I usually try to be encouraging and uplifting in my "mama" posts, but today I'm simply gonna vent a little.
One of my greatest joys in life is being a mommy. I truly love it with all my heart, and our children are brightness in my days and they warm my heart at night. I am completely and perfectly happy with our little family, and even if God doesn't decide to bless us with any more little lovies then I'll be satisfied. My heart's desires are being fulfilled every single day that I get to parent these perfect little beings, in all their un-perfect and learning/exploring/creative/curious ways.
I love them.
I love them to the ends of the universe.
I love them more than I ever could have imagined loving.
I am truly overflowing.
You know what else?
I *need* this baby to sleep! AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
Whew. Ok. Now that I got that out of my system, let me fill you in on what's going on.
So, pretty much from day one, little miss has been sleeping in our bed for all or at least portions of the night. We practice safe bed-sharing. We have a rock and play (best invention ever, by the way) that I put right next to my side of the bed. I would rock/nurse her to sleep and put her in the rock and play. When she woke in the middle of the night (usually only once - sometimes twice), I would pull her into bed with us and snuggle while she nursed and we both drifted off to sleep.
A couple months ago, she got strong enough that she actually crawled out of said rock and play. Well, fell is more like it probably. I wasn't actually in the room when it happened. I had laid her in it for a nap at my mom & dad's house, went upstairs and was doing some things in the kitchen. When I heard her crying I went to go get her, and instead of being in her rock and play where I left her, she was on the floor by the door. Yep - she had gotten out somehow and crawled, crying the whole time, to the door looking for me. Poor baby.
Well, we hadn't gotten her crib put together yet, nor did we really have a space to put it. So, I figured a nice compromise would be the pack and play. And I'm sure it would have been if she didn't scream her head off as soon as I laid her in it. Not just a regular scream. It was a blood-curtling someoneispullingmyarmoff kind of scream.
Well, we reconfigured our room to fit her crib in it. Now, all we needed to do was get her to sleep in it.
She apparently didn't appreciate all the finagling we had to do to make it fit and doesn't think it is a very good solution, either.
Oh, one thing I forgot to mention: This baby hasn't taken a regular nap during the day since she was 4 or 5 months old. She just stopped doing it one day. Oh believe me, she *needs* to nap. She just won't *take* one. She will fall asleep in the car (but wakes up right away when the car ride is done), and she usually will cat-nap while nursing, then when done she opens up her eyes, pops up and looks around with a look of "what did I miss?!" in her eyes. And, yes. It's about as super awesome as you can imagine.
About a week ago I absolutely reached my breaking point with all this. I mean - what kind of baby absolutely won't sleep during the day? Some days I feel like I can't get ANything done. She sleeps well when I'm wearing her....the only problem? I can't sit or be still when I'm wearing her or she will wake up, and unfortunately my "at-home" job kind of dictates that that I'm sitting or at least standing in one spot if I take my computer to the kitchen counter.
There also brings into play my dear husband. I'm pretty fortunate that my "out-of-home" job is really flexible so I can work around his work schedule for the most part. The problem? Since she absolutely won't nap and he can't nurse her, he has his hands completely full when I'm gone for a day. He'll give her a bottle, but she drinks from it to quench her thirst/hunger....not for comfort. I'm her comfort.
Seriously? I totally don't mind sleeping with her at night. In fact, I super enjoy it and honestly would rather sleep with her in bed with us. The problem is that she won't take a nap during the day at all, and I can't even lay her down in the crib for awhile at night so I can get some things done after she goes to sleep.
I have felt like I'm going completely crazy with no idea what to do about it - and I refuse to let her cry it out like I did with our first. I regret that way too much to do anything remotely similar again.
Introduce: SANITY. In the form of a book called The No Cry Sleep Solution. [Cue the Hallelujah Chorus]
I have recommended this book to clients for years. I have never personally had a need to read it until now. After just one week of reading some of it and putting into practice a couple of very minor things the past several nights, she is sleeping longer at night - and IN her crib! She still won't sleep during the day, and last night she woke up a LOT to nurse, but at least I have some things to work with now, and they are starting to make a difference, no matter how small. Hey - baby steps, right?
So, there you have it. A story of my Incredible Non-Sleeping Baby.
I totally don't have any super awesome nuggets of wisdom for you, and I can't even tell you what to do if you are in the same boat as me....because I'm just starting to try a few things and for sure can't tell you what's working yet.
I just hope that by my tale of woe makes you feel like you are not alone. I'm right here in the trenches with you. It sucks and it's hard and I'm really really tired. But it will be ok. Because even if I don't figure out how to get her to nap during the day and sleep through the night eventually, I know that she's not going to be a baby forever. I can pretty much count on the fact that eventually - no matter what - she won't be overly tired and waking me 72 times in the middle of the night to nurse or just because she needs me.
And after all - right now she *needs* me. I'm going to be here for her no matter what.