The W Family Chronicles

Sleep is wonderful.

Posted on: October 3, 2007

So I’ve been nightweaning C. The process has gone relatively well after the first night, and now D is able to get him back to sleep very quickly. It has meant more sleep for me, but much, much less for him since he is getting up to handle the nightwakings. (I can’t go in there, because it just makes things worse if I won’t let him nurse.) We’re down to 1 waking most nights, but he still hadn’t slept through the night.

Until last night!

I didn’t get him down (for good) until after midnight. Not a big problem b/c I’m a nightowl anyway — I just don’t like being stuck in his room with no entertainment. But I can deal with that. I lay down with him in the queen bed and nurse him to sleep, then extricate myself and go about my business. Most nights he’s down by 10 or 11, so no big deal. Last night was harder…I had a monster headache, and he’d fallen asleep around 9 and woke back up. Since I was still up, I went in there and we read some books, snuggled a little and after a few false starts, he was finally off to dreamland. D had asked me to get up with him so he could sleep better and I said no problem. I was a bit worried about how I would handle it without nursing, but I knew he was tired and needed a good night’s sleep after losing some to the nightweaning for the past 10 nights or so.

I fell asleep right away and next thing I know, it’s 6AM, D’s alarm is going off, and we suddenly hear C crying. The alarm woke him, but he had slept from midnight to 6AM. I haven’t had 6 straight hours of sleep in about 15 months! It was blissful. D, unfortunately, had a nightmare around 4AM and hadn’t been able to go back to sleep for a while so he didn’t get the sleep he needed, but I’m hopeful that this might happen again at some point and then eventually the sleep deprivation will become a distant memory.

The good news is that this process has gone much better than I expected. I’d been putting him to bed in his own room for a while so he’d get used to it. The first night (we started on a weekend so D wouldn’t have to go to work if he ended up being up with him for a long time) was really bad. C woke up at 2AM (his normal wake time) and then cried off and on for a couple of hours. He was being comforted the entire time, but he definitely wanted me. Every time he fell asleep in D’s arms, he would wake up again. At 4AM, he finally passed out from sheer exhaustion and slept until 7AM or so. The next night was much better and it’s gotten progressively better since. He generally wakes only once now and goes back to sleep very easily, without my assistance. It hasn’t been a fun process and the mommy guilt is excruciating, but I *need* this for my health and happiness. With him not nursing at night, I can take better drugs when I need them for kidney stone pain. And I can already tell that I’m happier and more patient with him during the day. He is also more easily redirected…if he’s climbing on me and lifting my shirt up, I can usually distract him with a toy, a book, a snack, or a quick snuggle. Two weeks ago, that was nearly impossible. It’s made a huge difference in the way I feel towards him and motherhood in general.

But I’m still thinking of escaping this weekend for an hour or two to myself. If only there was a good movie playing! I took a look at what’s out right now and nothing is turning me on…

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W Family Players

D is the dad, the husband, and the breadwinner. All around nice guy and good at pretty much everything he does. It's disgusting, really. But makes him worth keeping around.

M is the mom, the wife, and the hopeless housekeeper. At least the kids' heads haven't fallen off yet. Beyond that, she sucks at the "stay at home" thing. Oh, and she's the blogger.

J is the big boy. Born October 11 2002, he is in kindergarten and loves it. Now 6 years old, and too smart for his own good. Talks a lot but extremely entertaining.

C is the little boy. Born June 26, 2006, he went through a lot in his first year but is doing just fine now. The only blond in the family, so his paternity is routinely questioned by rude strangers.

V is our baby girl. She is brand new and arrived in January 2009. So far everything is going well. We're thrilled to have added the final piece to our family puzzle. And yes, she WILL be the final piece!

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