Before we get in to the sleep situation, I wanted to thank all of you for your help. The biggest surprise to me about being a new mom is the advice other moms (and dads!) offer up -- and it's been this way since before Ada was born. The help. The support. The suggestions. They are amazing and so very much appreciated. Even if we can't follow them all . . . just knowing that others have been there, done that, and their children have thrived (and mom/dad have survived!) helps us get through each day of this early period.
Thank you. Each and every one of you. I wish I had more energy right now to respond to each of your thoughts individually. Honestly, I have trouble finishing my sentences these days. Even short ones. Oh, and I put our milk carton in the sink this morning. We're working on it. Slowly.
Now: SLEEP! Before Ada was born, we set up her Pack 'n Play in our bedroom. There isn't much space for the thing, but we planned to sleep with her in our bedroom for at least the first week. Maybe longer, but we hadn't given it much thought. I read it would make the whole breastfeeding thing more convenient. Truth? The day she was born, it was serving as a large laundry bin. So, when we returned home, we had to empty it out and make a huge pile at the foot of the bed. Our room, in other words, was a complete mess. Not the ideal bringing-home-baby image I had in my mind those long 9 months.
That first night was . . . interesting. Ada made so many gremlin noises, most of them sounding like she was choking or worse, and we both didn't get much sleep at all. Some friends of our suggested we move her to the nursery. We were both so tired and caught off guard by her early arrival, we'd give anything a try. Thing is, I wasn't ready to leave her. I was all baby-blues emotional and couldn't stop thinking about how my poor baby had been inside me for nine months and how dare I even consider banishing her to her own room so very far away. I mean, it must take 20 steps to get to her crib from my side of the bed! (Sarcasm.)
Naturally, I slept that night atop a few quilts on the nursery floor, much to the horror of my own mother and mother-in-law.
Ada slept far better that night. So did Stephen. And feeding was relatively easy because I was right there. The next day, we grabbed the mattress from our pull-out in the living room and set up a camp for me. The mattress may have been even less comfortable than the floor, but mentally -- at least I was sleeping on some sort of "bed" . . . key words being "sort of."
Then, the problems began.
I found myself half waking up at night bringing her onto the floor with me and then waking up with her beside me without realizing I had fallen asleep. Or worse -- forgetting I responsibly put her back in her crib . . . and then waking up and thinking that I somehow crushed her. Yes. My level of exhaustion had made it dangerous to continue this type of sleeping relationship. So, I reached out to my friends on Facebook.
Wow. There are a million ways of doing the whole first year sleep thing. The suggestions were helpful, but overwhelming (for sure). What we ultimately decided was to bring her back into the Pack 'n Play in our room. We started this on Friday or Saturday night, I really can't remember. I have returned to our bed for better quality sleep. And it's working out. I don't know how much longer we'll keep it this way. Right now, we're thinking at least through December. Maybe longer.
Another thing I've learned from life with a baby is that these types of big decisions are up for change at a moment's notice. Who knows what tonight will bring! What's cool is that Ada typically wakes only twice each night to feed. Her grump-factor is typically calmed by the wee hours, so we're actually getting a couple 3-hour stretches of shut-eye.
(I hope I didn't just jinx us.)
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