Friday, November 11, 2011


I have not slept for more than a 3 hour block of time since Joseph was born. That's four weeks worth of no sleep, for those of you who aren't keeping close track of how old my newborn is.

After Stephanie was born, the lack of sleep drove me nuts. I was desperate for more zzz's, and frustrated every time I heard the cry of that little one in the middle of the night. I distinctly remember several times when I had to change her diaper in the middle of the night, which turned into changing her jammies, my jammies, and the changing pad cover, and I just broke down and started crying. I remember burying my head under the pillow in the mornings and begging Dan to please get up with her so that I could stay in bed. I couldn't seem to function with such little sleep. But oh, how things are different this time around.

When I hear Joseph cry out in the night, I wake right up and pick him up for his feeding. I don't feel my eyes start to close as i'm feeding him. I don't care about having to do a complete outfit change in the middle of the night, and when he doesn't fall right back to sleep after his bottle, I just rock him, cuddle him, and watch another episode of Friends on TV. When Stephanie starts to cough just as I've finally put Joseph in his bassinet and crawled into bed, I get right back up and go in to soothe her. When 6:00 rolls around (thank you time change), I get up with Stephanie, start up my Keurig, poor her a cup of milk and relish our quiet time together, just the two of us. I take her to story time and to the grocery store, I do laundry, clean the bathroom, make dinner, etc, etc.

I'm not bragging, or waiting to be patted on the back. I know this is not some huge feat that I've managed to accomplish, and there are mother's everywhere dealing with lack of sleep, and doing it with more than two children and less help than I have. But I had to write about it, because honestly, i'm proud of the fact that I've changed so much from how I felt after my last newborn experience.

I've thought about why things are so different this time, and I think it's because of a few different things. For one, my physical recovery with Stephanie was really, really difficult. My delivery had complications that I didn't have this time, and so my body needed sleep in order to heal. I also had never experienced anything like that kind of sleep deprivation before. It was a new experience, and I couldn't seem to adjust to it while also getting the rest my body needed. I was a new mom, struggling with all that that entails, and it was a lot for me to deal with. Now, I've been there, done that. I have adapted my life to having nights of little to no sleep, because that's what happens when you have children. They get sick, and you need to be up with them. They have nights when their teething pain keeps them up, and so you're up as well. Then there are the nights when they decide, hey, I just want to get up and play in my crib. And then you lie in bed and listen to them for hours at a time. I've experienced all of that.

I'm used to getting up early and taking care of Stephanie, so now I get up early and take care of both children. I it. And it doesn't seem that bad. In fact, sometimes I really enjoy middle of the night feedings. It's my one-on-one time with Joseph, it's quiet and peaceful, and I'm soaking up every minute of his newborn-ness. Of course, there are times when I complain about how tired I am, and I have to say I am looking forward to when this little boy sleeps for longer than 3 or 4 hours at a stretch. But in the meantime, I'm sucking it up and dealing with it, with minimal whining and complaining. I do it because i'm a mom, and that's what moms do, and when I see how much Joseph has grown and changed already, I just can't bring myself to dread our middle of the night bonding moments. So here's to a night of little sleep, but plenty of mommy-son time! (And if he decides to sleep longer...I'll welcome that too!)

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