The Sleep Solution Continues

Day 6

Has it only been 6 days?

The first few days of this were a nightmare.  Isaac went from sleeping for 3 to 4 hours when I first put him down, to sleeping 40 minutes if I was lucky.  He went from waking up, eating, and going back to sleep peacefully for at least an hour, to waking up, eating, and then needing to be swaddled/rocked/bounced/patted for at least ten minutes before he would fall asleep again.  After he finally fell asleep, I would slowly try to put him back in his crib (rocking him just inches over the mattress, putting his feet down first, with my hand still underneath his little bum, all the while still moving his head back and forth with the hand that was cradling it, slowly removing my hand from under his bum and putting his head down slowly and then gingerly removing my hand from under his head...............) only to have him start crying like a crazy man again.

The first night, I literally got out of bed 15 times.  I know this because I kept track.  There were times when I would lay down for only 30 seconds before I had to get up again.  I think Sunday night was the worst (we started this on Friday) because I had gone through 2 nights of this, and 2 days of Isaac sleeping 40 minutes, six times a day.  One night I even tried to let him cry.  I let him cry for 2 minutes.  He was hoarse by the time I picked him up, chocking on his saliva - and when I picked him up he barfed all over me.

Monday morning I woke up, after sleeping for 20 minutes, and was sick as a dog.  My body just gave out on me.  I was throwing up, I had body aches, my head ached, I felt like a train had hit me.  Luckily I don't work on Mondays.  Grandma took Isaac (thank God!) because I was in no shape to take care of him, and dad couldn't take off work.  As soon as I was able to see Isaac safely on his way to grandma's with dad, I took 2 Tylenol PM (at 7 am) and crashed.  My body won't let me sleep for more than an hour and a half at a time, even with drugs.  So, I woke up at 8:30.  But I think that I was able to go back to sleep for at least a little while.  I stayed in bed until 12:30.  After resting, taking a 20 minute shower, and eating lunch without woofing it down, I felt much better.

Whatever I had done to change Isaac's schedule, which really wasn't much, turned his (and my) whole world upside down for a few days.  I'm happy to report that things slowly seem to be getting better.  Last night we put him to bed around 8.  I heard him stirring in the monitor at 8:45 ish, and was devastated that he might not sleep for more than 40 minute stretches again.  But, after a few coos and whimpers, he went back to sleep!  I think he's starting, slowly, to learn how to fall back to sleep on his own.  He slept for 3 hours!  Then ate, then 2 1/2 more hours!  Then 1 1/2, then 2, then 1 1/2.  4 wake ups is a HUGE improvement.  Tonight was our best bed time yet, I think.  He was pretty content this time - when before he would fuss and cry and give us heck for a long time just before he went to bed.  Tonight he sat in his bouncy seat staring at dad for a long time, let me change him into something cooler for night time (since we swaddle him), put him in a night time diaper (best discovery I ever made...thank you to whoever bought me those pampers diapers for my baby shower!) and nurse him without any complaints.  I laid him down, swaddled him, and he closed his eyes.  Before I nursed him I had a good long talk with him.  It went something like this:

"I love you so much.  I'm here for you.  I will wake up with you 15 times if that's what it takes, because I know that you need me.  But I want you to know that it's ok for you to sleep for long stretches at a time.  Your crib is a safe place.  Dad and I are just across the hall, and we will come anytime you need us.  You'll feel better if you sleep longer, I promise.  I know from experience.  I also know that I'll be a better mom for you if I'm not exhausted.  You don't have to sleep through the night right now, you can take your time.  But it's ok for you to start sleeping longer now. "

So, it's getting better.  It might take a long time, but it'll happen eventually.  I didn't really get anything new from the book, as far as tactics to try.  I tried them for a few days but ditched them when they weren't working.  We do things pretty much the same way that we did before, but we have a better attitude about it.  We're more patient, more understanding, more, whatever.  So even though I haven't used that many methods from the book, it helped me have a better outlook on the whole situation.

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