Sleep, It’s a Wonderful Thing!Devan McGuinness
Sweet baby Silver is what I would consider a little challenging. He is one of the great loves of my life, but if he’s not being held and stared at, he will let you know he is not happy.
It’s definitely his personality — which was clear even during pregnancy. I had no expectations of being able to sleep especially in the early weeks, but as the time has passed, I wondered if I was ever going to get any kind of sleep.
We’re a co-sleeping family, and thank goodness for that. We’re also an exclusive breastfeeding family and my night times would mean constant nursing form 5-11 PM and then wake-ups for food every two hours until the morning. Since he’s only breastfed and sleeping in our bed or next to our bed in his co-sleeper, these wake-ups fall on my responsibility only — as it has with past babies.
Only this time, I can’t seem to deal with the super fatigue as well as I had in the past. I don’t know if it’s an inability to deal but that I have three older kids who don’t nap during the day — and, in fact, I homeschool them, too, so they’re always here and I’m always busy. On top of that, I have a near full-time freelance workload so there is no time to take a nap and no way could I follow the “sleep when baby sleeps” advice.
So, I have found myself aching for some sleep. I can catch up on it here and there on the weekend when the husband is home. Again, it’s only a few hours at a time (three at most) since Silver loves to eat. I am not complaining because, like I said, it’s expected with a newborn. It’s just making me feel really sluggish, old and not at my best.
Today though — oh friends, I feel human! Silver gave me the wonderful, amazing gift of sleep last night. Since he’s now 7 weeks old, he and I have mastered breastfeeding and we have been able to figure out the side-lay breastfeeding position. He sleeps next to me, nuzzled in — safely — at night and last night — he slept for SIX WHOLE HOURS in one stretch. I didn’t find myself waking to check on him after two hours as I may have had he been in a different room, but being able to feel his stomach rise and his gentle warm breath on my chest as he slept, I was able to believe what was happening without really waking up.
This is a big deal for me — not just because I could for sure use some sleep — but my older kids didn’t sleep through the night for that amount of time, ever, until they were two years old and beyond. I know at this young age his sleep patterns are not predictable, are not going to be routine, and will be all over the place, but last night felt really, really good.
Sleep, it’s a wonderful, wonderful thing!