I could hear his breathing speed up; I knew he was trying to squirm his way out of the burrito-blanket. I knew that I had exactly one minute to show my bleary-eyed face before he woke up my husband. I seemed to be lucid enough to remember to turn off the baby monitor and close our bedroom door, but as I entered my son’s room I certainly didn’t feel awake enough to be walking.
I don’t mind getting up in the middle of the night to feed him and cuddle him; sometimes it’s even fun. But last night as I nursed him I was exerting all my of faculties just to sit upright. I reached for the wristwatch that I keep on the ottoman, searching for the answer as to why this night was so difficult; the answer was poorly discernable without my glasses and in the dark. Besides, that watch can’t be right, I thought to myself. An hour ago I was in this same chair and the hour before that I awoke dreaming that I was still in the chair. Have I been shackled? Is this all a dream?
My son sleeps well at night, gets a good few hours between each feeding, and goes immediately back to sleep. I am able to get good rests between each feeding and when my son rises with the sun at 6:30, I’m ready as well. This whole scenario is just the latest of my bizzarre dreams, like the one where my son rolled over, or the one when he was suddenly two years old.
When he woke up for his first feeding last night I had barely gone to sleep, but after eating he wanted to cuddle and suck my finger (the middle of the night is no time to fight over the pacifer.) Unable to sit in the chair, I brought him back to bed with me so he could cuddle and I could sleep. Unfortunately, the next time he woke up we woke up my husband, which was inevitable, and he saintly offered to take the baby to the other room and sit with him so I could sleep; and I, too tired to move, could not argue. But my son was hungry so I got up anyway.
I had had a couple or difficult nights in the past: for two hours one night I slept on the floor at the foot of the bassinet because he had a cold and I wanted to hear his breathing (and subsequently feel asleep), I admit to have woken up in the chair with my son in my arms a few times, and for a couple of days he thought that 4 a.m. would be a fun playtime. Nothing had previously compared to this. Never in my life had I been up almost every hour all night long. Never in one night had I slept in three different rooms.
This morning as I woke up on the couch, my face against the sheepskin, my son waking as he nuzzled me, I was completely exhausted and ready for a good night’s sleep. As I fed him, cuddled him, and changed him he woke up for the day. He cooed, gurgled, moved all over the changing table, and smiled at me.
And now I’m ready for the day.