It’s my third day back to work. It’s getting harder, not easier like everyone said it would. Perhaps because I’m more tired? Perhaps because it’s becoming more real?
Hannah is 7 weeks old. We’ve sorta kinda settled on a morning routine. I mean, as much as you can with a 7 week old in 3 days. I try to keep her to a feeding schedule at night; 10:30p “full meal” with an 11:30p “snack”. Then place a droopy baby into her bassinet and rock for a few minutes, then leave her to fall asleep on her own (cuz the sooner she figures out how to do that, the better). And then we all knock wood that the overnight timing lines up and we can get some sleep.
She’s a pretty champion sleeper actually. I can usually get 4 or 5 hours at a stretch at night. I also want to make sure she is good and fed before I leave in the morning so that the minimal supply I’ve been able to store at home will get her through the day. That said, if she’s not awake, I wake her up at 6am so we can get a full feed in and back to sleep before I shower, dress, and accomplish all the other necessaries to get myself out of the house and at work between 8 and 9.
The last two nights, though, she has woken up at 4 which makes all of my pre-planned timing awkward. (I know this is simply ASTOUNDING information that you can’t wait to read and re-read, but whatever…) I get up with her, get her changed if she’s wet, spend about an hour feeding a drifting baby who inevitably poops and needs another change about halfway through. Then I spend about 30 minutes listening to her grunt and coo herself to sleep before I can finally settle in, only to have the alarm wake us a mere 30 minutes later. Bummer for me, Hannah doesn’t seem to care.
She still sleeps in our room but I don’t think that will be the case for much longer. I try pushing her sounds to the back of my mind. With each grunt I think to myself, if she were in her crib, would I hear this? If I heard this, would I get out of bed to check on her? If the answer to either of those questions is “no”, I try not to interfere with her then. I might still look, try to catch a glimpse of her face to make sure she’s not choking on spit-up or suffocating on her blanket (she never is) but I don’t rock her and I don’t touch her (omg SO HARD!). And each time I look at her, I get a little more confident that we can put her in the crib soon. And then I get a little sad and wish they had adult size bassinets I could sleep in next to her crib. But I want her to learn that it’s ok to be alone. Heck, I need to learn that it’s ok for her to be alone. That she can grunt and snort and suck her whole hand and listen to the white noise and fall asleep and someone will still be there to get her when she wakes up hungry.
She’s already and only 7 weeks old. I don’t want to miss anymore babyhood. I want to sit up all night and watch her face move and her eyes flutter and her legs jerk around. I want to be alone with her when I am already awake and not feeling grumpy about the time. I want her to sleep on my chest, something she has already grown out of. But I also don’t want to get fired. And I don’t want to be an overprotective hovering mother. And she’s plenty cuddly; loves to be held just not face to chest. Good god, how am I ever going to send her off to college if I can’t even send her across the hall?