Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sleep...Life's Elusive Mistress

January seems like a lifetime ago. How did I ever survive getting up every 2 hours to feed my little babe? How did I function on such a little amount of sleep. That is one of life's great mysteries, I think. That and how little you actually remember accurately from the first few months of your baby's life. At the time you think it will never end, you will be tired forever, and can't imagine that you will get your life back in some semblance of what it was.

Then, all of a sudden you baby sleeps for a longer period one night, and even longer the next and lo and behold one day she goes straight through the night and you wake up in a panic when you realize it's 7am and you didn't hear your baby cry once. Thoughts run rampant through your head- "Is she okay? Did I just not hear here? Oh my god, what happened?" and then you realize, if she slept through the night she must be ready to do it right? She wouldn't starve herself.  Your life blossoms before you- full nights of sleep, no more haze of confusion in the morning, maybe you will only need one cup of coffee to make it through the day...maybe.

Everyone told me that as soon as I got comfortable with the routine my baby created it would change but the one area where I have been very lucky is sleeping. Avery has gone almost 11 hours every night since she was 11 weeks old. There was a brief time where we had a middle of the night wake-up after my sister's wedding but I think her routine was just thrown way off kilter. It seems as though she takes after her parents in the sleeping area- something we both really enjoy doing.

So what's up with the title you say? Well, for quite some time now- since my grandfather died when I was in high school I have had sleeping troubles off and on during the year. I don't know for sure if that's when it started it's just really the first time I remember it. The main problem is being about to turn my mind off enough to fall asleep. I can read for hours, stare at the ceiling and nothing really works. Every little noise wakes me and interrupts any sleep I may be attaining. So when you add a week of that to a change in my baby's sleep routine you end up with a very tired and cranky momma.

Avery has started to roll over more consistently and one of the problems I think we are having is that she can roll from her back to her tummy, but not from her tummy to her back. So she has started to roll over in her crib at night and then it wakes her up because she can't get back over and scares herself.... and this has been happening multiple times during the night which of course wakes me up! It's amazing that once you start to get a full night's sleep again to go back to multiple wake ups through the night how tired it can make you!

In an effort to help Avery sleep better through the night we have gone back to The Baby Whisperer's strategy of the dream feed around 10 o'clock and I forgot what it was like to feed Avery in the middle of the night. Everything is quiet and dark. It's just the two of us together in our chair. It's a nice feeling. I am not saying I want Avery to go back to waking up every night for a feed but there is just something special about snuggling with my baby in the dark. She's all mine at that time and I don't have to share her with anyone.

Of course, she's all mine during the day too when it's only the 2 of us here but somehow it's different at night time. It's like all the other people in the world have melted away and she and I are left together. It reminds me of how big she has gotten and makes me a little sad. These past (almost) 6 months have gone by super fast and she has changed so much already...le sigh.

2 Thinks and Thoughts of Others:

SB said...

Ah sleep! Due to e's eating/digestive issues, she did not sleep through until she was 18 months! And dr b is following suit - needing small meals more often - so sleep still eludes me and coffee of the strongest variety is my means of survival!

Beth said...

I feel for you SB! Now that I am getting a full night is hard to believe I ever survived without it...you are a hero to me! I feel for you and the littles.

Last Words...

Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe