this kid can sleep like nobody's business. He's repaying me now for the sleepless 9 months in utero ;)
Yes, I realize writing a post about it will now undo everything and he will never again sleep so beautifully, especially since he's closely approaching the dreaded "4 month sleep regression" time.
But, from birth, as soon as my supply was in and he was eating well, he was waking only 1-2 times overnight, it was down to only 1 wake around 7weeks, and then, magically overnight into the morning of July 4th (11.5 weeks), Happy Independence Day to Mommy, baby started sleeping 12 hour stretches with no wakes!!
It was amazing to watch him change his feeding patterns to accommodate for no night feeds. How his little body and my body work so perfectly together just astounds me! He started feeding for longer periods of time (20-30minutes, especially in the morning), and going about 2.5-3 hours only between feeds, which makes perfect sense given that he now needs to eat more and sleep less during the day. My supply likewise adjusted IMMEDIATELY. I definitely had some major engorgement going on the morning of July 4th, but instantaneously they adjusted to the new schedule.
So, aside from very early on during the whole nursing dilemma, Mama has been pretty well rested! I know. I'm counting my blessings. I'm also knocking on all of the wood I can find.
But I write this not to brag. OK, maybe to brag a little. But mostly, to touch upon the bigger concept that you never know what you're gonna get. One of the first things I always envisioned about life with my infant was sleepless nights, holding my baby, feeding my baby, and soothing my baby at some ungodly hour I had heretofore only seen in college. During my 8 long years of waiting, this thought burned in my soul, as a desire, a need, and then, a fading dream, revived only with the surprise pregnancy.
But my infant? Well, he just hasn't needed that. Sure, his needs may change as he continues to grow. But the vision of my newborn just did not pan out that way.
Because, it wasn't Robbie I envisioned all those years. When I dreamt of rocking my newborn back to sleep for the 5th time that evening, making pots (plural) of coffee before the crack of dawn, I wasn't dreaming about Robbie, but some other baby... or, not even a baby, but a symbol. It was the illusion, the dream, the hope that I clung to on the darkest of days, and it was those hopes that faded as time continued to pass, and I gave up.
Only, it wasn't Robbie I was giving up on.
It was never about Robbie. It was about me.
My journey, my cross to embrace, my growth in my relationship with God - the life He had in store for me wasn't to wallow in the loss of what could have been, but to cherish what is in this very moment. I admit, I didn't always do that. It's incredibly hard to do when your vision is so different from the reality. But if we allow ourselves to envision something far worse, just for an instant, we can come to a better understanding, and a greater appreciation, for what is.
I knew nothing of Robbie. His life is not my blessing - it's his. His life has made me a mother, and my role as his mother is what my present moment in this journey is now about. But his life is his own, and his journey, his crosses in life, his relationship with God - that is all his.
It wasn't Robbie I prayed for all these years. And yet, through the miracle of Robbie's life, my prayers continued to be answered (they had already been answered in other intangible ways) as I became a physical mother. But he is not my doing. Neither his temperament, nor his love of sleep, nor his humor, nor the crazy way his Lord of the Dance legs flail about during diaper changes, can be attributed to my mind's eye during those 8 years of thinking about "my baby." He was, and always has been, only God's design.
So, it may not have been Robbie I had planned for, prayed for, yearned for, and envisioned. But it was Robbie God planned for. And I definitely wouldn't have it any other way. Particularly since he's such a good sleeper ;)