Being a first time mom, I learn something new every single day. Sometimes I use Google to answer my most pressing parenting questions. Other times, I look to social media for help. And once in a while, I just call my own mom to pick her brain about the trials and tribulations of having a newborn. I even joined a few Facebook groups for other moms of October babies so we can “share and compare” our journeys.
Mentally, I had prepared for the notion that motherhood was going to kick my butt completely. I was as ready as I could be for the sleepless nights and lack of patience I was about to experience. But when my son arrived 4 weeks early after a 36 hour failed induction and an unscheduled C-section, I knew that I was going to deal with whatever cards I had been dealt. Except from day one, my son had a great temperament and rarely cried. At first, I thought I might need to be worried…it can’t be this easy, can it? He ate on a schedule, slept when he was tired and only cried if he was hungry or needed his diaper changed.
By six or seven weeks, we had weaned him off one of his middle of the night feedings. At his two month appointment, the doctor told us he was “developmentally capable” of sleeping through the night. My first thought was he was crazy! I walked out of the doctor’s office, looked at my husband and said “there is no way he can sleep through the night right now!” But the next weekend, we thought we’d try it just to see what might happen. We had established a great bedtime routine at this point: bath, bottle, book and then bedtime. Much to my surprise, I didn’t hear from him again until 6:30 am! This became our new normal. Now at just over four months, we are still rocking this sleep schedule. He has yet to experience the infamous “4 month sleep regression” and I’m hoping we might just skip it altogether.
Mom Guilt Is Real
Here’s where I struggle: I feel guilty. So guilty. As a new mom and with so many friends who are newer moms, I want to share all the highs and lows of parenthood alongside of them. But I can’t help but feel guilty when I say that my baby has been sleeping through the night, only to hear that my dear friend is about to pull her hair out because her son won’t let her put him down during the day. Ever. Even at the pediatrician’s office, the nurse practitioner asked about my son’s sleep habits. When I told her that he has been sleeping through the night for months, she said “don’t go telling other parents that”. I’ve also heard the comments “don’t go bragging about that” and “you are so lucky, you have no idea”. Believe me, I so appreciate my son being an awesome sleeper. I literally remember praying before he was born that I just needed a good sleeper because I know how grumpy both my husband and I get when we are overtired. So maybe my prayers were answered. Or maybe we did just get lucky. As we start to prepare for baby number two, I can only hope my luck is the same this next time around. Or perhaps we prepare for the real dose of parenthood with months of sleepless nights, fussiness and an extremely difficult baby. Either way, no one is ever fully prepared for the highs and lows of parenthood but I can honestly say that I am thankful for the opportunity, whatever it may bring.