I remember when Darcy was born how important it was to me that I get her on a good sleep schedule. I was so worried about being able to get back to work and handle an infant. I worked with her during my measly 12 weeks off to try and get on a schedule.
We did ok. I made all of these rules, like no sleeping after 5, we adhered to a strict bedtime schedule of bath, swaddle then nursing in a quiet, dark room. I was worried about spoiling her. I was concerned that I was never going to get a good nights sleep. And then I got laid off. Oh, the irony!
Being on a schedule and having a routine definitely helped with all of my kiddos. I look back now though and laugh. I was making myself crazy trying to control the sleeping habits of an infant. Why?
I stressed out over the lack of sleep (as if you can control it). I would look at nighttime as an endless hell that must be endured, sitting up for hours feeding an upset baby. I had it in my head that successful mommying=happy sleeping babies. Some twisted idea we all get as every single person asks you ‘how is the baby? Is he/she sleeping through the night?’
I found with Benny that I was way more relaxed when it came to sleeping schedules. Maybe it was just his laid back personality, or the fact that he nursed himself full in 5 minutes, but he was a great sleeper! And all without my militant sleeping rules. I felt comfortable bringing him into bed in the wee hours of the morning and snuggling with him (this was before i knew all of the dangers of cosleeping). I felt more easy going and confident in my mommying abilities.
I don’t know if it was loosing Benny or just because Fletch was, well, Fletch but sleep became hell again. Truyh be told, it was probably a combination of both. I was super stressed all of the time of screwing up, or of something bad happening. Child loss changes you as a parent. Anxiety over took common sense and I felt like a novice mom again. I was scared to bring him into bed. I was scared for him to sleep alone. No matter what I did I was scared.
And Fletch was hard work! He didnt want to be put down when he slept, ever. I put more miles on my glider with that kid than any other. He always knew when he left your arms and would wake right up. It was like he had he same insecurities that I had and was nervous being too far away.
And now there’s Perry. We should be seasoned at this whole sleep thing by now right? Wrong! The 4 month sleep regression hit us hard and we’ve been reeling ever since.
I’m tired of being scared. I’m tired of being tired. I’m done with being stressed about sleep. We’ve entered the point of no return. A point where the old me with just one baby would have freaked out.
I have a toddler and a ridiculous work load. A tween (my God!) with a ridiculous amount of activities. I’m already tired enough and scared enough to not sleep because anything you do nowadays as a parent is wrong and judged.
If I fall asleep nursing, I could drop her. If I pull her into bed, Parker could roll over. We have a friend whose infant fell out of bed and cracked his skull (he’s fine thank goodness, very healthy little guy) and I’ve read just about every article on people smothering their babies on accident. No win situation.
So now, Parker sleeps in the guest room and I get a queen bed to myself until Perry inevitably wakes up in her bassinet (the second I walk into the room, I swear she can smell me). She has her side and I have mine. Shes not rolling yet and has a nice buffer to keep her from rolling off the bed. She sleeps, I sleep. And I love every damn minute of it.
I love hearing her breathe close by. I love being able to relax knowing she’s close. I love letting go of a little bit of that anxiety. Do I miss Parker? Sure. A lot. But I only get baby Perry for so long. She’s nearly 6 months old. All too soon she’ll be mobile and this bed sharing will be a thing of the past.
There are no guarantees in this life. I want to hold onto whatever I can for as long as I can.