If given the choice, my daughters will sleep.
We're currently smack in the middle of our first true Spring Break, and every day this week, they've slept until around 10:00am. Every day. Ah, yes; I can smell the jealousy now.
Truth be told, if you had told me our twins would inherit what I consider to be the best trait Dan and I hold, I wouldn't have believed you. At all. In fact, I had pretty much figured "Adequate Sleep" was going to be filed under the "Life Before Children" section of my life.
I felt the first stirrings of the lives within me around the 14th week of pregnancy. Each week brought a new sense of wonder as those first subtle flutterings morphed into stronger kicks, then more forceful (and at times curiously malicious feeling) stabs. As the months passed, and my waist went the way of the dodo bird (that is to say it was no more), those strange stabs grew ever more rambunctious and transitioned from being 'time-to-time' occurrences to constant flips, flops, and belly contorting acrobatic maneuvers. It felt like a troop of Riverdancers putting on a performance for an audience of my internal organs.
And of course, nighttime was the best time for the show.
However limited and curtailed, my daily lumberings seem to lull my on-board people during the daylight hours. They snoozed while I attempted to "nest" and went to multiple doctor appointments and weekly tests to confirm their collective health. Then, just as I would turn and prop myself into some pitifully sad semblance of "Comfortable" at night, the house lights would go out and the shows would begin. Belly up. Belly down. Belly left. Belly right. "Enjoy the show, folks! We can do this all night!"
I looked with longing at my husband, who was sleeping soundly (and snoring loudly) beside me. Apparently he didn't get tickets for the show too.
The beauty of months of sleepless pregnant nights is that it makes for a rather easy transition into months of sleepless nights with preemie twinfants.
Every two hours. On the hour. They'd awake hungry, wet, and angry. The trifecta of primordial human emotions. Times two. Being preemies, both were struggling eaters in those first few months, and feeding each one the small amount of milk required took over 30 minutes per baby. And it was a two handed job; no simultaneous feeds at that point. Then I'd have to pump, which was a delightful past-time I took up when I endeavored to become the Human Milk Machine. 8 times a day I'd hook up to The Milker, feeling more bovine than homosapien at that point. So groggy and sleep deprived I found the repetitive rhythms of the pump to have a vocal quality to them. They spoke to me. I never answered back though; I found the conversation was often too snarky for my tastes. (And sometimes it was just plain rude. I mean, really.)
Even after getting through those sleep-deprived months with twinfants, there was still a sleepless road ahead. You probably didn't know this, but nighttime can be fun when you have a crib mate to entertain you; and even when you're in separate cribs, you can still flop from one to another all night long. Just for kicks and giggles. (And in case you weren't sure, the best times to pull these nocturnal shenanigans is between the hours of 1am and 7am).
Then it happened.
When the girls turned 3, they started to sleep. Just like that. "Good night, darlings" and off they'd go. All night. And in the morning, they'd sleep. Which means we got to sleep. Which means for the first time in nearly 4 years, I got to sleep. Really sleep. The kind of sleep where no one was kicking me in the kidneys, or screaming with fury at my audacity to let them get hungry (and they'd have thought I would have learned since the last time I had let that happen, which happened to be a whole hour and a half ago).
Which leads us to Spring Break. And to sleeping. And to the glory of being able to do that 7 blissful days in a row.
And you know what? I'm worth it. Absolutely.
Sleep on, my friends. Sleep. On.