Thursday, April 10, 2008

sleep, sleep, wherefore art thou sleep?

I'm trying to find the words to say, I'm trying to think of a good subject to write about, I'm trying to think of clever titles, but all can do is yawn. My mind is a blank slate. My brain feels like mush. I'm so tired! Bedtime duty (and middle of the nighttime duty) is my sole responsibility for the next few days as my husband is traveling for work, and as I sit here on my couch, nestled in my blanket, I can still hear Ella and Britten awake in their rooms. Rooms being plural, because the room sharing thing went to bits about a day after I ranted and raved on my blog about how well it was going. I've been in Ella's room 5 times already. She was crying because she genuinely misses her Daddy tonight. My husband travels often for work, but this is the first time Ella has ever cried because of missing him. Maybe I should be more stern with her because she won't settle down and fall asleep, some would tell me to discipline her, but I can't. I tickled her back, rocked her a little, prayed with her and did my best to comfort her. She's singing now, not crying, and I'm okay with that. I've made several visits to Britten's room, but it's not doing much good. She's crying, too. The loud, inconsolable, unreasonable 2-year old cry. She also misses her Daddy, but I'm having a much harder time staying calm with her because she won't listen to or reason with me! Hmmm...A 2 year old unwilling to listen or reason? It's unheard of! Chloe is sleeping. I did have to take a brief pause in writing this post to rock her back to sleep, but fortunately, she's not crying and missing her Daddy tonight (she's the only one!) but sleeping soundly in the pack 'n' play in our room.

Yes, the pack 'n' play. We've been playing the lovely game of musical beds/bedrooms ever since Chloe was born. We have a 4 bedroom home, but with the 4th bedroom downstairs, we're left with 3 upstairs to work with. We never expected that transitioning the girls into the same room would prove to be so difficult. We naively assumed they'd love sharing a room so much they'd do whatever it took (even listening to their parents) to stay sharing a room! We were wrong. We then took a little hiatus from working on the "room sharing" thing and decided to semi-permanently move the pack 'n' play into our room so Chloe could have a place to sleep. Up until 4 months old, Chloe slept with us, but we were ready to have our bed back as much as Chloe was needing more space to wiggle around.

A couple weeks ago, we decided to move Britten's big girl bed into the nursery and try having Britten share a room with Chloe. Long story short, after two nights of Britten throwing her bedding, pillow and then herself into the crib with Chloe, we quickly put the kabosh on that setup. We didn't want Chloe getting killed or anything. So, Chloe is back in our room for now. The next step is Ella and Chloe sharing a room and I think we'll test those waters next week. Wish us luck. It's our only option unless we decide to move Ella or Britten downstairs, and that's not really an option, because that room doubles as a guest room/office.

There it is...finally. Quiet. The house is quiet and I can finally relax. Funny how I instantly get my 2nd wind the moment my girls are sleeping. I wish I didn't. I wish I could crawl under my covers and take advantage of an extra 2 hours of sleep. But I won't because I can't. My body won't let me shut down before 11:00pm. For as exhausted and sleep-deprived as I am right now, I am incapable of going to bed early. It's a curse.

Sleep. To be completely honest, I almost dread going to sleep. Between all three of our girls, we're awake half the night. Chloe, in particular, wakes up a lot. Up until I took dairy out of my diet two weeks ago, she was waking up every hour. That's something I'd expect from a newborn, but a 5 month old?! It's getting better now and she's sleeping for three hour stretches. I'm hoping it will get better as the days progress. The lactation consultant said I needed to give it a good two weeks before noticing a big change. Even a little change helps a lot right now.

I'm tired. I'm so, so very tired. My mind may be a blank slate and my brain may be mush, but I'm happy. I'm happy and I'm blessed. God has blessed me with three beautiful little girls, who I swear require less sleep than any other child I know, and a husband who's always supportive and willing to lend a helping hand (this is particularly appreciated in the middle of night). So I can deal with tired. In fact, I'll gladly deal with tired. I know that someday, hopefully sooner than later, I'll be sleeping for 8 hour stretches again and feeling good as new. At least having more than one child has taught me something; This too shall pass...and it always does.


Anonymous said...

What a beautifully written post. Wow. I am sorry you are so tired, but I am so blessed reading how you are looking at the big picture of your life. Giving up sleep is something we moms must do, like it or not. And the fact that you are giving it and trying to have a positive attitude is a gift to your family and a blessing to your blog readers! So glad to hear you also are blessed with a helpful husband. Even in the middle of the night, though!? Wow, can Andy give my husband some lessons!?

Kristi said...

Thanks for sharing, Amanda. Oh, how I so understand those tired, sleep-deprived times in my life. In fact, I am going through one right now...only, mine doesn't have anything to do with my kids' waking up. Just my own struggles with sleeping...I am heading to the doctor to see what is going on. But, I too just feel like I live in a constant state of being tired. And, it can be so discouraging sometimes!

Thanks for sharing your positive outlook and BIGGER perspective through it all!

Focusing on the blessings and the goodness of God (and the strength that He gives us when we are so weak) is so where my mind needs to be right now! So, thanks for your encouragement to me!!!

So sorry to hear that the room-sharing ended up not going well...I remember you sharing at the beginning that it all started out well!!! ONE DAY that WILL work out again...Britten is still so young! Hang in there...I can tell that you are a compassionate, sensitive Mom to your kids...and I appreciate that!!!

aerin said...

Oh, that was well said. I felt it right alongside you. I am trying to picture you walking into the nursery just as Britten has fallen head first into the crib trying to snuggle with her sissy... too bad she can't just chill out with older one at night!

I gotta give it to you Amanda, sleep is so precious to me. I guess maybe being single and being married with kids have very different challenges but each equally weigh on our physical, mental and emotional well being. There are so many times I think you have it all and maintain it so well. Keep up the good work, girl.