Before I had my son I imagined night feedings to be much different than they actually were.
I imagined a quiet, peaceful house. I imagined getting up with him, nursing him sweetly back to sleep, putting him back down and us all just falling back to sleep.
Some nights were like this. Some nights he’d wake ever so quietly next to me in bed and I’d nurse him while still half asleep and we’d both just drift back to sleep.
Most nights were not like this.
Now before I get into it, I just want to say, I didn’t mind getting up with him. We coslept for four months and I breastfed on demand so if he woke up and wanted to nurse, I nursed him. If he woke up because he wanted cuddles, I cuddled him. The getting up wasn’t the problem.
The problem was that I could not get him back down. I remember so my nights of feeling frustrated that he wouldn’t latch, angry that he wouldn’t stop crying, emotional because I was exhausted, and lonely because my husband was sleeping soundly in the other room.
When I think about this baby growing in my belly it’s those bad nights that scare me. I (too clearly) remember thinking at the time ‘I don’t want to do this anymore’. I remember feeling so out of control, useless, angry, frustrated and sad.
So, so sad.
But I also remember that even on the worst of nights, come mid morning the feelings would fade and I would be back to my happy weepy self.
I know this time can be different. I have to believe it can be. Yes, there will still be rough nights, I’m sure. But I know what they look like now. I know that it’s not my fault and that I’m not alone. Even if my husband is sleeping downstairs, I know now that on those bad nights, I need to go get him. He won’t be working so the night duty will be more balanced.
And every baby is different. Maybe this little one will prefer to sleep in a cot next to me. Perhaps they will happily nurse then just fall back asleep. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll even sleep through the night before 10 months.
I’m not counting on it, but maybe it can happen.