I dove into newbornhood with Lanie feeling slightly overconfident. "Liam is a fantastic sleeper, so surely Lanie won't be that bad. At least we know what we're doing this time around." Ha! Mere days after Lanie's birth, I realized how wrong I had been. Even though two babies share a gene pool and look nearly identical, they could not be more different if they tried. Especially regarding sleep.
Until just a few nights ago, Lanie has woken up to nurse every 2 hours through the night, with a rare 3- to 4-hour stretch thrown in from time to time. At first, friends would ask, "So how's it going? How's life with two?" and we'd respond, smiling, "It's challenging this time around. But we're making it!" Then we'd steer the conversation toward Liam and how he's becoming the sweetest big brother. These days, though, we're more honest: "This is really, really tough. Being awake every 2 to 3 hours for weeks on end is taking its toll."
I know that I risk sounding like I'm complaining. I'm sure there are women reading this who yearn to be mothers and to stay up all night every night if they were waking up to the cries of their own baby. But part of this space, for me at least, is to be honest. And honestly, this is hard. This part of being a mom is not fun. Seven weeks of sleeplessness is not something anyone can be prepared for.
At the same time, motherhood is such a paradox because I am loving having two kids. I hear myself say it to Shawn nearly every night and kind of can't believe the words coming out of my mouth. Any other job that demanded such long, ungodly hours and even physical pain and sacrifice would not be enjoyable. But this? Seeing her smile for the first time? Heavenly. Watching my two children loving on each other in the primitive ways they know how? Soul-filling. They are gifts, whether or not they sleep. They are not inconveniences, even though their needs currently feel nothing but inconvenient.
I don't even know how to wrap this up. No sleep will do that, I guess. This transition has been so much harder on my body and so much kinder on my heart than I ever expected.
PS - The day I'm posting this comes after one of Lanie's very best nights (3 4-hour stretches!). I have essential oils and answered prayer to thank, but mostly answered prayer.