Wednesday, January 13, 2010

As I lay me down to sleep

This last year has seen me completely change how I view sleep. I used to be one of those women who swore she needed at least 8 hours, preferably 9, in order to function. If I got 7.5, I was a cranky, tired mess. I wondered what I would do when a baby arrived, because so many women seemed to be warning me about sleepless nights.
Some babies slept 8 hours a night right off the bat, right?
After Jan. 30th, I didn't have much time to think about how tired I was. Abby slept like most newborns sleep: up a lot throughout the night, sleep a lot during the day. We got this reversed over a few weeks, but she still woke every hour or two to eat. Born at 5 lbs, she had a lot of growing to do to catch up.
I remember how utterly thrilled and thankful I was when I only had to wake up three times during the night to feed her, after a few months--what salvation!
Eventually, she got better at sleeping and since 9 months old has gone 12 hours a night. I remind myself of this every time I feel frustrated or self-pitying: my baby sleeps all night and I feel like a normal person, not a zombie-lady, which is a real treat.
That said, I am back to the pre-bedtime rituals that used to help me drift off to the land of nod when I had winks to spare. Before when sleep was not a dream, but a commodity of which I had plenty.
Said rituals include: reading a chapter of my book (right now that's Nicholas Sparks' memoirs, "Three Weeks with my Brother"), brushing my teeth, brushing my hair, doing yoga, putting my feet up the wall while I lay on my back (to help my circulation), writing in my journal, pillow talk with Rich (if he's not working), slathering on my hand cream and finally turning off the light and saying my prayers. (Though not a practicing Catholic, I still have a lot to be thankful for and I think prayer's a great way to express that).
Then, usually between 7 and 8, I wake up not to the annoying beep or blare of an alarm clock, but to an angelic, soft little voice talking in her crib across the hallway.

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