Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sleep: Will I Ever Get Any Consistently Again?

For those of you unaware, check out old blogs chronically the sleep issues we've had with our eldest. Because of them, I haven't gotten a full night's sleep more than once or twice a week for the last 2 and a half years. Since we've had our baby, the toddler's been MUCH better, and the baby has been a great sleeper for the most part. But just when I say that, or try to give friends with newborns sleep advice, I get a reminder that I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Last night I went to bed around 10:30pm. Baby R woke up at 12:30am for a feeding, and again at 4am. But that time, she was awake and ready to play. So it was almost 5am before she fell back asleep. At this point, I just watched the clock until a quarter after since that's what time the alarm was set for my DH. Once he was up, since I was wide awake, I had a hard time falling back to sleep. About fifteen minutes after I did, our toddler woke up - an hour early. I tried my best to get her to lie back down, and finally convinced her to come to bed with me at 6:30am in the hopes I could get at least 15 more minutes of sleep before it was time for me to get up. Needless to say that didn't happen.

There was additional frustration with last night. Now that I'm back to work, DH and I have an agreement that on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights, he will get up with the baby and change her diaper and bring her to me to feed in bed. Ideally he would also take her back to her crib, but I usually let him off the hook there. So last night when she woke up the first time, I nudged him, he got up and I asked him to change her and bring her to me. Let me explain how my sweet hubby's awareness works when he's been sleeping. It doesn't. I learned this early on when we were dating. One night I called him after he had fallen asleep watching TV. When he picked up the phone, I could tell he was tired and asked if he wanted to call me back. Since we hadn't been dating long, talking to me was more enticing than going back to sleep. We chatted for about 30 minutes and made plans to go to a movie the next night. The next day, the time came for him to pick me up, and he didn't show. I waited 15 minutes and then called him. He answered, and I asked him if he was going to come get me for the movie, and he said, "What movie?" He had no recollection of the conversation we'd had the night before. Knowing this about him, I'm usually the one who handles nighttime crises. If there is something urgent I need him for (like when my water broke at 2:30am), I make sure to ask him if he's really awake three or four times til he gets annoyed with me. Then I know he's really up.

So last night after I nudged him, he went and got Baby R, and brought her to me. I said, "Aren't you going to change her diaper?" He just stood there and looked confused. I realized he wasn't really awake. At this point I was more concerned with her safety than my sleep and sent him back to bed. At 4am I didn't wake him because it was only a little over an hour til he had to get up, and I thought I'd be back to sleep by 4:30am. So much as I'd like to blame him, it's my own fault that I've pretty much been up since 4am. Luckily, he's pretty awesome, so the sleep issue gets outweighed by his many other wonderful qualities.

So this morning I find myself in a familiar place: groggy, grouchy and wondering if I will EVER get to sleep well again. I knew when we had our first daughter that there would be a few weeks of sleepless nights. But I had no idea how large a part sleep would play in our lives for so long. Food, clothing and shelter are just the beginning. We need to add sleep to the list of necessities of life...

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