Thursday, July 22, 2004

I'm on Day 3 or 4 of Eric sleeping in his crib all night. I watched that commerical yesterday where the middle aged couple chases giant "Z"s with legs through a landscape of twilight strip malls. That's me right now. Only I look as desparate as a diabetic child in a candy shop. It's so close.. but it's not for me. Only the insanity has just begun. I can't believe Donald Rumsfeld thought that depriving inmates of sleep wasn't torture. I feel like the front right side of my brain has frozen into a thick chunk of lead.

Sleep. It's all I can think about. I want it more than food, sex or chocolate. I want to go to sleep, and stay asleep for five or six hours.

The nights are going like this.  He goes down at 8, no problem. He's up at 1 to nurse. Then he goes back down. But this whole process takes about an hour. Then it takes me an hour to fall back to sleep. I can hardly fault Eric for taking his time getting back to sleep at night. God knows I can't do it. So, I fall asleep at three and he wakes us up at 5. Then I get him back to sleep without nursing. He really works at it, so it's not like I feel like it's OK to let him cry.

I think this will go on about a week, and then we'll be down to 1 night waking. These two are just habit. I can hear him waking up and going back to sleep at other times. It's just that he thinks it's time to nurse. So he wakes up all the way. My theory is that if there's no nursing he'll stop waking up.

I think this is the most tired I've ever been since I had him.

I really don't mind the first time he wakes up.  We nurse and cuddle in the dark and he goes back to sleep. But he really wants me in the room while he does that. I've been creeping closer to the door every time he falls alseep. Eventually, I'll stand more or less out of sight and he won't need my help.

But there has been progress. We went from 3-5 night wakings in our bed to two, in his own bed. But none of us were sleeping well with him there any more. This is really hard. But it really feels like the right thing to do now. He's adapting really well to the new routine. If I could just get him to not wake up at five I would be so happy.

I'm not praying about this. Now, I only pray for good health for my family. I don't want to waste my prayers on anything that I know I can live through. I just pray for help being a good mother.

I don't believe in organized religion, but I do believe in God.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

What a difference a couple days make.
Yes, I still feel guilty about letting him cry on Friday. But he knows how to fall asleep now, and he keeps getting better at it. Yesterday, I told Sara The Wonder Nanny that she was to put him in his crib awake. This elicited a deer-in-the-headlights look of fear. But I told her to give it a try.
Not only did he go down, he did so quickly and with no crying or fussing. Then he did it again for his afternoon nap. This is amazing.
Now Eric is not a fussy guy in general. That's part of why it was such a heart-wrenching decision to let him cry. He only cries when he's trying to tell me something is wrong, and I was terrified I'd break that covenant with him. He cries, I try to fix whatever is bothering him. But we were getting nowhere with his sleeping.
Last night he went down with nary a peep. I sat in the glider in the corner. He thrashes around until he achieves the perfect frog position, his legs tucked neatly underneath him with his tushy sticking up in the air. Then he picks up his head to check and see if I'm there, and he falls asleep. A day ago, I had to stand over his crib stroking his hair and help him stay focused. Now I just do that if he forgets to lie down. I sit and make the occasional shusshing noise and presto! He falls asleep. But now he stays asleep until close to 2:00 AM, and that folks is the medical definition of a baby sleeping through the night.
Then last night he came in bed with me an nursed and he proceeded to thrash around. It's so cute. One of the positions he tries is leaning back on Rich resting his head sideways, arms akimbo. He looks like a dude in a movie theater trying to look casual as he attempts to cop a feel. It's especially cute if he leans back on his dad and yawns.
But last night I thought, "If he's going to thrash, he may as well thrash in the crib, because there's no way I'm falling asleep before he does at this rate." So, I recribified him, stood over him for a few minutes and then worked my way to the glider and dozed while he got himself back to sleep. Then I went back to bed. At five he woke up. (He usually nurses around 5, but I'd rather he did it after 6:30 when it's officially OK to get us up.) So, I sat there dozing in my chair and it was about half an hour from start to finish and he was down again with no crying, just some thrashing. It was pretty amazing. A week ago, he was waking me up every 2 hours to nurse, and now he seems OK sleeping in his crib.
Tonight, I think I'll nurse him in his room at 2, and put him back down in the crib. I could probably make him sleep completely through the night with no nursing, but I don't want to push for that until he's one. But that will be in about six weeks, so it's good that we're working toward that.