Here's the thing. My child is a night owl.
And I am not.
Anyone who has ever lived with me or worked a morning shift at Starbucks with me can verify that I am the ultimate morning person. It's 4:15 and we have to start making coffee? Great! What a beautiful morning! Aren't we so lucky that we get to be awake to watch the beautiful sunrise?! (To all my former customers and coworkers, particularly Carmel, I'm sorry. I know I must have been ridiculously annoying.)
Baby let on that she was a night owl while still in the womb. Around ten or eleven every night, she'd start her own little party. And I'd be like, hey baby, I'm pregnant, remember? And I'm thoroughly exhausted, so if you could just realize it's bedtime that would be great. Also, baby didn't like waking up early at all. I had gestational diabetes, so my diabetes counselor wanted me to make sure that baby kicked at least ten times an hour because there was a higher risk of fetal demise. (I know, doesn't that sound like fun? Worrying that my baby's heart was no longer beating every hour? This is why my patience with people who complain about their normal, healthy pregnancies is low.) Every morning, I'd be pleading with God and baby for any movement to let me know she was okay. And finally around ten in the morning, she'd give a half-hearted little jab, as if to say, Dude mom, I'm fine, but it's, like, so early and it's really tiring growing and developing and stuff, so you need to chill while I sleep, aight? (Sorry for the vernacular, but I grew up in California and I sort of think that's how Ellery talks in her head. Because she's a California girl at heart, of course.)
From age 2 weeks until about five weeks, Ellery's bedtime was around midnight. She was a great sleeper, but her timing was just a little off. She'd sleep from about midnight until ten in the morning, and only wake up twice to nurse. I realized I could make this schedule work, because that way it gave Sam more time with the baby at night when he was home. So I'd drink my coffee around 5pm to gear up for staying up past my bedtime, and it worked for us. Ever since then, we've slowly been working on an earlier bedtime, and lately she's been sleeping from about nine to eight.
The problem is, my body is still set to the later schedule. So when baby goes to sleep around nine, or even earlier, it's a problem. Because I'm wide awake. Sam and the baby will both go to bed and I'll be physically exhausted but unable to sleep. I've tried going without caffeine and that hasn't helped. And now Ellery has decided that hey, mornings are pretty cool, so let's wake up at five or six am! Not only that, but when I wake up to nurse her, it takes a good hour for me to fall asleep again. Not cool.
The thing is, she had been doing great sleeping...until we went to California. Let that be a lesson to those of you with babies. Don't travel. Ever.
I'm sure she'll work it out and get back on track, but until then, the only thing that helps when I'm suffering from this ridiculous insomnia is to sit with the cats in the kitchen, eating goodie bars. (The cats love middle-of-the-night hangouts. It's the only time they really get my undivided attention anymore. Sorry Morty. Sorry Willow.)
**Disclaimer: This post is intended for entertainment value only. It is not a request for anyone's advice on sleep training. I had no idea what a controversial subject sleep training was (Cry it out? Babywise? Co-sleeping?) and have no desire to start any debates here on the blog. Lest you think I am not humble enough to accept advice and teaching, please understand I have requested advice from those I actually want it from. Thanks in advance for not telling me what I should or shouldn't be doing to help my baby sleep. :)