Saturday, May 21, 2011

Dreading the lack of sleep...

In less than five months I will morph into someone who slogs through the days, deprived of sleep, and spending every minute thinking about when I can next crawl into my bed and catch a few hours of shut-eye. I almost think it's worse this time, because I know what to expect, since i've been through it before. However, I also know that in many ways it will actually be worse this time, since I also need to take care of a very active toddler. (Maybe this will distract me from the exhaustion! Hey, I can live in my dreamworld.)

Stephanie was actually a very good sleeper, but we needed to wake her up every three hours to eat, since she wasn't gaining weight properly. Then, when she was fine to start sleeping longer, she was so used to getting up every three hours that she started doing it on her own. It wasn't long though before she was giving us 5 or so hours at a stretch, and at the time it seemed heavenly! Five hours of unteruppted sleep felt like winning the lottery. Eventually her sleeping times increased, and we got to where we are now, where she sleeps for twelve solid hours, 7pm to 7am.

Once in a while (like last night) she will wake up and let out a fuss or two. Usually I wait to see if she'll just go back to sleep, and sometimes she does. Other times (also like last night) I don't feel like lying there waiting to see if she'll go back to sleep, so I get up and put her sleep sheep back on. That's all I have to do, we don't interact at all (unless I need to lie her back down) and she goes right back to sleep. Once in a while she can't find her pacifier, which is why she won't go back to sleep, so I'll help her find that, too.

As I crawled back into bed at 3am, I started thinking about how wonderful Stephanie sleeps right now. So then I started worrying about how her sleep habits will be affected by the baby. For the first few months, he will sleep in mine and Dan's room, and hopefully Stephanie will be in a deep enough sleep, with enough white noise in her room, to sleep through his cries. But once he's sleeping for solid chunks of time in the night, we plan on transitioning him into a crib in her room. This is the part I worry about. Will they wake each other up? If I need to get Joseph at 4am for a feeding, will Stephanie expect to get up as well? Will they both have trouble settling back down once they've woken each other up? I know eventually they will get used to it, but I also know that there will be weeks, perhaps months, of transition time.

I remember nights of rocking Stephanie back to sleep at 2am in the morning, sometimes spending hours in her room before she settled down. (This was before we sleep trained.) At the time I never thought we'd get to where we are now, and that we'd be rocking her to sleep when she was in high school. However, as I've learned over the past fifteen months, every phase passes. I know that I will need to remember that, and make it my mantra, as I suffer through those seemingly endless nights of trying to get two children used to a new routine. I also know that eventually it will be the norm, and we will all forget just how horrible those transition weeks and months were. Then, just as we think we'll never have sleep troubles again...we'll try for baby number 3!

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