You WILL Sleep Again
For the past 4-5 weeks, my 4 month old son has been waking up every 1-2 hours to breastfeed back to sleep. It was brutal. But I knew in the back of my head that it wouldn’t last forever; as my first baby had also gone through sleep regressions and she’s been sleeping through the entire night a few months after she turned two. I’m beyond ecstatic to say that he slept 5 hours straight the last two nights. And last night he only woke up to nurse twice!
It’s always kinda alarming though when that happens. I mean it’s good, great even! But there’s that panic in the middle of the night where you wake up and look at the clock. Two nights ago, my first thought was “Wow! It’s 2:30am. Score!!!” And immediately after this, panic flooded me and I jumped out of bed, waking my husband up shout-whispering “Is Owen ok? Make sure he’s ok!” We both sleep stumbled over to his crib and stared down at him. “I’m just going to put my finger under his nose to make sure he’s breathing”, I told him. And I carefully reached over and promptly woke him up with a finger-nose poke; totally overestimated how far I had to reach. But it was fine because my boobs felt like they were two hard miniature bowling balls sitting on my chest, so I nursed him back to sleep and we were all pretty happy.
Last night, I woke myself up by rolling onto my side and directly onto a boob rock. Or at least that’s what it felt like. And the same thing happened. But this time it was just me stumbling like a sleepy drunk person over to his crib, tripping on a pair of my husband’s jeans on the floor, which caused me to sprawl out like a sloppy starfish onto the carpet; where I tried not once, not twice, but three times to get up off the floor successfully because I kept leaning on my arm that had fallen asleep to try getting up. Finally I conquered my sleepy confusion & continued my determined pursuit to see if everything was fine. It was. This time I didn’t wake him up. I had fine honed my skills and perfected the finger under the nose technique. Mom skills.
Now, though I am beyond thrilled that he is sleeping these longer chunks of time, I am also aware that this doesn’t necessarily mean it will last like this forever. I know that at some point he’ll probably go through another sleep regression, or start teething, or master a new skill and we’ll be back to some crazy wake up intervals for a while. But for now, I’m just going to sit back and enjoy these large chunks of sleep. They are so glorious, and I honestly feel like a new person. I’m thinking clearer, my patience is longer, I don’t feel as stressed out and sometimes so overwhelmed. And I’m not saying all of this to brag or to show off my son’s mad 5 hour chunk sleeping skills.
I’m saying this for all of you who are currently in the thick of it. Who are in the trenches of exhausting, tearful, maybe even sobbing, arguing and frustrating sleepless nights. It will get better. I promise you. Right now, it might not seem like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Like there’s no end in sight. But there is. These things don’t last forever, though in the moment they always feel like they will. There WILL come a night where you wake up and things have changed all over again. And soon you’ll look back, and call me crazy, but at some point you’ll look back at these times nostalgically. Maybe it’s when your kids are toddlers and don’t need you as much. Maybe it’s when they’re grown up and are leaving the house. But at some point, you’ll look back and remember what it was like to scoop up your sweet, warm baby into your arms, and feel that connection of being able to comfort them. Smelling their sweet baby smell. Of holding them against your chest and in the safety of your loving arms. This time is so very fleeting. And I know you’re beyond tired and exhausted. You will get through this. Stay strong Mama.