Saturday, November 1, 2008


I woke up in a start this morning at the late hour of 8:30am completely confused. I had woken from a dead sleep and looked at the clock ... "8:30??!!! Shit!!" and stood up out of bed knowing something was supposed to be happening. Work? Meeting? Kids? Ack! As my mind wrapped around the fact today is Saturday, I realized what it was. It's my day to wake up with the children.

If there is one thing I could glorify my husband with, it's his allowing me to sleep in everyday during this pregnancy. We are both not "morning people", although I'm more of a morning person than he his. But ever since the first trimester exhaustion, I would say he has let me sleep 97% of the time, weekends and weekdays included. The 3% of the time I have woken up and let him sleep is because I forced him to go back to bed or to just stay there.

Sleep. Glorious sleep.

It hasn't always been this way. With baby #1, he didn't think twice when I told him I was the one who was to get up all night due to breastfeeding. I thought it was "my job" and he accepted my declaration. A breakdown at 11 weeks straight of no solid sleep over 3 hours showed us both I needed help. I already had quite a store of breastmilk and he already feeds the baby during the day, so he needs to help with the night shift now. Especially since I was going back to work. That night was ~his~ night and I settled in with my earplugs so I wouldn't be woken on his turn. In the morning he asked me "did the baby wake up?" I about freaked out! Pissed he slept through our poor little 11 week old newborn crying for milk. I raced to the nursery and she was still sleeping soundly. He tried again that night, this time I was sans earplugs, and what do you know? She slept through the entire night. And every night since then. Heh. Figures.

With baby #2, we knew ahead of time there would be a time he would take the night shift. But since I was breastfeeding and having to feed every 2 hours, I took the shift alone until there was only one feeding at night. But having a 15 month old baby in the house too was taking it's toll on me. (I stupidly thought I should keep Ella at home during the newborn phase with Allison instead of sending her to daycare. Big Mistake.) Anywho, he took every other night earlier on, at least bringing the baby to me as I settled in the glider. He'd change the baby and then take her to me to feed, allowing me to do as little as possible. Then, when the feedings got less frequent, we took our turns on full nights, him bottle feeding with my breastmilk.

Except we didn't get a magical reprieve at 11 weeks. I thought "one more week" every week. At the 4 month mark, I started to worry. At the 6 month mark, I got desperate. Allison was now transitioning to solid foods (breastmilk only for the first 6 months) and she still wasn't sleeping. She wasn't waking to eat, she was just waking. I could get her back to sleep within seconds, but it still took one of us physically getting out of bed, walking to nursery, comforting her for literally 10 seconds, then back to bed.

From 6 months to 18 months, we tried everything. CIO (cry it out) in both forms - letting her cry for longer and longer periods of time before we'd comfort and letting her cry all night if that's what it took. For the former, the problem was she would cry for 5 mins, we'd comfort and she'd go back to sleep. We never had to increase the time. The problem with the latter was if we didn't comfort her by patting her belly for those 10 seconds, she'd cry all night. Seriously. She would cry in increasing levels of pissed-off-ness for 8 straight hours. I did these horrific crying periods for 2 straight weeks, nothing changed. Nothing.

I also tried every trick every concerned friend, acquaintance or stranger gave me. White noise. No noise. Loud noise. Dark room. Light room. A little light. Feed right before sleep. No food before sleep. Waking her up when I went to sleep for more food. Warm jammies. Cool jammies. Things that smelled like me in the crib with her. Swaddling. No swaddling. Warm room. Cool room. Change in crib position in room. Trying to have her sleep in carseat. Moving crib in different room. You name it, we did it. I even tried to drug her with benedryl. Yes, it came to that.

I talked to the pediatrician about it. He said that it must be in her nature to wake up. Some children are wired that way and for her, it sure seemed that way.

Tom and I took turns from night to night. We would both take turns at full nights instead of taking turns with each wakeup. This way we both got a full night's sleep every other night. Sometimes one of us would luck out with only minimal waking. Sometimes one of us would get screwed with waking up 11 times. Allison's average was 2-3 times. She never slept through the night and her record was 11 times.

We were both slowly going insane. You know when you miss some good sleep and it takes a few days to catch up? We never got a few days to catch up. We were on a constant every other day schedule. And then we added in TTC to the mix when she was 14 months old. We went through 11 cycles consisting of: 4 cycles with major (80-100mm sized) cysts; 1 painful HSG showing a blocked tube; 3 medicated cycles; 2 IUIs and a uterine surgery with never sleeping 2 nights in the row.

On Allison's 2nd birthday, I wrote this in her card: ~"I can't believe how much I've seen you grow in the past year and I'm looking forward to all the new things you do. But could you please make sleeping through the night one of them?"

That night she slept. And she slept every night since.

Out of all the advice I have received, no one told me to write her a written request!

Back to this morning. After some 3am loving, tom was awake and went to go watch tv to get tired enough to come back to bed. When he falls asleep on the couch, I usually try to get him back in bed, but I was passed out.

tmi about our sex life here, but it was cute. He went out later in the night with some people from work. They went to a bar and I didn't really feel like joining that late, so instead of paying the babysitter for a long night, I stayed home. At about 1am, I went to bed but texted him "I miss you! When you get home, wake me up and make love to me. I'll be sleeping, but I'll be willing." So I went to bed naked. At 3am I heard him come in the room, undress and slowly get into bed as to not wake me. I wondered if he'd wake me up, but I guess thinking about having sex for the past 2 hours was definitely on his mind as I felt his hand on my back, followed by some soft wake-up kisses on my neck. Yay. :)

So I was passed out and since he was on the couch, he was up with the children. I sent him to bed as soon as I got up and that's where he is at now. I've got it good, don't I?


Sara said...

I tried to wake up my hubby this morning to get into the shower. I thought it was a work day! What the hell - I have a four day weekend ahead of me and I still try to wake up for work.

I wonder what type of sleeper Mr. Karl will be?

Rita said...

You go sister!

Io said...

Good grief. That is a long time with not sleeping through the night.

Man, you do have it good. On the other hand, my husband recognizes that if he tried to wake me up for sex, I'd probably kill him. I love sleep more.

Topcat said...

Oh my GOD, that no-sleep situation is a total KILLER.

I reckon Karl will be a little dreamboat sleeper ... by the sounds of it, you've already done your time!!

ps I love how you write about relations with your hubby WOOOOT

Anonymous said...

Some kids sleep, some kids just don't. TBB was our non-sleeper. At 5 he wakes maybe once or twice per night. TTG is a more average sleeper I guess. Wakes a minimum of twice a night and is heading towards 9 months.