Experts say the average person has between 50,000 and 70,000 thoughts per day. I don’t think they included the new-mom thought stats in their studies. Why? Because she probably goes through that many thoughts in one 4 a.m. feed.
At least that’s how I felt, and still feel, when up with Mr. Alex.
When he was just a newborn, I would take him downstairs to our family room for feedings. I’d first change him, grab a cloth and then sit in the rocking chair to get settled in for the next half hour to 45 minutes.
The house was quiet, the snow was falling outside and I had some really nice one-on-one time with my little man. I’ll never forget those nights.
But staring down at your baby for half-hour increments not only gives you brutal neck pain, it gets boring. That’s when my thoughts ran wild. Here’s just a sampling:
-Okay, so Alex just slept for three hours. If he gives me another three-hour stint, it will be bright outside!
-Why do my nails look so awful? I have to stop biting them! (keeps biting them)
-The boot campers will just be getting up for their workout.
-Did I write a thank-you card to my aunt?
-Okay, Alex didn’t quite make it three hours. Only 1.5. If he goes back to sleep, I’ll have gotten six hours of total sleep. Not bad!
-Why does my stomach look like that?
-Crap, I made eye contact! Be cool.
-How did this floor get so dirty?!
I often called those nights lonely. So here are some ways I felt helped deal with the late-night thoughts and pass the time:
1. Texting. No, not sexting. To pass the time, I often grabbed my phone and texted with new moms who were also up with their babes at that point. We compared sleep schedules or just chatted about whatever that day brought our way. That was the best! Someone should actually start up a late-night mom-to-mom texting service, where you’re matched up with similar moms to text together at night. They’d make millions. Would they call it brexting?
2. Write it down. You know how you ALWAYS say you’ll someday write about your child’s milestones, birth story and funny phrases, but never do? Taking the time to write it down when feeding your newborn will ensure you get those thoughts down when they’re still so fresh in your mind, particularly the delivery. It’s up to you whether you want to include the number of minutes you pushed (132).
3. Rest. When it takes your newborn so long to nurse in the first few weeks, use that time wisely and rest! I would say, ‘sleep’, but I’m sure there’s some kind of law that doesn’t encourage moms to get some shut-eye when holding their little one. But when sitting in my rocking chair with Alex securely snuggled in with me, I have to admit I’d wake up, wondering how I just knocked back a dream about my local insurance agent (true story).
4. Stretch. Based on the number of hours you sit each day with your hungry little one, you’re going to get stiff. Do neck stretches, ankle stretches and leg stretches that can be done when sitting down. Just don’t do the “over your head” stretch. Babies don’t like that.
5. Soak it in. I know, I said nursing sessions can get dull. But they are soooo limited. Now when I try to feed, Alex is too busy following the dog or trying to blow bubbles. It’s fun as he gets more social, but it’s not the quiet time we used to share together just a few short months ago.
How do you or did you pass this time?
What are some of your late-night thoughts?