I was anxious about a lot of things before I had Laine, but somewhere near the top of that list was Sleep Deprivation. It's in all of the What To Expects and Girlfriend's Guides and Holy Cow You're Pregnant Now What books. And then of course there are all of the Happiest Baby on the Block and No Cry Sleep Solution and Make Your Baby Sleep So You Don't Want To Throw It Out a Window books. So you go into this having a baby thing knowing full well that your sleep patterns will either change or become completely non-existent.
To prepare myself I did what they always tell you not to do at the end of summer vacation right before school starts back. I slept as late as humanly possible every day. I refused to set alarms, I didn't make plans or appointments before noon, I kept the blinds closed and the dogs in their kennels and I buried myself under the covers until I had to go to the bathroom so bad I could no longer fight the need to get out of bed. And then some days, especially when I didn't have to teach, I would squeeze in a late afternoon nap as well. Just because I COULD.
Maybe we got lucky or maybe we did something right (or probably a little bit of both) but I didn't think that the newborn stage was as bad as some people say, Sleep Deprivation wise. Laine definitely woke up to eat at night, but once the doctor gave us the ok to let her wake us up on her own (how I hated setting an alarm for 11:30 pm and then 2:30 am and then 5:30am... there are no hateful words strong enough) she seemed to get the hang of the whole nighttime-daytime thing pretty quick. And I took the "sleep when she sleeps" lesson to heart, bringing her back to bed with me if she woke before the sun was up.
And now Laine has finally reached the glorious Sleeping Through the Night stage of life. I read one book that said that Sleeping Through the Night was really only 6-8 hours for an infant but I'm calling BULLHONKIES on that. Six hours is not a full night's sleep for anyone. I was thrilled when she slept 6 hours in a row for the first time, but I in no way counted that as "through the night". But Laine now sleeps 10 to 12 wonderful hours. TEN to TWELVE. Those are big number, y'all. However, those hours start at about 8pm. Meaning even at her snooziest she wakes up around 7:30 or 8am every morning.
To my pre-baby, zero-tolerance for alarm clocks self, that is hecka-early.
(Love and hugs to those of you whose little precious ones (ie. sleep eating demons) still wake up every 2 hours or have chosen 5:30 as the wake-up time for your household. I have a special place in my heart for you and mothers of twins and triplets.)
But to my post-baby, new mommy, adultish self, it is becoming the new normal. My inner clock is adjusting. I go to sleep a little earlier than I used to and find myself waking up at 7:25 waiting to hear Laine squawking and grunting in her crib. She greets me with wide-eyed, open-mouthed joy and wiggles of pleasure (which helps clear that early morning fog for sure), cooing and gurgling as I change her diaper and get her dressed for the day. Yesterday after she had eaten, I decided we would go ahead and run some errands before her mid-morning nap. Feeling alert and awake and adult-like, I buckled her into her carseat and headed out, to-do list in hand.
I was confused when the bank parking lot was nearly empty, and annoyed to find the door locked. Was it a holiday? Why on earth would the bank be closed? I turned to lug the carseat back to the car and the man parked a few spots down from me rolled down his window.
"They don't open the lobby til 9."
It wasn't that they were closed. It was that they WEREN'T OPEN YET.
Let's just say that getting places before they opened was never a problem for me before.