Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sleep Deprivation is kicking my butt... still!

As I sit here, I can tell you that I am just as sleep deprived with a 7.5 month old as I was when I had a newborn. I think I jinxed myself when people would ask me how Will was sleeping when he was a mere 3 months old and I smiled proudly and said "GREAT! He only wakes up once per night," which was true. Well, that soon changed. Once the the teething phase hit around 4 months (just after Christmas) I was getting up with him 3, 4 or 5 times per night.... and ever since then, its been this constant and ever-changing battle. Sometimes I'll get "lucky" and he only wakes up twice, which oddly enough, I can handle.... but 4 out of the 7 nights per week, it's 3 times or more.
My hubby and I have talked about this - and since I stay at home with our boys - I get up with the baby. I get it. That's fair. After all, I usually nurse him in the middle of the night and that is simply something hubby is not able to do. There is no way that I am giving up nursing before Will turns 1.... so lately I have been researching on how to get a better nights sleep with as little disruption to the family as possible. Well, this is turning into a very frustrating feat. I'm now facing the 8/9 month separation anxiety mark and I'm convinced that Will just wants Mommy to hold him all the time.
I'm nearly done reading the book "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley.... it's basically a book full of great ideas of how to get your baby to sleep through the night without using the Ferber method of just letting your baby "cry it out." And while all the ideas are great, and seem to make a lot of sense, I'm really finding it hard to utilize them in a completely exhausted state in the middle of the night. Don't they know that when you're sleep deprived, exhausted and half asleep its really hard to keep repeating the 6 steps it will take to get your baby back to sleep? It took me nearly 2 hours last night (between the hours of 1:30am and 3:30am) to get Will to go back to sleep - or I should say, stay asleep once I left the room. (Keep in mind that after he went down for the night at 8:30pm, he was up at 10:30pm, 11:30pm, 1:30am, 5:30am, and then up for the morning at 8:00am). I knew he was fed, didn't have a fever, not uncomfortably wet... and he was even smiling at me as I was trying to rock him back to sleep. Cute? Yes. Sometimes annoying when I just want some sleep? Yes. This is where I feel conflicted.
I know that these sleepless nights will end, eventually. And at that time I might wish for him to wake up to snuggle, or nurse or smile at me. After all, he is growing up so fast. But on the other hand, I find it much easier to be the good mom (and wife) I want to be when I am well rested. Being at home with Will and Matthew is my full time job. I hardly get any breaks. I have to attend to one demand after another. I constantly multi-task. I get exhausted. And at the end of the day, I usually just want to go to bed - and more often than not, that's around 9pm. More conflict comes in when I know I need to get out for some "me" time, or even a date with hubby... but when that happens I miss my kids... I constantly worry about them and if they need me. And if I "go out" in the evenings, and go to bed late, I still have to wake up with the baby 3 or 4 times per night, so sometimes I feel as if it's not even worth it... I just become that much more sleep deprived. Does all this make sense? It probably does not help at all that several other mommies with babies similar in age to Will are all sleeping through the night and are pro-nappers... Maybe there's too much pressure to have the baby that has perfect sleeping habits. Is there truly such a thing? Or am I just trying so hard to do what I "think" is normal?
There's no place I would rather be than home with my kids. I am greatful every. single. day. for that gift, because I've been on the complete other side of it, and I'd much rather be sleep deprived and home, than sleep deprived and working in an office like I was just a few short years ago. Perhaps God wants me to remember that not all parents have the gift of children - that many would rather stay up all night every night to even just have one child (ie: my BFF, Diana). I think I need to remind myself of this more. Nothing lasts forever... not even sleepless nights.... and certainly not a baby that wants to cuddle with his Mommy. I guess I'll just need to up my coffee intake until this passes...whether that's 2 weeks or another 5 months...
Once I get the sleeping thing under control, I'm sure I'll post about it... and watch, I'll be missing my baby snuggles at 2am...

No comments:

Post a Comment