Not exactly a writing related post, but oh well!
After a couple of very rough nights spent wondering whether Lauren would ever be a decent sleeper, I decided to try something new. New for us anyways. I know it’s going to sound completely ridiculous to most people but it actually never crossed my mind before now.
I’m a dedicated breast feeder. I love it. It’s easy. It’s cheap. I don’t have to steralize bottles or mix formulas. I don’t have to get out of bed in the middle of the night to prepare a feed. I tell people I’m lazy, because really, it has always seemed like a lot more effort to bottle feed than breast. Lauren is very much attached to the whole process and I’ve been happy to continue.
But, my supply isn’t awesome at the moment. The whole pregnancy thing. And while I’ve been struggling on, accepting that she’s taking longer to get enough of a feed to satisfy her (hence all the wake ups, the shorter sleep spans) I never stopped to think that I could do things differently.
Anyway, last night I gave her a bottle of milk before bed. She drank the first one and half of a second. She slept for almost 8 hours. When she woke at 3am I gave her some more milk, and then a feed because she wanted one – and even though she woke a few times after that she was content to be patted/shushed back to sleep instead of clawing at my chest demanding more.
Why did this never cross my mind before now? I mean, I KNEW she wasn’t getting as much as she wanted, but I never thought to supplement.
Sometimes, we can get so stuck in our ways that obvious solutions just don’t take hold until you really need them to.
It did mean that this morning I woke feeling very much more alert than I have been the last few days. Which got me thinking ahead to the time when I will be sleeping through the night.
The time when I’ll be able to have a glass or wine or two with dinner because I’m not breastfeeding (or pregnant).
The time when I’ll be able to go out to the movies on random nights of the week because I won’t be worrying about the kids waking up.
And you know what? That’s not very far away. When you put things in perspective, these early years don’t last long. I’m all about being there for my kids and fulfilling their needs (even if that means rocking them to sleep every night and being up every other hour to feed. Even when it means I don’t get to go out with friends whenever I feel like it, or have a drink, or sleep for more than a few hours at a time). I can cope with all of that, I’m happy to give stuff up for my kids.
Today it seems much easier though, knowing that in a couple of years I’ll have more time to do the other things I love. Hell, I may even be able to actually watch a TV show on TV as the season plays rather than waiting for DVDs.
This parenting gig is a long term thing, but it can be so easy to let yourself get caught up in the here and now. Yes, sleepless nights feel like they’ll go on forever. Being a human milk bottle can be tiring at times. Constantly being at their beck and call is more than a full time job – but its SO worth it in the end. And these years, they don’t last forever. They don’t last long at all.
What’s more is that I know I’ll miss them when they are gone.