It’s been 5 months and 23 days since little H-man made his grand entrance into the outside world, 5 months and 23 days of adjustments, 5 months and 23 days of trying to figure out our new normal, 5 months and 23 days of wondering if there really is such a thing as normal.
I’m not going to lie, for every amazing moment there has been an equal and opposite frustration. For every smile, there’s been a tear. I don’t care what anyone says, that’s how it is with babies. It can’t be magical all the time.
But the hardest thing about those early months of parenting? It’s gotta be the sleep-deprivation. It makes you crazy and angry. It makes you forgetful. It makes you cry over silly, stupid things. It makes you feel like a complete failure.
Spending your days walking through a fog is bad enough. Spending your days in physical and emotional agony because your brain and body are teetering on the razor’s edge of reality, that’s the sort of torture they use to make terrorists talk and the sad fact is, it’s happening to mothers in every corner of this country.
But somehow we survive it, the way we survive so many things. And one day (maybe suddenly, maybe gradually), we realize that things are turning around.
It’s been 5 months and 23 days since little H-man arrived and he’s finally sleeping well, and sleeping consistently, through the night. No screaming. No waking every 45 minutes. No endless hours walking back and forth to his room and bouncing and rocking and feeding and trying to calm him down. The past three nights, I’ve been taking Henry up to bed at 7:00. First a feeding. Then we brush his teeth and gums. We rock for a minute and sing. Then a few kisses and as soon as he buries his face in my chest and pushes himself away, I tell him good night and lay him down in his crib. I turn on his little light show, that will move and play music for 10 minutes before shutting itself off.
The first night, he cried. Of course he would. I was mixing up his routine and he didn’t know if he liked it. I let him fuss for a few minutes then picked him up, calmed him, and laid him back down.
This went on for almost an hour. He calmed a little faster each time, until I could just put my hand on his belly and shush him. Then suddenly, he drifted off to sleep and didn’t wake up until 6:30 the next morning.
Night #2 was more of the same, only better. Henry only fussed and cried for about 20 minutes off and on while I patted his back and shushed him. Then he dozed off and slept from 7:30 p.m. to 6:45 a.m.
And tonight? Well, tonight there were no tears at all, just pure sleeping baby bliss.
It seems we may have cracked H-man’s sleep code. Keep those fingers crossed for us, folks. This just might be the beginning of a very beautiful thing.