ANYONE who knows me is aware that I have always cherished sleep time. Certainly, I have NEVER been a morning person, especially since in my career in media entailed working afternoon shifts, so there was never much need to rise early. Definitely never before 8 a.m. Alas, my wonderful relationship with sleep has become a casualty of motherhood!
Every person who has gone through it before you tries to prepare you for the sleepless nights and general reduction in quality sleep time that comes with becoming parents. However, as much as you think you are prepared, it is never like you think it will be. At least in my case...it has been positively BRUTAL!
For me, it all started the day the Prince was born. They tell you to get as much sleep as you can while you're in the hospital, but for me, that wasn't exactly an option because at our hospital, healthy babies stay in the rooms with their mothers instead of in a common nursery area so that the bonding process can begin immediately. Add to that the nurses checking in on us every couple of hours and time for sleep diminishes considerably.
Then when we got home from the hospital with our tiny bundle, we were on our own. For the first two months or so, the Prince would need to be fed every three to four hours, which meant 4 a.m. feedings and diaper changes, then rocking him a bit before he lulled off to sleep. Most times I'd be on my own. Hubby's all-important and singular role most times would be to elbow me in the ribs to let me know the Prince was awake. Many days in the first few months I'd feel like an absolute zombie! Battered and terribly sleep-deprived. I still have no idea how I was able to function during that time. I'm not much of a coffee drinker and couldn't really use that as a solution anyway since I was nursing.
Mercifully, as the Prince got a bit older and started sleeping for longer periods, and eventually through the night at three months old (insert happy dance here!), I began to get my bearings again. Still, my relationship with my beloved sleep has never been the same. You see, he, at least for now, appears to be a morning person. He wakes up at 7 a.m. most mornings. He'll play in his crib for a while, but of course, being a foodie like his parents are, soon enough he starts up the "What's for breakfast?" cry and once that happens, all bets are off! There was a time when I had no idea what 7:30 a.m. looked like. Now, we are bosom buddies! And as for the prospect of a mid-morning or afternoon nap, as Tony Soprano and his crew would say, fuhgeddaboudit! Because as is often the case, when the kiddies are napping, we parents attempt to use that time to get things done. Because, of course, there's always something that needs doing. And of course, this all is assuming we can get them to nap in the first place!
Boy, do I miss my beloved sleep. But at the same time, I must say, I am so grateful that the Prince is sleeping through the night. I am well aware that there are some babies his age and older that do not. And the strangely amazing thing is that even when I'm so tired that I feel like I'm moving in slow motion, a hug or a cuddle with the Prince provides me with just the energy boost I need to keep going. And that sweet smile of his is like an instant vitamin. Those moments make getting less sleep than I've been used to totally worth it!