Thursday, March 21, 2013

the sleep conundrum

Let's talk sleep. Or lack thereof.

Henry doesn't sleep through the night. Never has even come close. Yes, I know technically they say sleeping through the night is six hours, right? The longest we get is four. And that's few and far between.

And this isn't even my chief concern.

Would I like for him to sleep longer stretches? Of course. But more importantly, I'd be happy if he would sleep somewhere other than in our arms. Ok, who am I kidding. I want them both.

Don't get me wrong, I really do enjoy cuddling with my boy. I love it so much that when he falls asleep in my arms, I just let him stay there. Trying to move a sleeping baby is terrifying. Plus, he's like a little space heater, and we stay warm and cozy when we snuggle.

Last night, because I missed him all day long so much, I didn't mind him sleeping in my arms. But then I get this nagging feeling like I'm doing something wrong by doing this. I don't know why, and I don't know where it comes from.

Perhaps because everyone else's babies sleep through the night, in their own cribs, and have been from the minute they came home from the hospital.

Doesn't it seem like that, when you have a baby who doesn't do these things?

Henry has slept in his swing, his Rock 'n Play (RNP) and in our arms since he's come home from the hospital. In the first 9 weeks of his life, it was easy to transfer him from arms to swing or RNP without him waking. But as of late, that is impossible. And I don't know how to fix it.

If I didn't have to do laundry, wash pump parts and bottles, pick out my work clothes for the next day, and sleep, I wouldn't mind holding him constantly. But sometimes a girl has to get things done.

We've also tried to get him to sleep in the Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper Bassinet, but that didn't work. He wasn't having it, so I gave up. I should probably try that again, but I feel so uncertain about any of this.

I don't know what to do, and I don't know how to do it. The woes of a first-time mom.

And now that I'm back at work, I find myself not wanting to do anything other than just letting him sleep where he will, since I desperately need sleep as well.

I purchased a sound machine that has a white noise setting. I purchased a mobile with great reviews. We have set up the baby monitor. And I'm such a chickenshit that I have yet to figure out what to do with all these tools. Or use them effectively.

About two weeks ago, I decided I was going to get Henry to sleep in the co-sleeper. So I got the sound machine, set up the co-sleeper to be efficient (before we had it by the bed, but below the nightstand. This proved problematic when wanting to get in and out of bed.), had Buster move the glider into our bedroom, plugged in a nightlight, and set up a make-shift changing area.

We tried for two days. And I gave up.

It's so much easier to do our shifts. That way, I am guaranteed about four hours of good, quality sleep (this four hours is not concurrent). When Buster comes to bed, I get up and head out to the living room with Henry, the swing, RNP, recliner, and TV.

But now that I'm back to work, and Buster is taking Henry to daycare, he can't stay up quite as late as before. Last night he came to bed at 12:30 a.m. This is a far cry from the nights where he'd stay out there with Henry until 4:00 a.m.

So I went out with Henry at 12:30 a.m. He was sleeping in his swing at that point (YAY!), and slept there until 1:30 a.m. He woke up, I nursed him, and he fell asleep in my arms in the recliner. We both slept there until Henry woke up hungry at 4:15 a.m. We both fell asleep again until about 6:45 a.m.

I get sleep this way. So does Henry. But for me, it's not very good sleep. It's sitting up in a recliner, with my head tilted and leaning on my shoulder, contortionist-style. But it's guaranteed sleep, where any other arrangement is not.

Maybe Henry will grow out of the sleeping-in-my-arms thing? Or maybe he won't, and I'm making everything more difficult on myself by just letting him. I know he's too young for sleep training, and I'm not sure that appeals to me in general. I just wish there was a magic button I could press, or a magic age where he would just sleep peacefully, all night long, wherever I put him.

Keep dreaming, right? But I don't even sleep long enough to dream.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

my return

Today, the first day of spring, marks my return to work.

Spring is lovely, work is not.

I cried on my way here. Buster took Henry to daycare, so I said my goodbyes at home. He was sound asleep in his car seat, ready to be loaded in Buster's truck (it has a full backseat, don't worry!).

I miss Henry terribly. I haven't decided if I will pick him up after work or if Buster will. Typically, Buster will be doing it, since it would add an extra hour or so onto my evening commute. I could technically see and cuddle Henry sooner if Buster had him home already by the time I get home, so that's the plan  for most days.

But today I may pick him up, just to hear first-hand from M (the lady who will be watching Henry at her in-home daycare) how he did. You know how getting information from a man is... difficult, to say the least.

So not only have I returned to work, but this also marks a return to blogging for me. It was extremely difficult for me to find the time to pen a post while being at home with Henry these past ten weeks (yes, it's been TEN weeks already!). But now that I'm back at work, and forced to sit in front of a computer, I will be blogging!

I've missed this space, and I'm looking forward to filling any remaining readers in on how the past ten weeks have been for us!

Here are some Henry photos from the last month:
6 weeks old

7 weeks old

2 months old!

I love this picture. 

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