No, really. i LOVE sleep. love it. not in the 'oh yeah, i like to get enough sleep when i can' kind of way. in the 'i would sleep ten hours a day plus naps if i got the chance' kind of way.
No, i don't have a sleeping disorder (unless you consider children a disorder!). i just love sleep, that's all... i love napping, i love dreaming, i love the feeling of waking up completely refreshed. i even like it when i feel like i've overslept.
Unfortunately, my sleep schedule has been consisting of less sleep, more wakefulness for quite some time. Say, 5 years or so. Now, don't get me wrong. i LOVE my kids. but MAN, do they ever frak up a parent's sleeping!
caution: ranting ahead!
When i was pregnant, i of course had trouble sleeping comfortably. that was fine. i just slept extra to compensate. When my daughter (now a precocious 4 year old) was born, we (read 'I' ) decided to *gasp* co-sleep with her (you can insert the 'tisk tisk, what a bad mother' here if you desire), a la European tradition. It was GREAT (except having even less room in bed) but i could sleep. lots. and did! baby fusses, you wake up enough to stick boob in mouth, baby nurses, and you fall back asleep. worked beautifully.
eventually, we graduated her to a co-sleeper (essentially, a bassinet that attaches to the parents bed, with one side down to allow the parent to easily access the child while in bed). this was also good. after a little coaxing, we were able to separate the co-sleeper and convert it into a mini-crib, still in our room. fabulous. unfortunately, this meant i had to start getting up to nurse, usually 4-8 times a night. this cut into my sleep allotment a fair bit, but i coped. little girl napped a lot during the day, and tended to get pretty drugged up from the oxytocin in breast milk. so she slept well, when she was sleeping.
over time, we moved her to her own room, and then graduated her into a full size crib. at this point, she was slightly under a year old. then we made our first big mistake. we decided to try sleep training. specifically, the cry-it-out methods i had read about.
You might have the idea it didn't work. that'd be an understatement. after weeks of trying the techniques for a few days, then stopping because it wasn't working at all, we ended up with a child that would have panic attacks, scream and eventually vomit every time she was placed in or woke up in her crib. it was great. Really great. We ended up chucking the idea of using the crib at all, and putting it in storage. we took her mattress, and laid it on the floor (so she couldn't fall and hurt herself) and started trying to get her to sleep on her own using no-cry methods (ie i would nurse her until she was lightly asleep, then put her down, and hum while touching her back until she was fully asleep... then i would eventually creep out of the room. it took forever, but was still less stressful than the screaming). Middle of the night feedings were okay, it was just getting her to sleep that was the problem.
skipping forward a bit, by the time she's two or so, she's in her own big-girl twin bed, she can put herself to sleep, and she sleeps fairly well, only getting up for potty stops and the occasional glass of water. easy peasy. okay, that's a bit of a fib. it was a lot of patience and
As parents, we patted ourselves on the back, and finally got some fairly good nights sleep.
then i got pregnant again.
see previous cycle, only different.
co-sleeping: fine. my joints don't love me as much as last time, contorting to allow for monkey-boy to sleep with us, but i'll survive.
little man into co-sleeper: fine. later than with little girl, but it works okay. still wake up every 90-120 mins for feedings, most nights.
we finally get him into his own room when he's around a year. in a crib. it's 'okay'. getting him to sleep is a task of patience (nursing, rocking, humming, and tiptoeing... then some days repeat X 3 or 4 if he's teething or unsettled) and he's still nursing every couple hours (which i think of as 'normal'... or at least 'normal' for my kids)
Unfortunately, he's not as easy a sleeper as his sister was. he only sleeps maybe 10 hours a night, including wake ups.. and often doesn't nap more than an hour a day. he also doesn't get nearly as sleepy when nursing, so getting him to sleep at all is more of a challenge.
i've actually thought about starting him with some sort of self-soothing techniques/sleep training, but i'm holding off. why? Gods know i'd appreciate a little extra sleep (i really don't function that well on less than 8 hours!) Primarily, i know that if i start anything that is going to involve extra crying, instead of having ONE whiny kid up in the middle of the night, i'll have TWO.... plus hubby getting even less sleep because he'll have to deal with one of them while i deal with the other. it's a no-win situation.
it's times like these i almost wish my kids used soothers or sucked their thumbs.... but they never needed the habit, b/c i had the original 'soother' available to them all night... *sigh*
okay, i'm done venting.
i am looking for... well, not advice exactly, but maybe just... support?
most (NOT ALL) of the other parents i know in person give the impression they either have 'perfect' children, or little hellions, so i don't feel i can necessarily rely on any of them for decent advice on my essentially 'decent' kids.
yeah. okay. i'm done now.
g'night all. i gotta go try and catch a few hours sleep. i'm sure going to need it.