I have never taken sleep for granted. I have never been a good sleeper. Some of my earliest memories are of waking my father up to tell him I couldn’t sleep (I never woke up my mom because she was totally mean about it!) Sleep has never come easily; I have had elaborate night time rituals for years. They are sort of effective, but as I am also ridiculously superstitious, I don’t dare not do them.
As I get older, I am finding myself needing more and more sleep. At this rate, I fear my schedule will be similar to a newborn’s when I am in my mid-fifties. (Also, mid-fifties used to seem SUPER old. Now, not so much…) There were times in my life when I needed almost no sleep. College comes to mind. I can remember coming home at four am from the bars and having no problem making a 9am class. Now even the thought makes me slightly nauseous and sweaty. After Emma was born, sleep became a precious commodity. If there was a sleep black market, I would have possibly parted with one of my kidneys for a full eight hours. As everyone knows (and as parents of newborns REALLY know), the first couple of weeks are rough. They are especially rough if your child decides to never sleep. Ever. Twelve hours of non sleeping in a row. The whole ‘sleep when your child sleeps’ didn’t apply here because Emma Never Napped. It was terrible. After my friends Liz and Chris had their baby they kept asking me when the Non Sleeping Chaos would begin. I am happy to report that it never did, and that their daughter has remained much calmer and way less of a spaz than my daughter. Just when we were about to lose all hope (and sanity) we discovered the brilliance of a schedule (and formula), Emma slept ten hours straight. She was eight weeks old. It was sort of like Jesus came into our house and cured the sick. It was one of the miracles, and had the Bible been written during that time this would have made it in there.
And, once we got the boat stable, we did everything in our control (and even imposed our control on others IF YOU CAN BELIEVE THAT ABOUT ME) to keep it from rocking (and swaying and shushing Happiest Baby on the Block style- which was so NOT my style...)
All photographs were taken by Karen Lawson (www.karenlawsonphotography.com). She is AMAZING and I highly HIGHLY recommend her!