Thursday, January 13, 2011
Adventures in Sleeping
Sleep. I think I remember what that word used to mean. While I was pregnant with Evie, I was constantly told by other moms, "enjoy your sleep cause you won't be getting any for awhile." And you know what I thought? I thought, "these women are being really negative." as well as "I'm PREGNANT! Do they really think I'm getting sleep now? Because last time I checked being giant and uncomfortable 24/7 and getting up every hour to pee doesn't constitute a good night's rest." Even after Ev was born, I thought of the nay-sayers and mused, "this isn't SOOOO bad."
But here's the thing I never thought about before--it's ongoing. It's night after night after night. It's 7+ months of waking up every morning thinking there's absolutely no way you can possibly get out of bed and go to work and fake like you're normal because you are, in fact, a ZOMBIE. It's eye cream and lots of under eye concealer, and coffee, and wishing you could take a nap and acting like you're hearing what people are saying to you.
Here's my sleep story with my sweet sweet baby: This blog begins when Ev hit 4 months. There is good reason for this--she was really colicky from about week 2 to about week 14ish, which meant (in her case) that she basically cried like she was pain anytime she was awake and not eating. We had her checked by a couple of pediatricians who basically just told us, "babies cry. this one obviously cries more than some." We fed her, changed her, gave her less stimulation, tried the 5 S's, etc. What it came down to was that she needed to be held and walked pretty much all day every day, and she was still going to cry cry cry. Hence, my instantaneous loss of baby weight (now grad school/desk job weight...that's a whole other story) from pacing while carrying her for hours and hours a day.
We had a cradle set up in our bedroom for her, but when she woke up in it and couldn't easily see us, she would panic and scream. It became much easier to put her in bed with us (especially since I'm nursing full time). Then, she got too big for the cradle, and we kept her in bed out of fear that she would topple out of the cradle. When she hit about 6 months old, we decided it was time to help her transition to her crib in her very own nursery (right down the hall from our room). She did not love this plan. For awhile, I would nurse her to sleep, then put her in her crib. When she would wake back up in the night to eat, I would sometimes put her back in the crib and sometimes bring her back into my bed.
Then she started waking up as I set her in the crib and crying like I had just taken her birthday away. I caved and started bringing her back into the bed with me. But the thing about all that is--this means I haven't spent a whole night in bed with just my husband in 7 months. Plus now that's she's bigger, Everleigh kicks in her sleep and sometimes make her body into a big X. Then, other times, she will trap herself up against me and I can't move. We have a queen sized bed. It is TIME.
So last week I made the next logical step right? Wrong. Out of sheer exhaustion, I decided to make up a pallet on her nursery floor and sleep with her there. While I got a little more sleep, we really got no closer to getting her in her crib. She still wakes up between 2 and 5 times per night.
This might not be so bad if I stayed at home during the day and could "sleep when baby sleeps" but I work full time. So even if Miss E parties all night, I still have to fake it the next day while she naps at home.
At first I felt really opposed to the whole "crying it out" method, thinking it was kind of mean and used primarily to benefit fed -up parents. Now that I am a fed up parent, I'm giving it second thoughts.
Anyone have helpful advice about getting baby to sleep? Getting baby to stay asleep longer than a few hours? Getting baby to stay in their crib without crying like they just might be dying? Anything would be appreciated. Even though I will probably ignore your reasonable advice and opt for sleeping while standing up, or something equally ridiculous ;)