Sorry for my lack of presence. I have about 10 half-written blogs in my drafts, but have just been busy with work, life and being a mom, that I haven't gotten a chance to finish them or write anythign new. But, as writing is my therapy, I need to visit my corner of the world today to get some things out.
Before we went home to Iowa for Easter (which I have yet to blog about. SLACKER!), Liam was sleeping from 9pm -5am, at which point he ate briefly, and went back to sleep until 7:15-7:30am. For the most part, he was sleeping in his crib. We usually had to go into his room to give him back his paci, but for the most part...we weren't complaining.
Since we got home...things have changed DRASTICALLY.
I've heard and read horror stories about a 4-month sleep regression. Not wanting to create a self-fulfilling prophecy, I had it in the back of my mind, but again - just wanted to "wait and see."
It started with a couple nights of Liam waking up around 11pm-12am in his crib, inconsolable, and we'd usually end up putting him in his rock 'n play. We'd have some intense rounds of Paci Pong, but just figured he needed some time to re-adjust to his crib and being in his own room, (the transition was new, and while traveling, he was in his rock 'n play, in our room). It has since become multiple wakings, every few hours, always starting after a few hours in his crib. We went from being able to soothe him by returning his paci or rubbing his belly, to nursing, having to rock him, walk him, bounce him...or any other tactic to get him back tot sleep. He falls asleep during said soothing measure, but the second we put him back in his RNP or crib...eyes open, not having it, rinse and repeat. We went from 7-8 hour stretches, to 5-6, to 3-4 and now we have been sitting pretty at about 2 hours. THAT IS NEWBORN STATUS.
Last night, Liam woke went down at 8pm, and was up 9:45pm-10pm, 11:15pm-11:30pm, 1:25am-3:30am, and up for the day at 6am. My hubby has also been out of town, so it was just me.
I have said many times, there is a reason sleep deprivation is a form of torture. You become desperate. In the past two weeks, due to our lack of sleep, I have done nothing but read about this "regression," research "remedies" and stress myself out about all the things we're doing right and wrong, healthy and unhealthy.
Here's the thing about children and sleep: It is one of those polarizing parenting topics, where there are so many schools of thought. You just want to SLEEP and your baby to SLEEP and so you try anything an everything.
Today, after soliciting advice from my best friends, family and fellow mama's, I came to this conclusion: Parenting is a mind-fuck. It's so ridiculous that I feel guilty for nearly every moment of the past couple of weeks. I feel guilty for wanting him to spend so many hours asleep, when I miss him and long for him so many hours of the day. Then I feel guilty for putting him down earlier in the night, even though all I've been asking him to do is sleep. And then, I feel guilty for wanting him to stay up late. I feel guilty for telling him to go the f to sleep. I feel guilty for making him cry it out, I feel guilty for nursing when he wakes, I feel guilty for not nursing when he wakes, I feel guilty for getting upset when he wakes up during the night. I feel guilty for taking his pacifier. I feel guilty for wanting sleep, I feel guilty for not "enjoying this time." The list goes on.
So, after an afternoon of crying in my office, guess what: I am retreating to the parenting school of thought of "Do what's best for you." I am going to try to reinforce/continue the healthy sleep habits we've established. I'm going to try and not stress out about creating or reinforcing unhealthy sleep habits or crutches during this difficult time. I'm going to change my perspective: Instead of hoping for sleep, I'm going to expect to wake up. I'm going to take things one day at a time, and try to I'm going to remember my Mommy Mantra of, "This too shall pass." Most of all, I'm going to give myself grace, because I'm doing the best I can.
And now, I'm going to sleep.