Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Co-Sleeping Saga Continues

Co-sleeping can be a beautiful thing. It can also be a nightmare. Some of you may recall that we have had a lot of sleep issues with the babe. I came back from our last trip a month ago ready to take action. I was exhausted and couldn't stand it anymore. I psyched myself up and left the babe in her crib when she woke up after her standard few hours sleep. We normally will transfer her from her crib to our bed at this point. I thought I was ready to sit by her crib until she cried herself back to sleep. My husband wasn't quite as prepared and ended up rescuing her from her jail. She slept like an angel in between us that night.

I have not done any more experimenting since then. I was all talk and no action when I last wrote about the end of the "family bed."

The exhaustion is catching up with me again and I am back where I was a month ago. I want my space back and I don't want to be woken constantly through the night. I am cool with once a night. I am not cool with four (like last night). Looking back over the past eight nights, the babe has been a nightmare for four of them. I just don't like those numbers. I also don't like the fact that I can count on one hand the number of times I have clocked six straight hours of sleep in the past nine months (that doesn't even count the end of my pregnancy where I was as big as a beached whale and needed to go to the bathroom every hour).

The four nights she has slept two stretches of five hours each have been divine. Those are the nights that make me want to continue our co-sleeping. There is something so cozy and snugly about all three of us together in bed. It feels so safe and warm and happy. If it was always like that, I wouldn't have a problem. But it's not. That's why it's time to face the music and admit we have a situation on our hands.

Am I ready to start tonight? I am certainly frustrated enough. But I am exhausted. The problem is that I'm only ever contemplating drastic measures after the bad sleepless nights. This makes it difficult to activate experiments that will no doubt involve more sleepless nights and many tears (both hers and mine). After the good nights I am too content to hunker down and make the change.

If tonight is the night, I need to get ready. If I put it off, I will only continue a cycle which has apparently spun out of control. I need to remember that I survived the "no swaddle" experiment as well as the "get her in her crib for the first part of the evening" experiment. Progress does not come without sacrifice, right? But maybe one more good night will get me rested enough for this next hurdle. Oh, and did I mention she needs to be weaned from her night feedings?

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