Most mornings at 3 a.m. you will find me in the Tiny Woman's nursery feeding her. Some nights it's 1 am, 3 am, 5 am, etc., but we're usually down to one nighttime feeding (yes!). I try my very hardest to stay as close as possible to half-asleep in the hopes that I will fall back asleep more easily. The only light in the room comes from the weak blue glow of the power button on the white noise machine in the corner. It's one of those multi-function bits of infant technology that my ancestors would probably mock if they were around. I'm fully aware of the fact that entire families used to share a room (or even a bed full of itchy straw or something) and somehow managed to still get up and plant turnips in the morning.
Anyway, we use this machine every night and it has become part of the bedtime routine. It features several noise settings meant to mimic the sounds of the womb. I always wonder how accurate these settings are because one of them honestly sounds like Hong Kong during rush hour. (I swear there's honking noises in there and maybe some Chinese swears.) My setting of choice has a heartbeat-like sound and a sort of waves-on-the-beach background. Occasionally there is also a faint pinging noise, like that of a submarine in an old movie. Bathed in the blue light, navigating the dark nursery with my eyes half-closed I'm a sort of sub-marine traveler myself, with Tiny Woman as First Mate. If you're going to be up half the night you should have a companion.