Thursday, April 19, 2007

a new mom's attempt at survival part III: pride cometh before a fall

i honestly don't believe in jinxes or fate or murphy's law or what have you. but i have to say that my dear son has pushed me to the brink of believing these things! tristan has had what i call "Sleep Issues" for the past (and only) 3 months of his life, which is really just a nice way of saying "why the @#$*) won't he @(*&^! go to *&#$@ sleep???!!!"
for awhile after his two month no-napping nightmare, i actually had him on a very nice routine. well, i and my mother did, as she helped out A LOT when she visited last month. for about 2 weeks he was consistantly napping for 2 hours three times a day and sleeping through the night for at least 8 hours. things were heavenly. the sun shone so cheery and bright, the birds sang lovely songs out my window and i had never laid eyes on anything sweeter or more angelic than my dear baby boy, sleeping soundly in his crib.
i should have known not to say anything to anyone about this. in fact, i kept quiet about it for quite awhile, but then april 1st came along and he was 3 months old and i decided to record my happiness in his baby journal. i wrote (and i quote word for word): "tristan has been napping very well during the day and sleeping all through the night for quite some time now. i believe that the hard part is behind us...things are so much easier now!"
you'd think that would have been enough, right? oh no, i was absolutely gleeful, so the same day in the nursery at church, while the other moms were lamenting at how their children rarely took naps, i cleared my throat and announced with much pride that my son takes three 2 hour naps a day...blah ...blah...blah....blah. oh, i was proud. i was so proud that, while watching those "bringing home the baby" shows, i would think to myself "uh oh, they're in trouble. if i were them, i'd know exactly what to do to get the baby to go to sleep" after all, i thought, it was SO SIMPLE!!!
well, the very next day was a monday. it was a monday i hope i never forget. i fell hard off of my little prideful throne as everything i had taught my son about sleep was violently chucked out the window. tristan decided that he no longer wanted to sleep angelicly in his crib. he decided that he'd rather cry. and cry he did. he cried for 2 days. josh and i eventually just drove him around in the car to attempt to lull him into sleep, but it was no use. nothing we did could silence him. eventually he'd fall into a fitfull sleep, only to awaken 30 minutes later grumpy and over-tired. i even tried reverse-jinxing it by putting him in his crib and saying aloud "hmmm...he probably will be up in a few minutes" but that sure didn't work!
tristan cried a whole lot, but i think i may have cried more. i felt that everything i had worked so hard towards in finally getting him on a routine had completely gone to waste. i felt that this would be the new normal and that i was doomed to months and months of sleep deprivation and earplug wearing. in the midst of my angst, i really felt so all alone. i emailed a few friends to ask for advice, but mostly i just wanted the comfort of knowing that others had gone through this and survived.
a few days later, things started to get a bit better. i can't say that tristan is back onto the heavenly routine of three 2 hour naps because that just isn't true. some days he'll decide to sleep for only 30-45 minutes at a time. other days he'll sleep for 2 1/2 hours at a time. what i have learned is that i can't expect him to fit perfectly into the little box of a routine that i've created for him. i've learned that those post-partum hormones are still alive and well inside of me. i've learned that i DON'T know a thing about babies and have no right to be proud of what works with mine. i've learned that every day is an adventure and that doesn't have to be a bad thing. but the most important lesson i've learned is: when my baby is doing great and sleeping 12 hours at night, trust me, i won't be telling ANYONE!


Bonnie said...

I know it's ridiculous, but I totally believe in jinxes. I've done the exact thing writing in Leah's baby book. I had to take back every word!
I pray that Tristan will sleep more consistently for you.

Lee said...

oh babe. you have such a great way of writing.
Its true when they say that parenting is the hardest thing you'll ever do.
It was so nice talking yesterday.
Miss you.

Danna said...

Thinking of you!

Lovella said...

. . .and 20 some years later I still deliberate about bragging about my boys because sure as shootin' I'll be dethroned again and again. OK so I brag a little now and then but I hear you my dear girl.
My kids weren't good sleepers either and it always seemed to me that everyone else's did just fine.

I'll be thinking and praying for you Heidi. Hang in there.

lori b said...

Yah well, Garrett didn't nap at all from about three months to six months. I could get, maybe, an hour out of him and that was only if I was holding him. So, anything Tristan is doing by way of napping sounds great to me! Now he naps great in the morning but afternoon is completely hit and miss. Hang in there.

Janet said...

kolby is 2 1/2 and still has no sleep routine. He will go down between 9:30-11 and sleep 30 minutes to 3 1/2 hours. kids are a mysterious sometimes. as parents we just have to learn to roll with it, no matter how hard. i wish i could offer you more comfort. hang in there girl, i think your doing great.

Janet said...

kolby is 2 1/2 and still has no sleep routine. He will go down between 9:30-11 and sleep 30 minutes to 3 1/2 hours. kids are a mysterious sometimes. as parents we just have to learn to roll with it, no matter how hard. i wish i could offer you more comfort. hang in there girl, i think your doing great.

Miranda said...

Hey cousin!! My momma reads your blog and had a child just like yours, Mikaela. She and my dad were driven to tears, but have an awesome book on it that has great reviews and worked wonderfully. She will email you what its called and let you know how she got through those months. :) email is on the way. she tried emailing but she might have an older email. I have an email that you posted on facebook, so she can re email it to you. She said she emailed joshandheidistewart...something like that she said. but she will re email you to the correct one if that one is too old. :)

Shannon said...

this is why books and advice are hogwash. Do what you can but in the end the baby will do what it wants no matter what. People brag of their awesome nappers and how "they" set the rules. Maybe. Or maybe they had a good sleeper. We'll never know.

Hugs for you though. Babies are the best thing and the world. And the most frustratingly annoying.

Family Of Five said...

Okay.... I use to buy the Pampers swaddlers diapers and I would only put my kids in the pictures with sleeping characters when it was sleepy time and awake characters when it was awake time. My hubby thought I was a freak... but especially with my daughter I would go on anything. Same jammies till the good sleeping wore off. It truly is just a shame that he is your first. My first was a dream, my daughter was the nightmare and there were just sometimes I needed to lay her in her crib and walk away for a few min. I used to call my hubby and ask if he would mind if I suffocated her (totally joking). Schedules??? They NEVER worked with my kids! They napped when they wanted to .... I layed my son down for his scheduled nap, he would cry for an hour, I would pick him up and he would fall asleep. I mean seriously what do you do wake him up and tell him this isn't his scheduled sleep time!? Do what you can, get him to sleep whenever you can! Neither of my kids slept fully through the night till at least 1 year. They woke up for a quick feed and went right back to sleep. My girl loved her baby bjorn. I had to do housework with her in the baby bjorn, not snuggly..... had to be the bjorn! Got the bouncing down to a science, I used to catch myself doing it even when I wasn't holding her! :) I tell you, she went in for her 1 yr shots and came out a different kid! She still is a screamer, but her screams are shorter.

Jennifer said...

all my kids always slept and napped perfectly according to the routine set as per the whisperer.
for ages she was predictable, napping from 10 til noon and and 4 til 6 every day, and from 8 til 6 at night for months and months and months.

else i'm a liar.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

My 27 year old still has irregular sleep 26 year old still takes regular naps.
And so it goes....(snort!)

Just remember: It ain't about you. The kid IS who he or she is, and there's only a tiny bit of tuning that can be done.
(It helps to say "Obviously my child is so intelligent he needs very little sleep, just like all the genius types out there. Just be careful not to say it out loud!)

Meredith said...

Whisperer whisperer whisperer. naps from 9-11 and 2-4 give or take an hour, both boys.
Can't explain it any other way, Whisperer.:) Godd Luck

sara said...

hang in there heidi, you guys will get over this hump soon :0) soon it will be a faded memory and you won't even remember what kind of sleeper he was! anyways, i think that is how it is suppose to work.

kelly said...

sounds like taeya in the early months. they always change it up. always. she still does. but it's a lot easier now than it was in the beginning. So keep loving him, letting yourself cry when you're frustrated, and letting josh comfort you both (or try, at least!)
you're a great mom!