Sunday, July 16, 2006

In Shifts

Or, in which I use language that will make my mother blush.

A couple of years ago, I came across an advertisement for a job. I might have considered it, but it said: "Must like shit work."
And I don't so much, so I sent the ad to Leno instead.

When our first blossom was tiny, as you know, dh and I took shifts during the night. This was the only way for either of us to get any sleep -ds's reflux and vomitting were that bad. Now there's the kangaroo sleeper, but that was then.

DH and I had always had different sleeping patterns, so we were able to come to a somewhat agreeable arrangement. Shifts were not entirely equal, as I nursed each time (ds rejected the bottle with pumped milk). But on his shift, dh burped, changed and cuddled and held our baby while I slept in peace.

We're back to sleeping in pieces. In theory, that should help us all attach, but here's the problem with our current shifts: Our baby is an active toddler, who wakes up one hour after I gp to sleep and either screams for a long time or believes it's playtime - most recently the latter occurs, for three hours. And so my shift has become a battle of wills. I refuse to have a midnight playdate, though I'm happy to walk, bounce, rock, snuggle. And this does not make her happy,

Dh's shift begins at 5am, when Miss I awakes happily, smiles and says "Up-pah, Dadda" and then "bah." So she drinks her bah, snuggles against his chest, watches a bit of Sesame Street, and falls asleep for another hour.

Once we tried to switch shifts. But I am a light sleeper, and I'm now prepared to wake up at first fussing - this is how to avoid the wrath. So I took my "shift" and still took his, only that day she awoke at 4am. I did what anyone would do - I cried.

I learned several things:
I sleep too lightly
I have terrible luck
I still do not like shi(f)t work, though I do love to cuddle, and bounce and play - at the right times (not night times).


Overwhelmed! said...

Oh, those late night shifts are so hard, aren't they?!

Snuggle Bug is pretty good about sleeping through the night now, but it wasn't that long ago that he was a newborn who liked to wake up at 3 a.m. just to "play!"

And who can resist a newborn that's smiling and cooing at you? I couldn't. I didn't get much sleep on my shift when this happened.

Hang in there. This too shall pass!

Stacey said...

You are a better mom than you think! Keep up the good work!