Last night I got kiddo to bed a little after 1am, then stayed up a little while to make sure she was really asleep before I laid down myself. I typically stay up 15-20 minutes or so after putting her down just to make sure she is really asleep because sometimes she likes to mess with you, and if I tell my brain it is okay to switch to sleep mode it makes it damned hard stay awake if Anna decides she doesn’t want to sleep after all. Plus it is better for my mental health I think… I do better staying awake than being woken up.
When I woke up the next morning, it was to Sean coming in with his morning cup of coffee and Anna was starting to stir. When she starts to stir it is best to go ahead and get her up for a diaper change and feeding; if you leave her be you might get thirty more minutes of lightly snoozing baby, or you might get a screaming baby in five minutes. It is much easier to get her changed, fed, and settled back down if you catch her before the freak out.
I grabbed my phone to see what time it was, expecting it to be around 6:00. Lately we have been lucky to get some nights with her staying asleep for 5 hours, but I wasn’t prepared to see the clock reading 8:55. My brain couldn’t comprehend it at first, but then it sunk in that she had slept nearly 8 hours. And I had gotten a little more than 7 hours of sleep! Uninterrupted! Do you know the last time that happened?! Me either! It must have been some time early in pregnancy, because later on I had to get up to pee throughout the night.
As it sunk in that I had enough sleep in one stretch to qualify as an actual night’s sleep, I began to wonder what I was supposed to do with myself. Normally after feeding the baby I am in the “please go to sleep so I can sleep” mode where I am struggling to stay awake long enough to get her settled down and back in her bassinet. Then I nap a couple hours to her next feeding, and then usually end up falling back asleep for a couple more hours after that… my day not really starting until noon or later. Now, after a full night’s sleep, I had at least three extra hours in my day.
Those three hours went by quickly just with pumping (after that long I was pretty full, and she couldn’t eat that much) and other mundane things. However, being showered and presentable by 11:00 meant I could actually get out of the house in time to go have lunch with Sean. So that was pretty awesome, and I got to see his office for the first time. Anna fussed some on the ride over, but once we got to his office she was good and slept the whole time.
After that I went to Crabtree to do some shopping, and stayed there until nearly 6pm. That is the longest I have been out of the house with her on my own. She did really good, and slept most of the time. When she was hungry, I nursed her in a dressing room. The dressing room was pretty tiny and only had a small stool, which meant the diaper change was interesting… I had to sit on the floor and barely had enough room between me, her, and the stroller.
That was only the second time I have nursed her outside of the house, the first time was in a feeding room at Buy Buy Baby. I still don’t feel comfortable enough to whip it out in the middle of the food court or anything, but it is good to know I can find ways to nurse her. As we find ourselves out and about more, I am sure I will get better at nursing without the comforts of home.
After a couple hours she woke up and seemed to get tired of being in her carrier and got fussy, so I ducked into a dressing room again and let her lay on the bench (with my hoodie and her blanket for cushioning) while I tried clothes on and it made her happy again for a while. Eventually she got tired and cranky, and again it was a dressing room to the rescue while I soothed her to sleep without disturbing the whole store.
In the end I probably spent twice as much time shopping as I would have pre-baby, but that is okay. I went knowing it would be a challenge to juggle shopping with a 7 week old. I would say it was a success, despite having little luck finding clothes. I doubt there is much chance I will get a repeat of last night, but hopefully she will let me sleep enough that I can maybe go out again tomorrow.