Monday, December 30, 2013

To Sleep or not to Sleep….

Will, my beloved oldest child, was not, is not, and never will be a great sleeper.  He's almost 16 now so he is sleeping more than usual these days, but sleep does not come easy for him.

Jenny, well I earned Jenny after Will not sleeping for 3 straight years.  She was and still is a 12 hour girl.  No matter what time she went down as a baby you could set your watch to 12 hours later.  Three hour naps, 12 hour nights, asleep as soon as her head hits the pillow.  It was a beautiful thing.

The verdict is still out on Miss Sarah Ann.

While we were in China she slept in the bed with us.  She slept in a crib in her SWI and they put a crib in our hotel room, but she didn't want anything to do with it and I don't blame her.  We loved her sleeping with us but we knew it wouldn't work once we got home.  That was confirmed the first night home.  Sweet sister likes to sleep completely sideways and is so very restless.  Not gonna work in our queen size bed.

My heart hurt for her though.  Can you imagine?  She was used to sleeping in the dark, in a crib, in a room full of children.   I am sure someone checked on them during the night but I don't know how often or if someone was there the whole night.  She left that and slept in a HUGE, super comfy bed with 2 strangers and then we flipped her time zones upside down and brought her to yet another new place.  No wonder these kids have a hard time sleeping!

After the first night I decided I would make her a pallet on the floor in our room.  Didn't work.  At all.  So I decided I would sleep on the floor in her room.  Her bed is a twin, but it a bed that converts from a toddler bed to a twin and it is on a small setting right now.  It's little.   I spent a night or 2 on the floor and then Shane spent a night on the floor.  I decided I couldn't do the floor again and so Shane slept on the couch and she slept in the bed with me.  Didn't want that to become a habit so after the first week home out came the cot.

And the cot stayed for over a month.  Shane and I traded off.  I usually took 2 nights and then he would give me a break.  Obviously the sleeping wasn't that good and I could nap when she did during the day.  She was so very restless during the night that it was hard to sleep soundly.  

Why not let her sleep alone?  For one, she wasn't used to sleeping alone.  Also, she didn't know our house or where to find us should she wake up.  I wanted her to know we were there.  She would be so restless and would cry out during the night a lot at first.  It was good for one of us to be right there.  However, after a month of the cot we were both so very tired.

Mid December Sarah and I were headed to Birmingham to the adoption clinic for a follow up.  I spent three night on the cot before that trip.  I got up well before her the morning we were leaving.  It was dark in the house and it was dark outside.  I went to my bathroom to begin getting ready when suddenly the door flew open and there stood Sarah.  She had woken up and found her way to me.  She wasn't upset or scared.  A turning point!!!  We went on to Birmingham.  I didn't sleep at all that night in the hotel.  I took another night on the cot when we got back and then I hit the wall.  Actually I slammed into it.  I was so, so tired.  A few night later we just decided to go cold turkey and for the first time since November 3rd Shane and I both slept in our own bed alone.  She woke up at 1:00 and busted into our room and loudly announced her presence.  I put her back down and she slept until 6:30.  Two more nights and she didn't get up at all.  We had won the sleeping war!  We were home free!  We were so bold as to take the cot down!!

Silly, Silly parents!

We have had a few rough nights since.  She has gotten up multiple time a few nights and because the cot is down I have slept in the teeny, tiny bed.  She has gotten up ridiculously early several times.  I once again slammed into the wall two nights ago.  I hit it hard too.  Oh to sleep a whole night.  Doesn't she know I'm OLD this time around!!!  It was hard enough at 25!!  

I feel like falling asleep in my food too!

She must have heard my plea because the precious child slept straight through until 7:30.  When I woke up and saw daylight I knew we had turned a corner.  I could tell immediately I was going to live to see another day.  
She was up early again this morning but not ridiculously so and then she climbed in our bed and laid still for another 45 minutes or so.  I'll take it!!!  

She has done so well and we are so proud of her.  I would sleep on a cot for another month if it is what she needed, but I am glad to be finding a since of normalcy for her and for us. 

Melatonin is my new best friend though.  Seriously.

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