Yes, you read that right, I actually enjoy night feedings. But this was not always the case. With my first child, it was all so new and overwhelming. I slept on the couch after my daughter was born so that my husband could get a good nights sleep before going to work each day while I was on maternity leave.
Night Feedings Can Feel Lonely
I would go to sleep and then wake up every few hours to feed my daughter when she began to stir in her sleeper. It was winter so it was cold and dark, and I felt lonely. The time came to go back to work, and the night feedings became harder and I was tired. I wanted nothing more than for my child to sleep through the night so I could lay in my own bed, with my husband, for a normal night’s sleep before getting up for work the next day.
As we all know, kids grow up fast and that time did come. I can’t remember exactly when now, but before long I was to the point that I was getting plenty of sleep, and I felt like a normal human being again, not a zombie.
A New Baby
We became pregnant for a second time and one of the things I feared most was the nighttime feedings. I didn’t think I could physically or mentally go through that process again. After coming home with our newborn baby girl, it was just as hard as the first go around. Again, I was recovering from a cesarean while night feeding a newborn. It was also winter, so once again it was cold, dark, and lonely. Luckily, my husband took care of our two-year-old if she woke during the night. Thankfully, I didn’t have the extra stress of toddler wakings on top of everything else.
The nights passed and slowly but surely it began to get a bit easier. Baby girl started to get into a routine and I was able to sleep for a few good solid hours before having to wake to feed her once or twice a night.
Then something began to happen. Maybe it was because this was not as new and scary to me anymore, or maybe because I knew this was probably the last baby. I actually started to enjoy the night time, not dread it.
How I Found Peace, Losing Sleep
Usually, I am able to peacefully put baby to sleep in the evening and have an hour or two alone to spend with my husband. Then it’s off to bed (this time in the guest room with a real bed) – just me and baby. I soak in this uninterrupted time alone with her. I take this time to think about how thankful I am that she is healthy and in our lives before drifting off to sleep myself.
The next time I wake and feed her, I am no longer tired and irritated, just tired and thankful. She usually eats pretty quickly and then it’s off to sleep once more. I take this time to cuddle and hold her tight, knowing that soon she will outgrow it.
When morning comes (usually very early), she opens her beautiful blue eyes and gives me a huge smile, erasing any difficult times that might have occurred during the night, making this season of life all so worth it.