For the first mornings after RR was born, the nurses would drop her off with me around 4am.  Who knew 4am was the time parenting began each morning?  They would turn on the bathroom light, which would flood the room with a gentle glow, and then I would hear the squeaky wheels of the plastic bassinet (RR’s chariot) being pushed into the room.  From 4am until 8am, we would wait for my wife to come join us.  I sent my wife home every night to preserve some sanity with the dog, as well as to allow one of us to be relatively well-rested.  It also helped that we live mere moments away from the hospital, so her comings and goings didn’t take very long.  RR and I patiently counted down the hours until my wife would arrive, since, unless I wanted to hit the nurse button, we were trapped there together on the bed.  Trapped, in a good way.

The C-Section made me more immobile than I could have ever imagined.  Between the IV’s, catheter, leg compression gadgets, I was bed-bound until Saturday morning (approximately 28 hours after delivery), when a very bossy (and nice) nurse unhooked me from all of my contraptions, and got me seated in the glider with RR in my arms.  Even then, though, I couldn’t get out of the bed or the chair without help, most certainly if RR and I were alone.  So there we sat, RR and I.  Her on my belly or my shoulder, taking turns sleeping, nursing, having naked time, and texting early morning pictures to my wife.  There was no TV, no iPod, no laptop – only the two of us, and my not-very-smart cell phone.

The room was quiet and dark until about 5:30am, when we could see the sunrise through an inch-tall gap at the bottom of the mini-blinds – the outside world begin to lighten up gradually, starting with a dark shade of blue, and making its way to being sunshine world-colored.  Those four hours were blissfully serene – it was before the magic 8am hour, when breakfast was delivered, and the parade of doctors and nurses would start.  When my wife would arrive, she would open the blinds, and take RR by the window, where she would gaze and bake in the sunshine.  We blame this for her outstanding bilirubin levels.

Ever since we’ve been home, she still wakes up to start the day around 4am.  It doesn’t matter when her last feeding was, or if she’s wet, or if she was just up at 3am – 4am is when her morning alarm clock goes off.  We’ve been going to bed around 10pm or 11pm, and then my wife gets up with her for the late-night 1am feeding.  The 4am shift, though, is usually all mine.  Sometimes, I can convince her to go back to sleep by 5am, but most of the time, she prefers to stay up until around 5:30am/5:45am, right when the outside world starts to turn that familiar shade of blue as the sun rises.  She’ll go back to sleep, seemingly, after the sun is almost fully up, and then we both go back to bed until 7am or 8am, when the day officially starts for the whole family.

It’s certainly a good thing we like her so much – there’s not a lot of things I can tolerate (much less look forward to) after being woken up at 4 o’clock in the morning on a never-ending daily basis, but feeding her in the dimly lit living room while we wait for the sunrise is something I might actually miss – that is, if ever she grows out of it.

Posted on July 11, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Beautiful post. I bet you will miss those sweet early hours someday.

  2. Ha, be careful what you wish for….my little monster is 2 years old and still starts our day before 6am. 7 days a week. There are days I would give my right arm to sleep past 6am. Like you said, its a good thing we like them so much.
    I remember being a prisoner of medical paraphernalia, only it was on him, not me. He was on a 3 foot tether from the IV pole/monitoring stuff, and since he was in my arms 20+ hours a day, I was tethered too. I thanked God every day that his NICU room was at the end of the hall so we had a window. Without it, I wouldn’t know what time of day it was, or even if a day had gone by. It is sooooo much nicer to be at home, isn’t it?
    Beautiful post. So glad things are going well. RR is well on her way to wrapping you around her little finger!

    • The medical paraphernalia was almost intolerable – I don’t know how you managed it. Even with a window, I was still in a coma-like haze when we checked out of the hospital, nearly a week after checking in. Being at home is wonderful. Our dog, as wonderful as he is, has been an early rising puppy since we got him three years ago, so we reluctantly gave up sleeping in when he joined our family. 4am, still, is early, no matter how you look at it.

  3. My son was and is a early riser. He loved the 4 o’clock hour very much for a very long time. Now he gets up around 530-6 most days and yesterday he slept in until 730. It was heaven! As hard as they are right now, enjoy that time with her. She is only this little for so long and she will soon be moving on to someother size and adventure. Everything changes so quickly!

  4. I’ve been waiting to de-lurk myself, and it seems now is as good a time as any .. congratulations on the birth of your little RR … and what a lovely blog. It;s so nice to write these things down, as i’m sure, in 20 years time, those quiet few hours you spent getting to know your little girl will all seem like a fuzzy dream. M 🙂

  5. That sounds lovely. I am not voluntarily an early riser, but there is something tranquil about the very early morning if you’re not rushing to get anything done. I’m glad to hear y’all are enjoying each other. 🙂

    • I’m much more of a morning person than I am a night owl (which is unfortunate, since rock shows never happen early in the morning, unless you consider 2am early), so her early mornings have given me a delightful excuse to wake up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: