the funny thing about STTN

Every parent waits for the day that the baby sleeps through the night. And I have to admit there were so many times in the wee hours of the morning while I nursed Henry and my head bobbed and weaved from sleep that I would have given anything for one perfect night of uninterrupted sleep. My fantasies since motherhood have all included this dream of perfect sleep. There I am in my pajamas pulling back the covers, getting in under the snugly sheets, closing my eyes, and the next frame of this fantasy is me waking up on my own with just a hint of sunlight streaming in on my face! AH! The beauty of a full night of sleep was tantalizing and taunting. I knew what it was. I had been to that promised land of sleep prior to the days of Henry. Would I ever get there again? The days of motherhood are very short but the nights can be so long. Really I should not complain, Henry has been a very good sleeper for a baby. For the first four months of his life, he was capable of stretches of 2, 3, 4, and sometimes even 5 hours of sleep. Technically 5 hours of sleep is sleeping through the night. But from 6PM-11PM wasn’t ideal for my sleeping. Then there was the dark time of unswaddling that left us with 2 hour stretches on a good night. This was a temporary blip and we settled into a nice pattern of sleep for the next few months of bedtime at 6:30PM, a nursing snack at 10PM and then again 4AM and a wake up around 6:30AM. This was sustainable and pleasant and even though I still pined for my uninterrupted night, this was doable. At 9 months on the dot the 10PM feeding faded away. Left with only my 4AM wake-up, I was sleep drunk most mornings and started to panic. Oh no, what will I do when Henry no longer nurses at night? Despite the “hardship” of waking up, once I am in his nursery, settled into our glider, holding my baby in my arms, and caressing his face while he nurses, I am on the moon. The sweetness nourishes me and I feel more like a mother in this moment then in any other of the day. I was not ready to lose this. But I was not the one to decide. Henry is now (fingers crossed) sleeping through the night entirely. From 7PM to 7AM, his rest in undisturbed. And don’t get me wrong, it is amazing to sleep. I love being reacquainted with my bed, sheets, and slumber. But, but, but I miss our quiet moments at night, our little snuggles that belonged only to us. I miss this part of mommyhood at the same time that I am ready for the next phase.  Sleeping through the night (STTN) is beautiful but it also means Henry is growing up and there is no stopping that!

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