Ugh.)
Stay tuned for more. I think now that Tater is starting to sit up a bit on his own I won’t have to hold him quite so much, which will free my hands for teh typing.
*HG programs it the night before, and I love him for it.