Thursday, January 24, 2013

3:00 am

I am ashamed for my behavior last night. For some reason sometimes at 3:00 am when I am woken from my crazy dreamland I turn into a monster and I behave in a less-than-patient manner towards that sweet babe of mine.

It should be noted that I have never been one to be nice to those who wake me. In high school I was a big napper. Early morning seminary combined with a grueling IB curriculum and subsequent mountains of homework (which were much more stressful than they needed to be thanks to my non-kickable procrastination habit and constant need for a new gentleman suitor) will do that to just about anyone. My siblings used to argue about whose turn it was to rouse me from my happy place because I behaved much like the cave from Aladdin. Only I wasn't as articulate as he was. The "who disturbs my slumber?" part was more of a hardly discernable "who-do-you-think-you-are-leave-me-alone-if-you-want-to-live" type grumble.

So it was with a heavy heart that I signed up for this gig called Motherhood. "Mom" was the only title I ever wanted, but I knew it would come at a very high price: Z's. Lots and lots of Z's.

As I expected, my sleep has been interrupted at best for the last 6 months straight. Six months is a very long time when we're talking about losing sleep. Sure, I used to pull all-nighters in high school to do projects at the last minute, and then in college to play with my roommates. But in those instances I always knew I could crash afterwards and sleep to my heart's content. When it comes to babies, however, no one knows when the sweet relief of sleeping all night long will reappear. Harper had it down pretty good at about five/six months.With Beck I had a bout of good luck right at two months where he slept for eight hours every night for a whole week. I thought I had arrived.

I thought wrong.

Here we are, two months later when babies are supposedly capable of sleeping 8, 10, even 12 hours straight and the most I get out of him is four. Four measly hours. This baby loves his mama.

I've been trying to teach him to sleep through the night for a few weeks now but it's not working. So last night I was out of patience. Every last ounce had been spent. My mantra in my all-too-frequent times of mothering weakness is to be kind and loving and gentle. I was none of those things at 3:00 this morning.

After the diaper was changed and the bottle was made and I was sitting in the rocking chair holding the daytime angel baby, I told my Heavenly Father for the 500th time that I can't do this anymore. I want so badly to exercise and get my body back in shape but that's next to impossible with my energy at the level it is. I told him I can't handle Beck's sleeping issues.

It was at this moment that something told me "He won't stay this way forever."

Soon he will be all grown and I will physically ache to hold him in my arms in the middle of the night. I will physically ache to have him need me the way he needs me now. I will physically ache to feel the way I feel now when he snuggles into my chest and falls into a deep slumber.

My body can wait a few months. Of course I will continue to try and exercise as much as possible, but any real dedication will come with time. Besides, my squishy tummy and extra voluptuous bum are badges of honor. I have birthed two children in a 15-month timespan. Some women would love to birth babies but they just can't. So I'll stop crying and whining about my extra fluff.

I went back to bed this morning around 4:00 and didn't fall asleep for at least an hour. To fight the insomnia I looked through the most recent pictures I had taken on my phone of my two little cuties. Even when I'm mad at them, I miss them.

When we were all up for the morning and Eric was long gone to work, my two babies and I laid in my bed, savoring the first light of the morning and the lingering warmth of the sheets. Harper was kissing on her brother and chattering away and I took a deep breath and knew that 3:00 am really isn't that big of a deal. An incessant "uhssat? uhssat?" (What's that?) from Harper brought me back to reality.

"Oh that's Brother's swaddling blanket. Here, let me show you."

I wrapped her up tight and she stretched that thing beyond its limit. And refused to get out of it. That visual reminder that babies grow faster than I can handle was all I needed. Sure, I still feel like a zombie most days and I have almost no energy, but I have my babies. They need me like no one has ever needed me before and I need that feeling.

Bring it on 3:00 am, bring it on! (and 11:00 pm, and 1:30 am, and 5:30 am, and 6:00 am....)


Kendra said...

I totally agree. With all of it. Sleep is one of the things I love most in this world. And I used to be quite the beast when woken up from a nap. You definitely have it rough too since you had one who was still a "baby" when your second arrived! You're doing great though. And yes...they grow all too fast! I love the pic of Harper in the swaddler!

Haley K said...

Courtney I SO needed this. Reading about high school and college days made me smile. :) And I totally feel you on the sleep deprivation thing...Ava is almost a year and barely makes 7 hours at a time at night (which I realize is longer than Beck's 4, you're a trooper!) but Ava is such a night owl and its usually 10:30-11:00 before she's out for the count. Which means not much "just us" time in the evening with Adam. But reading your sweet words about how we'll physically ache for them to be this little and this dependent on us again put tears in my eyes. Thanks for the reminder... xo

Haley K said...

Oh and ADORABLE pictures. Beck is a doll!! And that last picture of Harper swaddled up by her little brother cracked me up. ;)

Audrey said...

yep, i needed this too. bronx used to sleep awesome all the way through the night and now he's torture. i get up like 5 times to give him his bottle and i just want to get a solid 8 hours of sleep again!! but it's good to be reminded of how fast they grow and change :( it makes me want to freeze him this size...just not his sleep habits.

Alarie said...

I'm with you! Sometimes I just have to remind myself how special I am too be needed at 4am. It won't be forever. I do have a secret weapon though... I have a friend who is a sleep trainer for ages newborn to four years and she has changed things at my house (I'm a human again). Look her up Natalie Willes Sleep Trainer on yelp, Facebook, her website, etc, or email her nataliewilles@gmail. com. Good luck!

Kendra Pahukoa said...

oh such beautiful babes!
I often think, "if I could just go back to highschool"...some because it was so easy back then and I never knew it but mostly because I could have all this lil baby stuff to do over and enjoy again...:)
thanks so much for following, I am returning the love.
I hope you entered the advertising giveaway.
have a great week!
Kendra kay

Katie said...

what a great and honest post! and a great attitude to have. i think it's okay to say that this phase of your life is hard and exhausting, but to know what blessings your kids are! and they sure are cute! :) thank you SO much for the sweet comment you left on my blog - I love how you put that!

Chantel said...

Oh man... you know.. I am NOT a movie crier, and I am NOT a book crier. I just have never cried for things unless it's real life. But this post made me teary-eyed. THIS post brings such a joy and love to motherhood. I'm posting it to my blog, if you don't mind. You have such a deep heart and appreciation for your children that it makes this time of your life seem so magical. It's such a beautiful time for a young mother with her young babies. Beautiful babies might I add. It's just so sweet, and I love it. This made my day. I love you!