I have never been the kind of person to make schedules. I wake up at noon if my body tells me to keep sleeping. I stay awake until 2 in the morning. I eat breakfast at 3 p.m. and dinner at 11. I shower whenever I feel like it, and don't shower when I don't feel like it. I clean the house at random, leave the house at random, and have a difficult time sitting still in one place for very long. I have the attention span of a goldfish some days. So, I wonder, what in the WORLD made me think I could handle the schedule of a baby?!
Natalie wakes up every 3 or 4 hours to eat. Sometimes, she wakes up every hour in between as well. She doesn't like to be on her tummy, and she likes to sleep on her back, even though she has mild reflux, which leaves her congested at night, and me terrified. I try to prop her on her side (which the doctor approved) and she fights it more and more each time.
She eats little bits at a time and then spits out huge chunks right into my face. She spits up on my satin shirt, just minutes before I am leaving the house. She projectile vomits down the front of me at 3 a.m., while I'm barely awake enough to register the fact that I now have to finish feeding and cleaning her up, then shower before I can climb back into bed for the hour or so that I can sneak in this time.
I don't want to say despite, but rather because of these challenges and many others, I am growing to realize that schedules are great. If I put her to bed between 7 and 8, I can actually get her to sleep without screaming for four hours. If I go to bed by 9 or so, I can sleep until midnight, then again until 4 or 5, then again until 7 or 8. My schedule has to change dramatically in order for this beautiful, precious creature to get her needs met. And, let's face it, that's why I became a Mommy in the first place!
I love that when she squeals just as she starts to cry, I know that it means she needs a diaper change before eating. I love that she's starting to take a pacifier while I make the bottle, so she doesn't choke or get as gassy when she finally gets to eat. I love that she smiles at me and is starting to laugh... and I love that right now, as I type this, she is starting to ask for lunch...