Our sleeping arrangement with Blaise is different from what we did with Camilla. For her first six months she just slept on my arm, and whenever she'd stir to nurse I'd pop her on and go right back to sleep. It was actually wonderful, and during those early months I felt like I was getting much more sleep than any mother of a young infant had a right to get. (I paid for it by dealing with her neediness during the day, though.)
Blaise has reflux, so the arm-sleeping, nursing-lying-down thing doesn't work, much to my dismay. We've got a crib side-car arrangement set up, with the head of the crib elevated slightly. He sleeps in the crib, and when he wakes up to nurse I sit up, nurse him, then hold him up on my chest to burp him and let his food settle. When he's deeply asleep enough, I put him back in his crib.
This was working great; in fact, earlier this week there were two nights in a row where he did only a 12am, a 3am and a 6am feeding. It was bliss. (We put him down around 10pm and Bryan usually takes him out of the bedroom around 7am so I can get a bit more uninterrupted sleep. I sleep much more deeply when the baby isn't right next to me.)
Then came Wednesday night, and last night. I want to cry just thinking about them.
I don't think I have high standards when it comes to baby sleep. Camilla didn't sleep through the night until she was 20 months, but it was only after she was a year old that I started to feel frustrated with being up several times in the night. (The month where she was waking every forty-five minutes all night every night was a bit much for me, but I think that would break anyone.) When it became obvious that Blaise likes sleeping more than Camilla does, Bryan and I became hopeful that he *might* sleep through the night before he is a year old. That, to us, would be some kind of miracle.
It's not that I wouldn't love to have a two-month-old who did eight hours at a stretch, it's just that I like to keep my babies close to me at night, and I know I pay a price for that, and I'm okay with it.
But even for me, the last two nights have been TOO MUCH. Wednesday night I did not get to lie down between 12am and 4am. I was sitting up the entire time, my grumpy, reflux-y, congested (he has a little cold) baby alternately nursing and sleeping fitfully on my chest. Last night was even worse: I was sitting up from 1am to 7am. Yes, that is SIX HOURS.
I have three pillows piled up at the head of the bed so I can lean back and sort of doze while I'm sitting up. But still. It is no fun at all. I feel like a truck hit me.
Tonight is going to be better. We might try an arrangement where I pump and Bryan does a night feeding, or we might come up with something else. But it is going to be better, somehow. I'm determined.
Meanwhile, I'm trying to make today a good day despite my exhaustion. I already got Camilla down for her nap easily by using my mom's old trick of a Book Rest. (I put her in her bed with a pile of books and said, "You don't have to go to sleep, you just have to stay in bed and read." Stuck my head back in half an hour later, and voila! Sleeping child.)
I'm not putting pressure on myself to do anything extra today. Not doing laundry, not cleaning, not anything. I did stuff and stack the diapers, but I like doing that, and I am tidying, but only because I'm much happier and relaxed in a tidy house. I am watching DVDS, I am snuggling the baby, I am playing Sudoku on my iPod.
And the universe is helping, because it's a beautiful day (currently 63º and gorgeously sunny) and look at this. I can't be really unhappy when I have this: