When you become a parent, suddenly the topic of sleep becomes the beginning of almost every conversation you have. How did you sleep? How many times does she get up? Where does she sleep? It goes on and on. But considering babies sleep almost 16 hours per day, it seems appropriate that sleep is in the forefront of everyone's mind.
I always cringe when this conversation comes up, because it seems everyone else's five-month olds are sleeping in nice large chunks of time (four to even eight hours), and they just lie down and go to sleep. And The Olive still sleeps like a newborn. She's either bounced or nursed to sleep and we're lucky if we get two hours of sleep in a row. Of course, everyone has advice. Out of the bed! Cry it out! And I know. I really do. But we've tried out of the bed and it means she sleeps even less. And I am totally unable to let her cry it out, because it's too painful for me to imagine her needing me and me not being there. So I just don't talk about it much, because it's easier than hearing the judgment or seething with envy that other people seem to sleep so much better.
But The Olive started with the nanny this week (Oh, the glorious nanny!), and the first day, Nanny seemed very surprised that it took 30 minutes of bouncing for The Olive to go to sleep. Now for us, 30 minutes is an easy run. But I didn't want to scare her too much. Our lives revolve around that fucking yoga ball and we sweat, sweat, sweat it out as you bounce, bounce, bounce that baby- literally for hours every day.
Apparently the nanny is not as in need of exercise and Zen-time as we are, and this did not seem like a reasonable way to spend her days. So yesterday? She put The Olive down for a nap? AND THE BABY WENT TO SLEEP! No crying. A little fussing, a little patting. IN NINE MINUTES! What the fuck, people? I have TRIED this, I am telling you. I have let her cry for up to 15 minutes. It only works her up more.
And then? The last few days? She's taking like two hour naps! Up from 45 minutes! And last night? She slept for FIVE HOURS IN A ROW! What a beautiful thing five hours of sleep is. I cannot even tell you what that amount of sleep can do to a person's spirit.
This morning, at 9:00 a.m. (after she went to sleep at 8:00 p.m.), I woke up to her lying beside me, grabbing my nose repeatedly, and smiling and gasping in joy when I opened my eyes. There are certain moments of being a parent where you realize that this is the best decision you ever made, and every sacrifice you have to make is worth it because this person is the best thing you could have ever done. 9 a.m. this morning was one of those moments for me, and that is one hell of a way to start your day.