I wrote this whole rambling post above sleep, which is below the fold, but I will just summarize it: I slept for almost 6 hours straight overnight. It felt lovely.
Before our little bundle of screams joined our family, I slept soundly and long. Thhe biking miles helped, but really since I’ve reached adulthood I have treasured my sleep. Instead of caffeinating myself to get through a day, I gave myself as much rest as I needed – usually eight to ten hours a night. We went to bed what seemed absurdly early to most of our peers, but woke up for work feeling refreshed and ready for another day (usually).
Of course, Benji’s arrival has provided me an excellent education on sleep deprivation and what you can do with how much sleep. This we expected and our expectations have been abundantly fulfilled. There must be a special grace for new parents that allows us to keep functioning even with what amounts to long-term sleep deprivation. I trust that the luxury will return to us at some point, but meanwhile we get to see the world at hours we haven’t dreamed of since college.
In fact, right now Benji’s schedule is pretty cushy, for four weeks old: Eat around 9 pm, asleep by 10 pm; wake around 1 am, eat, sleep again by around 2; wake again to eat around 5 am, and back to sleep until 8 am. This means two of our night feedings occur at times we might actually choose to be awake. Granted, 5:00 am edges toward the painfully early side, but it’s infinitely better than 3:30 or 4:00 am, when even with rest I’m little better than a zombie. The rest of the day he eats more frequently, but at night he only wakes even 4 hours or so.
This means that occasionally, when the stars align, I can “sleep through the night” as I did tonight: In bed, oh, before 11 pm and didn’t wake until just before 5 am. Ian took the middle of the night feeding, having gone to sleep while I soothed Benji in the evening. What a glorious feeling! And how my perspective has changed, with almost 6 straight hours pure joy.