Monday, April 13, 2009

Zombie Mommy

Let me start off by saying how much I appreciated your kind words and prayers the other day. All the changes in the past few months had finally caught up to me (along with a severe lack of sleep), and I was feeling overwhelmed. Once I was able to express it here, I almost immediately felt better.

On to the lack of sleep story. For months now, Fritter has been waking up in the middle of the night, around 2am, crying. Ok, not just any crying, but crying like his world was coming to an end, but without tears, and he'd stop the moment that he saw us. There have been a few nights here and there where he actually slept all the way through the night, but usually I could almost set a watch by him. I'm in zombie mode in the middle of the night, so I'd get up half-asleep, check to see everything was ok, soothe him, and put him back to bed. And for a few months, that worked fine.

The week before last, though, it got worse. Much worse. He would wake at 2, I'd go in and do my zombie mommy thing, and go back to bed. Just when I'd get back to sleep, he'd be out of bed, crying again. (We use a baby gate in front of his door). So I'd do my zombie mommy thing again...and again........and again.

About the 4th time around, I'd actually be somewhat awake and begin to think logically. Was he having nightmares? Maybe he needed a diaper. Maybe he was thirsty. Maybe he was hungry. Maybe he'd go to sleep if I put him in bed with us. You name it, I tried it. When I did bring him in bed with us, he'd squirm and poke at our faces and just be awake. So back to his own bed he'd go. Every night for a week we did this from 2am to 4. I was completely exhausted, I'm also nursing a four month old, mind you, and I don't do very well with little sleep.

I'd try napping in the afternoons. I would lay Fritter down for his nap, finish whatever I was doing, lay myself on the couch and close my eyes, and Ladybug would wake up.

DH and I talked it over and decided that since nothing else was working, we were going to let him try to work it out himself. Our plan was that the first time he woke up, I'd go in, make sure everything was ok, change his diaper, give him water, give him snuggles and tuck him back in bed. If he got out of bed after that, we were going to just let him fuss it out for 10 minutes, before we went back in to settle him back down and put him back to bed. I expected this to last for hours, and wasn't very confident that it would work, but we had tried everything else, and we all needed sleep.

The first night we tried, it was a Friday, and after 40 minutes of our plan, he did eventually go to sleep. He actually put himself back in bed. The next night, Saturday, my dear, dear husband said he would do our plan himself, so I could get some much needed rest. Fritter didn't even wake up. Sunday, Fritter woke up the first time at 2, I checked on him and soothed him. He woke up one more time, and after I let him cry and put him back in bed, he didn't get out. Since then, it's been like a dream.

There's not a fight anymore putting him to bed at bedtime. If he does wake up in the middle of the night, it's once and that's the end of it. He's sleeping! His attitude is much better in the day, and so is mine. The house has peace once again! And my beautiful happy boy is back to his normal self. Things are looking up.

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