Yes, it is discouraging to still be nursing every two hours much of the time, when my friends' newborns are going three, four, five, or more hours between most feedings. And yes, we could all do with a little more sleep, and a little less snacking, during the overnight hours. But even so, something just happened that reminds me just how different Genevieve is from Julia as a newborn--and therefore, how truly different my parenting experience is with Genevieve from how it was with Julia. I just laid Genevieve down for a nap, because she was starting to yawn and act sleepy. She had nursed awhile ago, so I didn't nurse her. She was awake when I put her down. I just swaddled her up, laid her in her bassinet, and tiptoed out. And she went to sleep. On her own. From eyes open to eyes closed. ON HER OWN.
If you recall, when Julia was 11 weeks old she had recently begun a months-long nap strike. She stopped napping pretty much altogether, and she certainly never went to sleep without being nursed. The idea of laying Julia in her bed and expecting her to go to sleep was laughable no matter how exhausted (or well-rested) she was, and no matter what we did (excluding letting her scream for hours on end alone in her bassinet, to which we were adamantly opposed), she just didn't nap. In contrast, Genevieve feels like a more....normal baby. (Oh--there is also the fact that, though Genevieve shares our room as Julia did as an infant, she doesn't wake up from every tiny little sound anyone makes nearby--like, oh, say, breathing. For example, we can actually pull up our covers without waking her up. There's no Noisy Comforter problem this time around! It's a miracle!)
So yes, I'm still complaining and wondering about why this little rose just won't conk out at night for a good long time. (My mom's reply was, "Because you've been tried and tested and have your degree in Non-Sleeping Baby-Tending," and I like that explanation; let's go with it, shall we?) And I'm still dreading possibly having to force the issue in a few months' time (why can't I be one of those lucky moms who gets a baby who spontaneously starts to sleep through the night? Why oh why?). But people, it could be much, much worse.
And it goes without saying: blessed, blessed, blessed.