Monday, August 11, 2014

Only once

I realized yesterday that I've been blessed with a difficult sleeper. I mean, I've known Bubba is a tricky fellow to keep asleep, but I hadn't thought about how lucky I am that he is the way he is. 

I'm entertaining myself with my iPhone right now after giving up on slumber. The birds have just started chirping outside, and there's a faint glow coming through the curtains, but the sun isn't up just yet. Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter are some of the few things I can do in the dark with one hand while my other arm cradles my sleeping son.

Last night he went to bed in his bassinet around 2230. I brushed my teeth, flossed, and was catching zzz's myself about an hour later. But I've been mostly awake since his 1am nursing. He usually gets squirmy and calls out to eat, nurses in a semi-conscious state for about 10 minutes, and is back to bed. I'm impressed how he can swallow a full meal without really waking up. 

I wish I could stay drowsy like he is, but I'm too alert by the time he finishes. I actually did fall back asleep around 0325, but he woke us up again at 0345, so I'm not sure that counts ; p

As the dawn approaches, he gets more and more restless. By 4 or 5 am I have to pick him up and take him into bed with me so that he might sleep till 7 (when he finally poops). He fidgets and squirms and I'm scared he'll roll face down into the bedding, so I stay vigilant. 

You know what though? This little guy is 4 months old already. I know "he'll always be my baby" and all, and I know toddlers and children can be sweet and snuggly too, but this first year of infancy and true babyhood is A THIRD OF THE WAY OVER. And this is time we're never getting back. Might we have other kids? Maybe. Maybe not. Even if we do, this period with him--my first born little boy--is running water. 

Those poor moms with babies who sleep through the night: they miss half the experience! Bubba has already grown into an "easier" baby. For the first 10 weeks or so, he had to be held all. the. time. And he wanted to nurse every 45 to 90 minutes. 

People said I was spoiling him. People said he cried because he was held too much. People warned that he was "using" me as a "human pacifier."

I'm glad I trusted my gut and disregarded that rubbish. 

Here we are just a few months down the road and he may go 3 hours sometimes between feedings. He can watch contentedly from his swing or play mat while we make or eat dinner or fold laundry . . . for a little while at least. I wish I knew the high-need intensity of those first few weeks was a passing phase; I wouldn't have stressed as much. 

The best parenting advice I've been given was from my coworker who has a single, grown son. I was nearly full-term and talking about how much maternity leave to take. 

"Liz, they're only little once."

I've remembered her words every time I've gotten up in the night, every time he won't sleep without the boob within an inch of his face. What would I have done if he had been an easier baby and, say, taken naps in his swing? Filed paperwork? Washed more dishes? All good projects, but does anything compare to this?

Nope. I'm thankful my child is vocal enough to keep his mother's priorities straight. 


  1. Rubbish is right. In fact that's a load of BS and you and I know it. Love him for me since aunt Martha's not there. Xo

  2. You're a much better person than I am, especially on that little sleep. But you're right, he is precious.


  4. I'm just now seeing this post. And I LOVE IT.