Wednesday, February 08, 2006

At least she'll know where she got her neuroses

Every time I talk to my parents (which is weekly), my mom asks how Ada is sleeping. Since she got into a night-time groove a few months ago, Ada mostly sleeps from early evening until about 2 am. She wakes up, I feed her, she goes back to sleep. There is some variation - sometimes she wakes up later, sometimes she wakes up a couple of times - but in general this is our pattern. It is one that has felt fine for the most part, except after I talk to my parents. After our weekly chats, I start to worry that Ada's not a good sleeper. My concern fuels conversations with Chris about whether Miss A is really hungry, or maybe just waking for a little mom time. I start to obsess about whether I should DO something to break her out of this. I feel unsettled and concerned, even though I felt fine before the call.

(Even worse, as much as I'd like for all three of us to sleep through the night, I know this night feeding is a limited-time deal and that I will miss it when it is no more. I love sitting in the dark with Ada: feeling her warm body against me; looking out the window to see if the light at Stark is red; drowsing and thinking about who might be out driving at 3 am. In a strange way getting up in the middle of the night makes me feel more a part of my neighborhood. This summer, as I woke with Ada every few hours during the night and heard people walk by our house in the middle of the night. It felt like a secret club, with membership secured by Ada's birth.)

Last week I talked to some other moms who breastfeed. This is Portland, so it shouldn't be a surprise that many of these parents co-sleep. (We tried, but when our little shuddering, thrashing bundle of joy kept us up nights while she soundly, if acrobatically, slept, we decided we needed her in her own bed.) These moms report waking several times a night for nursing, and I started to feel confirmed in my sense that Ada's waking isn't abnormal at all. My mom's obsession is.

When I checked in with my parents, my mom asked how things were going and I told her what I'd been thinking about - that her inquiries were making me crazy, but that Ada's continued waking was not. Mom took it pretty well. She said she only asks because she thought it was bothering me. (a little weird, because what is she doing, poking around in what she thinks is my open sore?) I suggested that I'd like it if she just assumed Ada was waking at night until I told them things had changed, and they agreed to back off. Now if I could just get them to stop asking about whether she's started to enjoy tummy time for more than 5 minutes at a stretch.


  1. Aren't our Mothers a trip. I swear to god that I have had the same chats with my mama. Except I get,"do you think it's time that B moves into his own room?" or "If you have a thrush infection, just quit nursing." The list goes on and on, most completely in disguise, just little tiny comments here and there. I know she loves me and means well, I just almost think she was hoping I would need her advice more?

  2. I think I am going to the park today! Stopping for a cupcake first, of course. Your peanut is a doll, maybe B and A will get married one day? Just kidding, I am always trying to hook him up with cute girl babies. Enjoy the sun!