Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sleep and the second child

One year ago today, I got the biggest news I've ever gotten.  Again.

It was the best Christmas present I could have ever asked for, and the year that played out has been one of the very best of my entire life. 
It's worth noting, though, that this was also pretty much the last time I slept through the night. 
Don't get me wrong, I love my sweet baby boy.  But between the hours of 1 and 5 a.m., I could stand to love him a little less. 
Logan goes to sleep beautifully.  He is laid down awake and happily puts himself to sleep at about 7:00.  He usually sleeps until about 11, when he gets a bottle from his daddy.  All of that has actually been easier this time around; Leah did not like the "drowsy but awake" concept at first.  For Logan, it comes naturally.  But that's the end of the night-time success.
Because after that, it's pretty much the Mom Show all the way through the night.  Yes, the breastaurant has a neon sign that flashes Open 24 Hours!  At almost four months old, he still wakes at least every two hours between 11 and 6 or 7 a.m., and very frequently it's much more often than that. 
Before I went back to work, I was off-setting all this non-sleeping with a nap in the middle of the day.  Although it was helping, it has reached a point that I can no longer deny:
I'm exhausted. 
Can't see straight, forget my own name exhausted.  Lose my words, head-rush, snap at my husband for no reason, slightly afraid to drive in the car exhausted. 
During my pregnancy, I was sleeping in 3-4 hour stints.  Sometimes when I woke, I could go back to sleep.  Often, I couldn't. 
Who knew that these first nearly four months would make me desperately long for the days when I was actually pulling 3-4 solid hours?  Because, if I'm honest, we're talking more like 45 min to two hour power naps at this point.  If you can even call them that.
We're working on it.  Partly, I'm not sure he's ready to night wean.  This kid honestly eats every two hours like clockwork.  Doesn't matter if he gets breastmilk or formula, or even breastmilk with rice cereal in it.  He eats only enough to last him 2 hours, and then is ready to eat again. 
The part we're really working on off-setting is his totally intrinsic need to use Mommy as a human pacifier.  His instinct is to suck, just as strongly as Sister's was.  The difference is, Leah used the actual pacifier, which left her much more equipped to deal with putting herself back to sleep.  And left me catching a lot more zzz's. 
It's worth it, there is no question.  Even this season is only temporary, though it feels like I'll never be fully rested again. 
And when he goes off to college?  I plan on sleeping for at least a week.

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