Friday, January 11, 2013

Sleep and Thanks

I know this is dangerous to admit, but we have one amazing sleeper on our hands over here.  We thought it was a fluke the first night he went from 11 to 4:30.  We were almost giddy with relief at the amount of sleep. And for the first week or two, Hunter would sleep till at least 3 and then eat and then go back to sleep till 7 or 8.  Really, we thought it was sure to change.  And it did change.  He started sleeping seven hours and then eight.  For several weeks now he has slept 8 hours at night almost without fail.  We kept bracing ourselves for the other shoe to drop.  But he has consistently slept so beautifully - taking wonderful naps during the day and going to sleep easily at night.  Often I am able to put him down while he is still awake and he will fuss for a few minutes and then drift peacefully off to dreamland.  This is something I read in a lot of parenting books and I always thought was mythical.  Turns out, it does actually happen in real life.

We still say a little prayer of thanks every morning when at 6 AM Brian, Hunter and I get up for the day.  I am convinced my physical recovery was helped GREATLY by getting enough rest during the day and sleep at night.

I remember the days of baby Reagan.  For the first many many months of her life that child did not sleep.  No really.  I don't remember her sleeping.  I don't remember much from that time period, in all truthfulness.  That poor girl was colicky and it was hard.  I do remember telling people that she was colicky and having them look at me like I was just a "new mom who didn't know what I was doing".  And then when they would witness her colic episodes at night they would stare at her in shock.  I digress.  Brian and I took turns.  I would stay up with her from 10-2.  He would stay up with her from 2-6.  These were not fun times.  And these were the nights we paced and rocked and just reminded ourselves how very much we wanted a baby. If our baby would be fussy, well, we were not going to complain.  She was here and that was what we wanted.

Maddie was a much better baby.  She woke only once at night to eat and went back to sleep quickly.  She did not scream for hours on end each evening.  And this is when we realized that having a baby was not always quite so brutal.  When she turned 3 weeks old, we breathed a HUGE sigh of relief that she was not colicky and that we would not have a repeat experience of the four months of screaming.

And now Hunter.  I had this feeling something was different about him in the hospital.  The boy did not cry hardly at all.  And if he did, it lasted for maybe one minute and was then done.  He'd even fuss a bit and stop without me even touching him.  We took him home and that ease has continued.  Occasionally, he is fussy and we have to pace a bit.  But gone is the fear.  When he cries, we often smile and giggle a little at the sounds he makes or the look on his face.  He doesn't hold his breath like Reagan did.  We don't have to carefully put him to sleep each night.  During the day, I don't have to be very quiet while he is napping.  This baby is just a wonder and a joy.

Part of me feels a little guilty.  People expect me to say "Oh I am so tired" or "He's got his days and nights mixed up".  But the only complaint I could possibly manage would be "Well, sometimes he grunts a bit in his sleep."  Pfff.  I even roll my own eyes at myself.

It all reminds me of the early days of Reagan's life when someone told me that babies are only ever fussy because new mothers are incompetent and nervous.  Wow.  So not true.  Babies come with their own little wonders and challenges.  Sometimes faithful parenting is about hanging on through those tough times.  And sometimes it's about humbly admitting our child's temperament isn't so much about us but just a wonderful gift from God.

Regardless, each of ours is treasured, loved and appreciated.

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