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).

2 comments:

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!