I have heard parenting described as a tag team operation, and it cannot be more true. To give the other parent rest, it simply makes sense to take turns and rouse the other from sleep only when they are needed.
Noah’s first night at home was quite horrendous for me. We got off to a bad start when Ray and I didn’t go straight to bed at 1230am or so when Noah finished a feeding. Instead, Ray processed baby pictures while I went online to stock up on baby supplies. I got to bed at 130am or so, aware that in 30-60 minutes, it would be time for a feeding again. The thought of that stopped me from falling asleep; plus I just wasn’t used to having little baby noises in the room (I was sleeping in the nursery while Ray was in the bedroom) and kept rising to check and see if it was time to feed. Noah finally woke at 205am or so and by the time this feeding was done, it was 3am because he had 2 poopy diapers (pooped while eating), several failed latches, and fell asleep incessantly at the “table”. I tried to get some sleep and probably drifted off around 330am, only to be woken up at 4am for another feeding (which is a normal 2 hour lapse between the start of feedings). By the time I was done with him and drifting back off to sleep, he woke again at 510am or so (so soon probably because he fed poorly the previous time).
Basically, it was past 5am and I had gotten at most two 20 minute naps. I was light-headed from fatigue (but surprisingly not angry or annoyed because I know the baby can’t help himself). I woke Ray up and told him that I was going to feed one last time, and then Ray was to sleep with baby and not to wake me up till 8am at least. At this point, Ray told me that my previous diaper change didn’t cover Noah’s butt, so there was poop all over his back. There goes another 15 minutes changing a yelling baby and cleaning up everything his back touched. After I went to sleep, Ray was stuck carrying a very very fussy Noah for about 30 minutes from 730am – 8am, until he (I imagine happily) strutted into the bedroom with a BAWLING baby to wake me up.
And that, unfortunately, is the story of our first night with the baby.