Have you ever watched HGTV and been jealous of a newly remodeled bedroom and even gone so far as to imagine yourself sleeping in the perfectly made bed? I have. On more than one occasion. Sleep is something that has eluded me for the past two and a half years, actually a little longer, pretty much since I was pregnant with Aiden. I could never get comfortable and despite being exhausted, I never got good sleep. I’m sure anyone who’s been pregnant can relate. But, you deal with it and chalk it up to “it will help prepare me for when the baby comes” and “that is just part of motherhood.” I can honestly say I am used to not sleeping now. I don’t think I could sleep for a solid 8 hours if I tried. I tried to feel better about pending surgery by telling myself I’d get more sleep. Well, I didn’t think about nurses checking me around the clock at the hospital, or how it’s impossible to get comfortable in a bed (or anywhere) for weeks after open-heart surgery. I also didn’t think about how even though I can do nothing about it, my momness didn’t just turn off and I still wake up to every sound or move the kids make.
Aiden is absolutely amazing. He is silly, energetic, creative and is obsessed with trains. His smile and laugh have been the best medicine and I wouldn’t trade him for the world. But, the kid will not sleep. He never has. As a newborn he would sleep for short stretches, he never slept more than a couple hours in his crib and the only way we’ve been able to survive these past two years has been to cosleep. Yes, we are a cosleeping family. Who would’ve guessed? No judgment, but I always thought cosleeping was weird and NEVER thought I would do it. But then I had a baby who wouldn’t sleep and also had perpetual ear infections. These past couple of weeks has been tough on Aiden because he hasn’t been able to sleep with us. I take up half of the bed with all of the pillows tucked around me and we are afraid he will climb on me in the middle of the night. He is actually back to sleeping with us now (long story, but the whole slumber party with grandparents thing wasn’t working), but it is still very difficult. And don’t get me started on napping. If we want Aiden to nap, we have to take him for a ride in the car. Sometimes it takes 15 minutes, sometimes over an hour for him to fall asleep. I’m debating taking gas money out of his college fund. But, as a parent, I’ve said the phrase “you’re gonna miss this” to myself many a time and I know there will come a day when Aiden will practically throw up at the thought of sleeping in the same bed as me and I won’t feel that little hand rubbing my back in the middle of the night. I can suck it up for now, and visit Starbucks a lot.
I’m sure Audrey has her faults, but I have yet to find one. Despite maybe the fact that I’ve had to buy a new wardrobe for her every two weeks because she is growing like a weed. But, sleep is definitely not one of her faults. She makes me feel like the best parent ever and even like I could write one of those “how to get your baby to sleep” books. I’m not sure if it’s because I was much more intentional with teaching her to sleep, if it’s because I’ve bought all of the sleep accessories for her (sound machine, swaddlers, etc.), or if she is just a good sleeper. Probably a combination of all of those things. She is generally sleeping through the night and has predictable naps. She eats when she’s supposed to, plays well and is generally happy. I’ve probably completely jinxed myself by writing this, but she really has been the definition of a good baby. My take? God knew everything we were going to have to go through during her first year of life so he sent us this little angel. I’ll probably pay for it when she’s a teenager ;).
This post doesn’t really have a message or philosophical takeaway. Sleep has just been on my brain recently. I know I’ll get it again someday. In the meantime, maybe we should buy this book for Aiden for his birthday.