Dec 3, 2011

are you sleeping?

{finally learning to love tummy time, thanks to his mini-Boppy}

It feels much later than the 9pm that it is. Probably because we're operating on very little sleep around here as of late, catching it in 2 hour increments if we're lucky.

Ever since Thanksgiving weekend, Owen has fought sleep. Screaming, body-tensing fits of fighting. We are not "cry it out" people, so we rock him gently to sleep (or almost sleep) every night. He was at the point where we'd rock him for a minute, five at most, and he'd be sleepy to the point we could put him down and he'd sleep for five or six hours at night. Since our fun at the cabin, he's been screaming for hours (not exaggerating here) at a time before bed, only to wake up either the minute he's put down or an hour later at most.

Last night Zach held him ALL NIGHT LONG so he could sleep, sacrificing his own sleep knowing I would be gone most of the day at the Holiday Bazaar, just so Owen would get more than two hours of sleep at a time.

I know this is something that will pass; I know that he is sleeping in his crib right now, and has been for over and hour. I am hopeful that he will stay there for more than just one more. I know that I should be sleeping while I can, because he could wake at any moment and need to be rocked for a few more hours.

And I am so grateful that I get to hold him and rock him, that he loves (mostly) to be held and rocked. I am trusting that this is better than letting him cry it out in his crib alone. Knowing there is a history in both Zach and I of sleep anxiety and trying desperately to help Owen not have that - and feeling like I'm failing every time he screams until he is out of breath and can scream no more.

As I rock him I wonder so much - does he need more nourishment than the formula bottles are giving him? Is it time to start him on cereals, earlier than our doctor said we should simply to get him more lasting sustenance? Is he afraid to sleep; could he be having nightmares we don't know about; what is there that my little man could be scared of in the night? And after hours and hours ... am I a failure as a mother because he screams like this?

But then he wakes up, and even though we are all tired he smiles his ridiculously cute smile, giggles uncontrollably at Patty-Cake, and does the No Pants Dance as often as he can. And we practice sitting up with help, stretch our necks every which way we can, head out on the town for some new experiences, and pray that the next nap or bed time is met with a bit less fight than the last one.

Someday I will look back on these days, when he is so small and fits in my arms, and will long to hold him in this way again, to rock his tiny body to sleep. The crying will be pushed back in my mind, while the smell of his hair against my cheek, the sense memory of his little hand against my heart feeling it beat will remain. And I will be nothing but grateful.

But tonight? Tonight I'm tired.

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