I love sleep. I really do. But I don’t get much, and I haven’t gotten much in about 4 years. Starting from pregnancy- when it becomes too uncomfortable to lay down. The best sleep I’ve gotten in the last 4 years was actually when I went in to the hospital to have my daughter. I walked in at 5 centimeters dialated, asked for an epidural, and promptly fell asleep, lol! My friends were there and kept coming in and asking if I was going to push already. I informed them I was sleeping!
Once I brought my daughter home, the sleep deprivation began. People say to rest when the baby is resting- but what if the baby doesn’t rest? She was the worst napper! Even at daycare, I would get her paper at the end of the day and there would be 5 minute naps throughout the day and they would tell me she didn’t sleep. They would lay her down, but she didn’t sleep!
When she was 8 months old and I became a stay at home mom, I thought I was going to go crazy! She was up at 5am everyday and did not nap! If I wanted a 30 minute nap from her, I had to strap her to me, turn the hair dryer on and walk up and down the hallway until she finally fell asleep. And then once she did, I was stuck. If I moved her out of the carrier and into the crib, she would wake up. So I was stuck, standing up, listening to the hair dryer, while she napped for about 30 minutes.
I told my husband we needed to do something about it. So we got a book from the library on sleeping and “trained” her when he was there (to keep me from getting her after 5 minutes of crying.) She cried for 5 hours- one hour at a time, but a total of 5 hours. And didn’t fall asleep. But something happened, because for the next 3 months she took 3 one hour naps almost every day. And at the end of those 3 months, she turned 1 year old and stopped napping. When we took her for her 1 year appointment with the doctor, we learned that she had grown 5 inches in those 3 months. So that is why she was sleeping! Not because we had “trained” her, but because she was busy growing! The doctor was shocked at her growth.
Along with the not napping thing she did so well, she also didn’t sleep through the night. I think the first time she ever did, she was 18 months old. And it’s been sporadic since then. Two nights ago, she slept through the night! I woke up at 5:30, in my own bed and thought something weird was going on! The past two nights however, have been horrible! She is up every hour, asking for water, going to the bathroom, telling me something crazy and saying “Mommy, I’m begging you to rub my back!”
Because of this sleep schedule she keeps- wait, is it considered a schedule if it doesn’t exist?- I have gotten into the habit of just laying with her to get her back to sleep. And then I fall asleep. She informed me the other day that she will sleep alone when she is as tall as me. Great. Good thing she has a full size bed so there is room for me.
People have always told me “it will get better”, and “she will sleep through the night eventually”. Well I’m calling it- that’s crap! I don’t believe people anymore. And I’m thorougly convinced that my daughter has a great career in enemy torture in her future. She would be really good at causing insanity by sleep deprivation. The minute I get comfortable, or fall asleep, she is waking me up again!
Most nights, the longest stretch of sleep I can get is 4 hours, and that’s on a good night. So technically, she does sleep, just not for long periods of time. And the doctor is not concerned because she is still
growing and has no developmental delays, so it’s not impeding her in any way. And when my doctor asks about my sleep I just laugh. They offer suggestions, but I think my daughter is just one of those people that do not require a lot of sleep. Yes, she gets cranky and tired and over tired, but it doesn’t seem to make her sleep any more.
But, I still love her, and envy the energy she has!
And I’m convinced that sleep only exists in the magical world of the unicorns.