Writing with a Newborn – Ha!

“Babies sleep most of the time.”

HA!

My daughter (let’s call her Babycakes, as that was her nickname before she was born and we were keeping her name top secret), is five weeks old today. (Holy crap, already?) It’s been an interesting few weeks. She’s a very good baby, really doesn’t fuss much unless she’s hungry, outside of her “fussy time” of course. And she sleeps like a champ at night. We’re already getting 4-5 hour stretches, and Monday, by some miracle, she slept almost 6 and 1/2 hours straight.

During the day? Not so much.

I figured we’d have a little bit of a writing hiatus until she was on a feeding and napping schedule, and I wasn’t bone tired and in need of naps myself. But then I’d be able to use those long naps babies are suppose to take to get some good writing done, both on my fiction as well as a few freelance jobs (I started freelancing part time just before Babycakes was born).

She did not get the memo, apparently. She sleeps for twenty minutes at a time, if that, unless she’s being held or worn in the Mobywrap. It’s just enough time to attend to Nature’s Call and stuff a sandwich in my mouth.

Don’t get me wrong. I love snuggling her. It’s hard to set her down (now even more so because I know she’ll wake up within minutes, wanting to be held). Yes, it is developmentally appropriate for a newborn to want that snuggly security, especially since I’m also acting as a 24/7 restaurant, and she gets very insistent when the service is slow. And the fact that she doesn’t really nap well during the day probably contributes to her sleeping so well at night already. Getting solid chunks of sleep at night has probably really helped me recover from the c-section I ended up needing after 12 hours of labor.

But, oh, to have her napping 2-3 hour stretches twice a day, rather than 5-6 twenty to forty-five minute catnaps! As rested as I feel in the morning, I’m fried by the time the hubs gets home from work. Thank God my mother has been able to come over every day to help with laundry and cleaning and occupying Babycakes so I can get a physical break a little earlier in the day than 5:oo.

So not so much with the writing yet. I’ve read and been told that, eventually, her sleep habits will mature and she will not only sleep through the night (meaning 7-8 hours before waking to eat), but she’ll settle into at least one longer nap during the day. So there’s hope.

That said, I have already informed the hubs that my September BIAW goal  for next week is to finish chapter 27 of the historical romance, and it’s going to require some uninterrupted time in the evenings while he’s home and can entertain Babycakes. I’ll even take a half hour if I can get it. No word count goal or anything. Just finish the chapter I started before she was born.

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4 thoughts on “Writing with a Newborn – Ha!

  1. P. S. Hoffman says:

    I’ve heard being tired brings out creativity. I’m not so sure this applies when you’re bone tired, with a 5-week old. I can’t imagine.

    Do you sleep when she sleeps? How does it work?

    • jlynnrowanliterature says:

      At night I sleep when she sleeps. We usually get a 4-5 hour stretch in the first part of the night, and then a couple more 2.5 to 3 hour stints before morning. Daytime naps don’t happen for me, because if I put her down she’s awake in about 20 minutes if that. If she’s overtired and needs to sleep longer, I put her in the Moby – I can’t really nap when wearing her, it’s not comfortable for me. If we’re having a rough day, I’ll recline with her on my chest, which settles her, and I’ll doze, but I’m wary of falling asleep with her like that. There have been days when my husband will just take her and make me go take a nap.

      I don’t know if being tired helps with creativity, but I do a lot of planning and prewriting in my head when I’m sitting there nursing. I really ought to try out the speech-to-text software on my computer. At least I’d get something done and I can always edit later!

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