Monday, October 19, 2009

I've Seen My Future, and There is Not Enough Sleep

Hubby and I are settling into our new roles as parents-of-two. We're trying to figure out how our household is going to run with the new set of responsibilities that came with Petunia. Given our history, it is not surprising that we are trying to do this while in a state of sleep deprivation.

The funny thing is, if Petunia were the only child in the house, we'd be doing great on sleep- at least by our parenting-adjusted standards. Petunia already routinely sleeps one four hour stretch every night- something her older sister didn't do until she was several months old. Unfortunately for me, that four hour stretch is from 7 p.m. until about 11 p.m., and even on a good night, Pumpkin is unlikely to be asleep before 9. Lately, I've been in Pumpkin's room, laying next to her (OK, and maybe dozing a bit) until almost 10.

Petunia sleeps in, too- she gets up for the day at about 7 or 7:30 a.m. I am overjoyed by this. Pumpkin started her days at about 4:30 a.m. when she was a newborn. I remember celebrating when she started sleeping until 5:30 a.m. Pumpkin is still almost always the first one awake in our house, but she has been sleeping in a bit, too- this morning she got up at about 7:20. Her more usual wake up time is 6:30. This later wake up time is undoubtedly related to her later bedtime, and Hubby and I both agree we need to fix it. I want more sleep at night, and he is worried about the morning routine when he goes back to work.

So, between Pumpkin's schedule and Petunia's nighttime wakings, we aren't getting enough sleep. I know from my experience with Pumpkin that I need to get at least four hours of uninterrupted sleep on a fairly regular basis to feel OK. Hubby just needs more sleep, and would also prefer one decent chunk. We're both still getting up for all of the nighttime feedings- I feed Petunia and Hubby changes her diaper, burps her, and puts her back down. This will change soon. Petunia is almost old enough to be introduced to the bottle. Breastfeeding is going really well, so I'm optimistic that the bottle (and the pacifier that we'll probably introduce at about the same time) won't cause any problems. Our plan is to do the same thing we did with Pumpkin, which is to have Hubby give Petunia one bottle per night. He'll do that first middle of the night feeding, and then I'll take over. I am much more mobile now, and can get up in the middle of the night and change diapers. This should get us both the sleep we need.

I can see that we're going to struggle with our morning routines, too. Petunia is awake and wanting to be held at about the same time as we need to be getting Pumpkin ready for day care. The grown ups also want to shower and eat breakfast. I haven't figured out how this is all going to work yet, but I suspect it will involve wearing Petunia in her new Moby Wrap (which she seems to really like).

Other than the issues with setting up our routines, things are going well. I am never going to like the newborn phase as much as I like the older phases, but I am definitely enjoying it more this time around. I think this is partly because Petunia is a more laid back newborn (although she does have her fussy periods), partly because I'm a more laid back mother, and partly because I learned a lot the first time around. I have my breastfeeding "station" all set up. I know that if I start getting a headache, it is probably because I need to drink more. My Mom made me a nursing cover, and between that and my greater confidence with nursing and baby-calming, I am more willing to go places with Petunia than I was with Pumpkin.

I know that I have a lot more to learn. In a year, I expect to be looking back and thinking about how much Hubby and I have figured out and being amazed by it, much as I was at Pumpkin's one year birthday. However, the hardest part of Pumpkin's newborn period was the transition in me. I had to turn myself into a mother. I had to get used to the idea that my needs no longer came first, and accept the fact that there was a little baby who deserved as much of my time and energy as I could give- and who would demand that time and attention from me even when I felt least able to give it. That work has already been done this time around, which allows me to better appreciate the joys of having a newborn. My favorite part is holding her close to me, resting my cheek on her soft hair, and feeling the warmth of her as she cuddles into me. Until she gets a gas bubble and lets out one of her pteradactyl screams, right into my ear.


Thank you all for your nice comments and good wishes on my last two posts. I did a little research about breech deliveries, and feel pretty good about our decision to have a C-section. This post about breech deliveries summarizes things well. I might have been able to have a successful vaginal delivery. However, the fact that Petunia was bigger than Pumpkin decreased my chances of doing so. I also found several papers that indicate a small but significant increase in risk to the baby from attempting a vaginal breech delivery. Since we are pretty sure that we're done having kids (and therefore won't have to face the decision about what to do next time), I suspect that even if we'd had time to research things and make a more careful decision, we would have had a C-section.

For those who are interested: Pumpkin's Reading List has recently been updated.

1 comment:

  1. I just laughed out loud at your title! Amen, sistah!

    I thought the Moby would work for us in the mornings, but it didn't. The swing (in our bathroom) is how I put the Pookie down and entertain the Pumpkin, as she likes to push it with him in it. Though I don't even remember if that worked in the early weeks...

    You'll find your routine and figure out what works in no time. Especially once hubby goes back to work and it's sink or swim! haha!


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