i had a post in the pipeline about our sleep solution. ya’ll know i’ve been struggling with sleep – like all toddlers, dylan hates sleeping because there’s just so much trouble she can get into when she’s awake, let’s do that instead.
since we brought her home we’ve been bed sharing, and while that may have worked for us in the beginning (the need to sleep without vicious anxiety outweighing society’s little tsk tsks) we’ve fast gone beyond this being a good thing, no matter what proponents of co-sleeping say.
the night before last, i unceremoniously tried to put an end to our bed sharing adventure. for the first night in two or three nights, dylan didn’t put up a fuss when going to sleep, and she wasn’t hacking up a lung. the night before that she threw up three times, one of which went down my back. only now do i feel i have been initiated into this motherhood fraternity. but that’s beside the point. so she’s sleeping so peacefully i could cry. and then the other half decides to pass out with us too.
it’s important to note that for the last few weeks he has been sleeping in the other room. it’s better for him – he’s less worried that he’s going to crush dylan in his sleep – and it’s better for me, because, like most men, he snores, and unlike toddlers, i can’t fall asleep in the middle of a rock concert.
everything was going hunky-dory until, of course, i decided to hit they hay. at which point all hell broke lose. the room that had been completely silent and peaceful for the last, say, two hours, erupted in noise and erratic movement. the snoring commenced. and dylan, ever wonderful dylan who cannot keep still for more than a few seconds at a time, started kicking and flailing. in her sleep.
this went on for at least an hour before, in frustration, i threw up my hands and bundled her over to her crib / toddler day bed.
i am not a proponent of cry it out, especially at 3 in the morning, but what choice did i have? if i was ever going to get to sleep, i needed my own space. and that meant getting her into her beautiful but unused bed.
as expected, she cried. sobbed. screamed for her daddy over and over. that was fun. i like to think i’m sympathetic but there have and can be times when i get to a certain point, emotionally, and i find myself relatively incapable of feeling empathetic. it can be a hindrance and i can come across as unfeeling and cold, but i am the way god made me (wink). i haven’t tried cry it out yet because her emotional distress doesn’t elicit the “right” response in me (which i would consider sadness) but extreme frustration and then extreme guilt over feeling extremely frustrated. but guys, i was just so tired, i had no other recourse. so i let her cry.
she stopped crying eventually and the world didn’t end. she didn’t go to sleep though. she just lay there, eyes open, looking around. whimpering every now and then. crying a little bit more. i moved from lying beside her to sitting beside her, and then to lying beside the crib on a pillow on the floor. the things parents will do to get their kids to sleep on their own, sheesh.
by about 4:30 am, she fell asleep. i felt triumphant. holy shit, did i just do that? i tucked myself into bed ready, so ready to fall asleep. and then doubt settled in. she’s over there by herself, what if she gets up and i don’t notice? get up and close the door. okay, that’s done. but what if she needs me? what if she has a nightmare? what if she stops breathing? am i really ready to let her sleep by herself?
hello, guilt. welcome back.
instead of trying to drift into peaceful sleep, it was my turn to lay there starring at nothing, straining to hear her breathing over the sound of the humidifier. if she starts to cry, i thought, i’m just going to bring her right back to bed with me.
doesn’t that defeat the whole damn purpose of the exercise? yes. yes it does. so stupid. but what else do you tell yourself at 5 in the morning?
then, *thunk* and *wahhhhh*. she fell off. she doesn’t fall out of our bed, which is two and a half feet off the floor, but the day bed? rolls right out. and yes, i ran over and picked her up and soothed her and cuddled her and brought her back into bed with me, kicking legs and flailing arms and all.
the effort was in vain, but it all goes to show that we need to start our sleep training in earnest, immediately. if for no one else but myself and my own sanity. oh, and if you’re wondering how the other half did through the whole messy affair? he could sleep through a direct hit from a tornado, so… you figure it out.
to be continued…