Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Note to future self: thoughts on sleepless nights

There was a time, approximately one year, I spent more time awake at night than asleep. Where we rushed upstairs every ten minutes post-baby-bedtime to address tears and recriminations. Where I thought it just would never ever get better and against my better judgment began purchasing books upon books on baby sleep and felt worse than ever about my parenting skills which these books informed me were intrinsically tied with my child's sleep and the lack thereof. I finally resigned myself to a lifetime of wakings imagining my college-age son demanding a hug at 3am and told myself you know what? That's okay. And then-- it stopped. One day like a light switch, he turned off at 7:30pm and woke up exactly twelve hours later. A fluke we first thought. But no, it's continued this way with nary an interruption for the past four months. Until last night.

Last night at 4am we heard shrieks and instead of nudging the other we both sprang up and raced to his crib. He clung to me, his heart racing and then, after examining my face in the still of the night, kissed me and rested his head on my shoulder, the tension leaving his body until he was limp in my arms, fast asleep once more.

And I found as I rested my cheek against his fine baby hair and felt his arms wrapped around my neck, his head heavy on my shoulder-- I couldn't put him back down. He's almost halfway to two. Less a baby with each passing day. Man I'm going to miss him. The sleep deprivation. The toys that stick under my feet. The food tossed to the other end of the room. I'm going to miss it all. My cousin commented on what a good sleeper my son was while we were staying with him this past weekend. I had to smile as I realized he is a good sleeper. Now. Sometimes its hard to imagine it was any other way.

This is a note to my future self, should I be blessed enough to find myself with another little one someday, who also requires extensive night wakings and rockings, that this too shall pass, and that one day I'll have a night like last night where I'm awake at 4am actually feeling blessed for night wakings such as these.

14 comments:

sprogblogger said...

Yeah. Every so often now, Henry will have a bad night, and when it happens all I can bring myself to feel (well, ok, besides honestly TIRED) is grateful and a bit nostalgic. I'm missing his baby-self (good & bad) already, and where did this little boy come from anyway???

Aisha said...

exactly! Where did these kid-like creatures come from? Where did the baby go??

Anonymous said...

I got so lucky in this area! Baby girl has been sleeping through the night since the beginning of August. She's a rock star of sleep just like her daddy, lol:) I can't believe how fast they grow! Pixie

Leigh Ann Ahmad said...

So true!

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

I took great comfort in this post, having spent all of last night taking shifts rocking the little man to sleep (or what we hoped would be sleep) :)

kmina said...

Good to hear that. :-)
All sleep books I too rushd to buy are down in the basement and will most probably stay there until I toss them out. They are making sleep deprived parents feel even guiltier, even though guilt should not be there in the first place. And yes, you can't do much until it resolves itself. I too am writing a post about sleep. But am sitting, strike that, SLEEP on it a bit more. :-)

PandaBear said...

I know what you mean, on one hand I am happy to have a contently sleeping toddler, on the other hand I already miss it and want another baby!

Aisha said...

Pixie I'm soooo glad you appreciate how lucky you are, alhamdullilah for babies that sleep well!!!

Azmina, aw hon it will get better, promise!!! :(

Leigh Ann, :) glad you can relate

Kmina, is your little guy sleeping once and for all????

Panda, crazy isn't it? That we can miss it and want it again!? Must be a biological thing, lol.

ruby said...

OH MY GOD!! you have given me hope - my 9 month old HATES sleeping so maybe, just maybe one day he will sleep. Yay to hoping but I have kinda got used to sleep deprivation

raisingbrainchild said...

There was a time that I actually enjoyed getting up once a night (only once, though) and having that sweet, quiet time with my little one.

Bear has been a fantastic sleeper for quite awhile, and now we've discovered that the sleep angst has come back around...while she sleeps once she actually falls asleep, getting her there is a process and one that we apparently do not have figured out.

Aisha said...

ruby, you do get used to it-- but then once its back-- its still extra sweet-- you'll get there soon!!!

Raising, sounds like you're lucky, though it sucks that she doesn't like the process of falling asleep :(

IAmStacey said...

It seems like just yesterday you were desperately posting for any tips on how to get even one good nights' sleep. It's amazing how fast little Waleed is growing up!

iamstacey.wordpress.com

Aisha said...

Stacey- did you have a hard time logging in to comment? I have heard people are having a tough time on blogger. . .

And yeahhhhhhhhh its hard to imagine there were days like that-- good thing I wrote it all down! Lol

Twinklyone said...

I have a 13mth old who isn't sleeping through the night (his now 3.5 year old sister slept through consistently by the time she was 1...but I did do a few small bits of sleep training) and I can't really face the sleep training as I am SO tired and have work in the morning so I am very happy to read that some babies do just start sleeping through...though also realise I will probably have to do some bit of toughening up to get mine to!

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