Friday, December 17, 2010

Will we meet again?

I know before you have a baby everyone says, "Sleep now while you can." I always hated hearing this because, well, honestly, it is not very easy for a pregnant woman to sleep. I remember how difficult it was to get comfortable and then how often I would have to get up during the night. Little did I know...that would be easier than it is now.

Madelyn used to wake up during the night, every night, to get up and play. She wanted to play or watch tv at 2 or 3 in the morning. We never let her. Yet, she consistently woke up and woke us up to see if she could. I mentioned she was persistent, didn't I? And she typically took around 2 hrs (in the middle of the night) to fall back asleep and stop asking. This went on for a long time. It finally ended about the time I found out we were having another...and I was too uncomfortable to sleep.

Now, when Oliver was born I was prepared to have some sleepless nights. Really. I knew exactly what it was like to have a newborn. And Madelyn had NEVER been a really great sleeper, so I was prepared. Oliver decided early on that I could not put him down to sleep on his own. This was not easy for me, as I was also chasing after a three year old. At night Ollie wanted to sleep with me (which was fine and was part of our plan anyway) but then as he got a tad older he started waking more during the night than he had right after birth. It got worse, not better. It finally came to a point where Ollie was waking every hour to nurse (which means that I was getting no sleep at all). Napping during the day was not very successful either because of a sleep-resistant three year old. SO....I became a little sleep deprived. No biggie, right?

Well, let us fast forward a few months. Oliver is now 8.5 months old and Madelyn is 3 1/2. I am beginning to wonder if I will EVER sleep again. No. Really. Oliver has never (not once) slept all night without waking. He typically wakes up between 1 and 2 (and I don't actually mind this too much- I usually find that I start to miss him during the night if too much time goes by). But many nights he wakes up twice (or more). I try not to always rush right to him. Sometimes I just get him and feed him right away. But most often I let him cry a bit to see if he can soothe himself back to sleep (he is actually pretty good at self-soothing). Sometimes he will cry for what seems like forever...and I don't sleep through that at all. Regardless of what I do, I am awake. We have done sleep training/crying it out with him since he was five months old and it has worked wonders with Ollie. And we continue to do it when he gets off schedule (which happens about every week or two). It only really takes one night. But, like I said, he still wakes up once to eat no matter what.

To top it off, my kids are early risers. I know ALL (or most) kids are, but I mean REALLY early. Yesterday they both woke up before 5:45. How's that for an early wake up call?!?! I am not particularly an early riser. Okay, I am not at all an early riser. I have always been really good at staying up late and sleeping in. Now that I have two children who refuse to sleep, I don't get to "sleep in." I still, for some ridiculous reason, stay up much later than I should given my sleeping circumstances. It would make sense if I went to bed shortly after the kids. But, I really can't seem to settle down that early (even though I am exhausted beyond belief). I enjoy sitting down in the evening and having some "down" time where I am not chasing after anyone, playing Barbies, cleaning up a mess, cooking dinner, bathing children, etc. So my habits will continue to interfere with my sleep as well.

Anyway, after all this exhausted rambling I am wondering....where are you sleep? When will we meet again?

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