Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Best Night in a While

Belle, now 14 1/2 months old, is sleeping awfully. At six months, she was night-waking once for breastmilk. That continued until she was 13 months old and even for a while she did not wake for milk in the middle of the night. It was wonderful.

Now she's discovered that she can come into bed with us and that she actually enjoys bedsharing--a complete reversal of her wants and needs at 6 months old.

While I'm pleased that she likes to cuddle during sleep which is in fact what I would have preferred all along, she has not been sleeping well until she comes into bed with us and continues to not sleep well when in bed. Because of that, we've all been exhausted. I've been pretty worn down since she mainly sleeps and cuddles with me, thence I'm the one she keeps awake most. I wondered when the inevitable sickness from not sleeping would come. It hit over the weekend. Impressive given this sleep situation has been going on for 3-4 weeks.

Last night we found something that worked better and at least got me the sleep I've been sorely lacking. When she woke up at 1 am, my husband went into her room with her and they cuddled the night away. Because she's congested, she didn't sleep so soundly but from what my husband said it was better than recent nights. He actually got a deep sleep between 3:30 am and when he got up at 10:00. I got a sound sleep and I'm feeling invigorated.

I hope this is not the solution for getting enough sleep. I know that if I were to switch off on nights with him that the nights she sleeps with me wouldn't not work as well as it does with him. With bedsharing, its very much like the book "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie." If you give her a spot in the bed next to mama, she will ask for mama milk. All. Night. Long.

She's perfectly happy to not eat during sleeptime but if its available, she'll take advantage. And harass me until I give in. It just seems like a happier arrangement for all of us, if she's sharing the bed next to my husband and not me.

I'm tempted to rearrange the sleep arrangements for her sake again. At six months old, we moved the sidecar crib into the children's bedroom (where at the time no children slept). That necessitated a complete rearrangement of other furniture too. I wonder if this time, the answer is to rearrange the twin bed that's in the other room. I think there's enough space between our queen size mattress and the wall in our room for a twin to fit. I'm on the same page with my husband, though, we hate moving. In the first few years of our marriage, we moved frequently and since then we live in a transient neighborhood so we are often helping neighbors move. Even the thought of rearranging furniture in our house is enough to make us less than willing.

We'll see how long we can be happy with my husband not sleeping in our marriage bed, with my young son with me and him with our daughter. Maybe we'll break down in the not distance future and try the extended to king bed in our room.

In preparation for that, can anyone recommend bed connectors that work well and don't leave a big gap between mattresses?


cc said...

I've really enjoyed reading through your posts, and I identify with a lot of your experiences.

We co-slept with our first two, and although I loved being close to them, I think we could have done a better job at not letting them be so dependent on us. We did better with our third and everyone slept better. Now with our fourth, I'm trying to re-create the success from last time, but I'm too tired to put him in his bed at night - plus I want as much snuggle time as I can get as he's my last baby - even though we're not sleeping too great.

And I thought at one point that I wanted to go on to have six, until I realized the competitive element involved for me and that if I kept going i would become less of the mother I wanted to be, not more. But that wasn't something I understood until recently. Don't worry about that bridge until you cross it - you'll know what's right for you.

And I really hope you figure out your hip issues. That really sucks. Mine sound similar and got worse with each pregnancy, but for me it lets up after delivery. I just hope I don't have to deal with it again as I get older!

Lastly (sorry for the length) are you looking to become a midwife, or did I misunderstand? I recently decided that this is what I want to do once my children are old enough. I appreciate and agree with your perspective on childbirth. I did hypnobirthing with my last delivery - probably the only way I made it through a posterior baby, but who knows...

Wow, sorry for rambling, I had more to respond to than I thought. It's rare to find someone with such similarities in these areas.

- Corktree

cc said...

oops, just read your intro to the right, not a midwife...

Jenne said...

Corktree, I recognize you from Exponent. I'm glad you visited my birth blog and its nice to find another LDS woman who can sympathize with my parenting philosophy.

You're right that I am enrolled in midwifery school. Its not really reflected on my blog because I haven't updated it, or officially made the announcement on here either. Its been a crazy summer... I have announced it on my blog facebook page, just not over here.

That's exciting that you know you want to become a midwife! Do you know which school you would like to attend? Are you in Utah?