So, if you’re just tuning in, I’m a mom of three amazing kids. One of those three amazing kids is Maggie, who is ten months old. When Maggie was just eight weeks old she slept through the night for the first time. The trend continued until she was six months old, which mean that for four glorious months I slept through the night.
I could get up and enjoy my morning power hour on my own.
I could go to bed at ten knowing that I would get a solid seven hours sleep without interruption.
I could drink a glass of wine without worrying about feeling groggy in the middle of the night.
I could even get up to pee whenever I had to and not worry about creaky floors or a toilet flush making too much noise.
Four glorious months.
When Maggie started teething, that blissful well-rested state violently came to an end. She decided one night that continuous sleep was not necessary. She would get up once, twice, or even three times a night. And because I am so good at creating really tasty, satisfying breast milk, I seem to be the only one who can get her back to sleep. (What I would give for my husband to be able to breast feed!)
I remember when she was first born I wrote a post all about how while I was exhausted with newborn sleep schedules, I rather enjoyed our midnight feedings. There are time I really do still feel that way. I relish the quiet time while the world is silent around us. I still talk to her about the future, about how great she is, and about what I hope for her in life. And as she drifts off back to sleep, it puts a smile on my face because there is such a sweet innocence about it.
Last night, however, was a whole other story. She looked sweet but here was nothing innocent about her sleeping pattern. At 6 this morning, I sat on our couch, exhausted and bewildered, with a cup of tea in my hand and complained to Tom about her sudden sleep strike. She chose to just not sleep from 2AM-5AM for no apparent reason. And she wasn’t even upset. She was happy. Annoyingly happy. She smiled, babbled, gurgled, cooed, and blew raspberries. For three freakn’ hours. It didn’t matter how many times I put her back down beside me into her sleeping position or got her to breastfeed or snuggled her in bed, she would not fall back asleep. (Tom, by the way, was sleeping peacefully in the basement with our older two kids for a mid-week camp-out/sleep over)
I can handle 20 minutes of wake time but as it started to go on and we were chalking up hours of missed precious sleep, I grew increasingly frustrated. To the point where for the first time in years, I contemplated just putting Maggie in her own room and let her sort out this sleeping thing on her own. I don’t believe in letting a child cry it out at night. I’ve tried it in the past, with Caleigh, and it literally felt like ripping my heart out of my chest. I even tried to convince myself that it was okay for our child (which I now whole-heartedly know in my gut is wrong) and that she would learn.
So while at about the two hour mark, I really REALLY wanted to put her into her room and let her figure her way back to sleep….I knew there was no way I could actually go through with it. Instead the two of us lay in my bed and I tossed and turned for the three hours until she finally, FINALLY fell back asleep.
Tonight as I write this post before going to bed, I wonder what the next few hours have in store for us. I’m desperately hoping that the lack of sleep last night will allow her to sleep soundly tonight but I won’t hold my breath. I know that she will eventually find her sleeping pattern again and make it through the night without needing to wake. I’m not going to get hung up on when it’s going to happen. Yes, it was lovely for those four glorious months. I remember that well-rested-I-don’t-need-caffeine-lets-go-conquer-the-world feeling and I look forward to that feeling again. Because I know that it will happen sometime in the next couple of years. Until then, I will do my best to focus on that sweet innocent face that on a clear night, the moon highlights beautifully.