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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sleep...what is that???

I will never forget those jitters of excitement that my husband and I had as we prepared for the arrival of our little guy. We spent our Thanksgiving preparing the nursery for his arrival, 4 months later. As the crib sheets were put in place I could imagine my little baby sleeping in the crib listening to his mobile. I never in my wildest dreams ever imagined that there are some babies who just have sleep issues and my little guy would be one of those.

Fast forward to March when AJ was born, he had to stay in the NICU for 7 days, I would eat, sleep, pump, go spend the allotted time with my baby and come back and do that all over again even through the night. I was so exhausted and wished so much that everything would have gone perfectly and that AJ could've been in the same room with me.  We some how survived that week and finally brought our little one home. He had fallen asleep on the 30-40 minute drive home from the hospital so my husband carefully took him out if his car seat and placed him into his crib. That's when it all began, 5 minutes later and he was awake. We took turns carrying and soothing him, he fell asleep again and this time I decided that I'd just hold him. After all for those 7 days all I wanted was to hold him without worrying about accidentally pulling out his IV or messing with any if his sensors. So I held him as he slept and I enjoyed it.

Throughout the day and evening I'd try to put him to sleep in the crib but as soon as his body hit the crib he'd wake up. 
Night time came and I held him, I laid him next to me it seemed as if though he'd get the best sleep if I held him so after trying different things I resorted to sleeping in the recliner holding him...for eight months!! Gasp I know I gave in but he was such a light sleeper that I tried countless times to lay him in the crib and the most sleep he'd get was 20-30 minutes. The only thing he liked other than being with me was sleeping in his car seat or swing. There he'd sleep for 2-3 hours. 

I tried sleeping in bed with him but for some reason he wanted to be upright, I thought maybe he had reflux, maybe his teeth were coming in, maybe maybe I just didn't know but for my sanity I held him and slept sitting up with him. He nursed a lot during the day and at night comfort nursed a lot. Since I had trouble with producing enough milk anytime he wanted to eat I let him. 

During our Christmas vacation in SA I finally eased him into bed with me reducing the angle that I was reclined until by the end our three weeks away from home I was finally sleeping flat in a bed!! After that point I moved a full size bed into AJ's room and every night after midnight I co-sleep in his room.
 

Looking back there are so many things I'd do differently if we should have another baby, but for this little guy this is what worked and for this tired, struggling with Breastfeeding, first time mom this is what worked for us. I treasure any time I get to hold AJ even now sometimes he has trouble sleeping so I lay him on top of me and he sleeps just fine. I love the closeness we have, I love that he feels so safe and comforted by me. I take this all in as I know that before I know it he's going to start his first day of school, graduate from High school, college, and (gulp) get married. 

I used to wonder why God made things so difficult for me and my little guy, I had prayed since I found out I was pregnant for a healthy, quick delivery and it was anything but that. The first few months were hard as I was trying to figure things out how to be a mom, how to Breastfeed, how to produce enough milk, how to sleep, how to have time for a shower, how to have a conversation with my husband and on and on. I truly look back and know that God blessed me with a way to get the closeness to my son one like I could've never imagined. 
Thank you Lord for my experience and the many more experiences with our little guy that you are going to bring us.