Last night went something like this: baby down at 8:00 (an hour past schedule) child 2 down by 8:30, child 1 at 8:45. 9:00, rock baby for 2nd time. 9:40, feed/rock baby. 10:30, rock baby. 11:15-2:45 feed/sleep with baby in recliner. Wake up with aches in lower back. Pray to the gods of the universe that she won’t wake up if I put her in the crib. Get a glorious hour and a half nap at the edge of my bed because child 1 and 2 have taken over our bed. Wake up at 4:15, mildly impressed with the baby for making it that long. Simultaneously acknowledge how good it feels to lie horizontally and how jealous I am of husband, who is on his 5th solid hour of uninterrupted, horizontal sleep by now. Feed/sleep with baby in recliner until 5:45 when her beautiful smiles shout at me, RISE AND SHINE, MAMA!

Sound awful? This wasn’t even a bad night. On a parent sleeping scale of “that was awesome,” (which I will define by over 5 hours of sleep, getting interrupted only briefly 1-2 times) to “I’m going to cry,” (defined as I would probably feel better right now if I just had never even tried to fall asleep) it was somewhere in the range of an eye roll. 5 out of 10. Mediocre.

I suppose we were lucky with our first two, since they slept through the night starting at 3 months or so. I remember being able to get them to bed, have a nice dinner, get a workout in, cleaning, homework, etc., and still be able to get a solid block of sleep in (gasp) a bed. My husband and I would hear other parents complain about their sleepless nights, and we’d think, “yeah, maybe we’re lucky, but they should just do routines like we do!” Surely, that was their problem. Well, we’ve since eaten a large portion of humble pie. It obviously had nothing to do with us or anything we were doing, because we are still us, doing what we’ve always done plus any and every suggestion we can find. It’s all for nothing, because this girl just won’t sleep unless she can hear the hum drum of my heart beat under her chubby cheeks. Just MY heart beat, daddy’s won’t do it, thank you very much! And so here I am eight and a half months deep in sleep deprivation looking for a better word to describe the out of control “crazy” desperation I’m feeling.

Oh well, someday I know I’ll miss this too.

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