I can't believe how spoiled we are. (new moms out there: jealousy alert...)
I am one who gets cranky and headaches when I don't get enough sleep. I've never been a night owl, even in college my brain would start shutting down by 10:00. I function best during the day after I've gotten 8 hours of sleep the night before. I am so affected by sunlight -- Once the sun sets at night I start to get sleepy, and as soon as it's up in the morning I can't fall back to sleep.
So needless to say, this whole baby thing had me worried. I've read so many stories about moms not getting more than 2 or 3 hours of sleep at a time until their baby is 6 months or older. Even when some of my friends would post things on facebook about their little one "finally sleeping through the night", it was a maximum of 6 hours. I was honestly dreading the need to get up and feed Abby every couple of hours.
One night when Abby was just over a week old (we were running on adrenaline before then!), she had gone to sleep around 6 in the evening when we were out and about. Once we got home it was just after 10, so I started thinking oh no! It's been 4 hours since Abby last ate, and with the way the nurses at the hospital were talking, I think she's going to starve if I don't feed her now!! I tried everything I could think of to get her awake enough to nurse. No luck. Frustrated, I went to bed. She woke up hungry at 11:30. And 2 hours later. And 2 more hours later. And 2 more hours later...
The next time she had an evening schedule like that, I let her sleep. She woke up on her own when she was hungry, then slept 6 more hours after that. I've never again woke her up to eat.
A few nights later I woke up on my own around 3 am, and frantically calculated how long it had been since she had last eaten. It was over 6 hours. I drifted in and out of sleep, expecting to hear her cry soon. Another hour went by and I started wondering if something had happened to her... I told myself nothing was wrong, I was worrying about nothing... but my head wouldn't stop thinking of worst-case-scenarios. Finally I got up, peeked in her room, and heard her tossing and turning in her sleep. I was flooded with relief and went back to bed. She woke up a half hour later to eat. :-P
The last couple of weeks, with our family often being gone with evening meetings/activities/over-at-the-lake-house, we started getting into a more predictable routine. Abby will eat for the last time at night between 9 and 10. She'll frequently be awake for another hour or so after, and be down by 11 at the latest. We just let her sleep until her cries wake me up. In the last 2 weeks, I think I've gotten up twice in the night where it's been dark enough in her room to need to turn on a light.
Last night Abby ate around 10 and fell right to sleep. We didn't hear from her again until 7:30 this morning. She's only 7 weeks old.
We are so spoiled...