Short posts more frequently. Short posts more frequently. Right.
Hello from a tired-but-not-as-dead-as-yesterday Bionic Mama. We are finally breaking our teeth on the proverbial bullet and sleep-training the boy.
Prior to Christmas, he was mostly doing two wake-ups, sometimes three, and sometimes only one — which sounds good, I realize, but please note the horrifying fine print: one wake-up at, say, 2 am means up for the day at 5, at the latest. Whee. After months of fretting over his weight and my supply and feeling that whatever those smug nitwits from birth class had to say about it, my little baby needed to eat at night, even if their giant one didn’t, I was pretty convinced that it was Time. He barely nursed in the morning, probably because he’d been eating all night and had gotten robust enough to be going longer without food. (Finally!) …but we were traveling for Christmas, and then sleeping in strange houses with him in at least our room if not our bed, so sleep-training before all that seemed amazingly pointless, and we didn’t.
Christmas was…as expected. Lots of freaking out about sleeping in strange places. Lots of nursing a million times a night. At Sugar’s grandmother’s, it was so cold (and, truth me told, I was so in need of feeling truly extant, not to say necessary) that we basically coslept. It was nice in some ways (body heat, snuggling) and less so in others (all-night buffet, feeling a million miles from Sugar, never really sleeping deeply). Adding to the fun of all that nursing: we left town too early in the month for me to refill my prescriptions (What do real grown-ups do about that problem? Some of my meds are awfully expensive out of pocket.), so I ran out of nifedipine. And, in so doing, confirmed that I really, really do still need it. And learned that even when I don’t go off of it completely — I was rationing it, skipping some days — it takes a couple weeks for my body to recover. Holy Moses, that was dumb. I should have just bought it without insurance; it can’t be that expensive.
Short posts. Short posts.
ANYWAY, we decided to start the sleep stuff this week. Almost did Sunday night, but I stayed up way too late writing evaluations for grad students and aborted the mission. Tuesday, we began in earnest.
The Bean is The Boy Who Will Not Be Comforted when it comes to sleep. He wants the boob or nothing; we have learned while trying to get him to take naps early on and then in our before-midnight sleep training that any singing, rocking, patting, shushing, watching, or otherwise non-boob attempts at comfort only piss him the hell off and keep him awake longer. This makes me feel like the asshole of the universe, I tell you what.
So what we are doing is this: when he wakes up, Sugar goes to him, picks him up for a few seconds, puts him back down, and leaves. And then he stands up and screams and cries until he stops and presumably sleeps. Rinse. Repeat.
Night one was okay, as these things go. He woke up twice and cried for half and hour the first time and an hour and a half the second. Well, Sugar says it was four minutes and twenty-five minutes, but she only thinks that because she can see the clock; I’m talking about how long it FELT like I was lying there, grinding my teeth and eating my heart out while my brain regaled me with a Dr. Sears-style guiltapolooza about how cruel and selfish I am, how if I mind not sleeping, I need to “adjust my attitude.” At any rate, he slept until 6:30, which amounts to a miracle around here. And if I was sad and tired on Wednesday, he seemed perfectly fine. Not even all that hungry when he woke up.
Night two…blew. Two wake-ups again, the first one very short, the second one brutal. I didn’t sleep at all after 4; I think he slept from 5 to 5:45 or something. He took two mammoth naps on Thursday, during which I naturally could not sleep at all.
But hey, people say it gets worse and then better. So. Onward.
Night three…blew. He slept until 4 — yay! — and was restless and weepy thereafter. We gave up at 6 — there had been some quiet moments, but not enough. He acted famished. Like yesterday, he looked exhausted at the breakfast table and probably needed a nap at more like 7, but instead plowed around the house until 9:30 before getting weepy.
Meanwhile, Sugar wonders whether the thing is that he really does need to eat at 4. But the thing is, unless he eats REALLY FAST, there’s a good chance he will enter the danger zone and not go back to sleep afterwards. And naps really shouldn’t start before the sun is up. (Which is to say, there’s been some of that, and it sucks.)
So I guess we’ll stick with it for a week and reevaluate. Ugh.
Turning to happier topics, I swear the following happened yesterday:
I was on the couch, playing Google Bloodhound with another student paper; the bean was across the room, surrounded by board books he had pulled off his shelf.
“Mamamama, mama,” he said.
“BeanBeanBean,” I replied.
He looked up at me, and smiled.
And then he held up The Carrot Seed and, clear as a bell, said,