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Sleeping Through The Night: def.

Cora is now seven weeks old, and according
to the sleep “experts”, she’s slept through the
night several times.

According to the people in the trenches (a.k.a. Mommy and Daddy),
those experts are not so well acquainted with the English language,
and what “sleeping through the night” means.

You see, the “experts” define
sleeping through the night as sleeping a five-hour stretch at once.
I define sleeping through the night this way:

I go to sleep. I do not get up again until I plan to get dressed
and eat breakfast.

Sure, I guess those two definitions occasionally line up –
say, back when you were in college and thought five hours a night
was plenty of time to sleep in between parties and classes. But
these days, us old fogies like to actually get a good eight hours
or so.

This means that when my daughter goes to sleep at 11, gets up at 4
to nurse, then goes back to sleep until another nursing at 6:30,
then goes back to sleep until 9 a.m. when she’s up for a
while, I do not consider that sleeping through the night. Mommy had
to get up twice to nurse, see?? Not to mention that Mommy
didn’t go to bed until past midnight, using child-free time
to get things like, oh, bills paid, and that Maddie got up at 8, so
Mommy’s total sleep time encompassed less than eight hours,
and if you subtract nursing and changing time, Mommy slept a total
of around 5 ½ hours that night, the longest unbroken stretch
of which was about 3 hours long.

This does not seem adequate to me. And it definitely doesn’t
sound like sleeping through the night.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m extremely grateful we have the
occasional night of long stretches of sleep, though it makes it
harder to go back to the every-two-hour nursing marathons we end up
doing the next night. You know what I mean, though, right? Your
body gets used to sleeping lightly – dozing, almost –
and never descends to that deep sleep. Then you have a night when
you’re allowed to sleep longer and deeper – I remember
the first night with Maddie that I slept long enough to dream, and
it freaked me out – and your body thinks, “Cool! I can
start going deep again.” Then the next night you are OUT when
baby starts screaming two hours later, and boy does it hurt to have
to wake up. I told Brian it’d almost be easier if we just got
up every two hours every night, simply to stay in

I said almost.

So with all due respect to the child developmental experts, kiss my
grits. I remember when Maddie REALLY started sleeping through the
night, and this ain’t it. Stop trying to cheer me up with
fake milestones. They just make me feel bad that I still feel so


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