In actuality, it's been over 5 years since we have received a full night's rest. I think that Daniel has probably gotten a tiny bit more sleep than I have since he was deployed for 6 months. He says that bombs, automatic guns and planes kept him up at night during that time. Either way, we are tired. When Eli was born our lives revolved around him. I fed him on demand, rocked him long after he fell asleep in my arms, and during his night feedings I just let him stay in our bed because it was easier.
At 3 months old, we moved him from California to England. It was an 8 hour time difference and it was rough. During those first few weeks in TLF, he and I slept until 2 in the afternoon and stayed up until midnight. It was incredibly exhausting and miserable. It was like a constant state of being hung over. After we moved into a house, we still rocked Eli to sleep, put him in his crib, then in the middle of the night he would wake up crying and we would put him in our bed. Apparently the one night that he didn't get in our bed I became pregnant with our dear Andrew. I'm sure you know the story, but Daniel deployed shortly after my second trimester began and we went back to Alabama since he wouldn't be back until the baby was 3 months old.
I just couldn't be in a foreign country with two babies and zero family. And not even having been there a year, my friendships were really new and I wasn't comfortable being that kind of a burden on them.
We changed time zones again.
Eli was just over a year old, we had moved to England, came back to the US to visit family, gone back to England, then moved back to the States once again for 7 months. Eli slept with me or my parents throughout Daniel's deployment.
Do you see where this is going?
We went back to England when Daniel returned and although Drew was 3 months old, I was still in that new baby and a toddler fog. The hungover state returned but I had to adjust a little more quickly as 2 children will never react the same way to these types of changes.
We did much of the same things with Drew putting him to sleep as we did Eli but he always struggled to fall asleep. We tried every trick in the book. He would toss and turn for hours and just never, ever, ever, ever sleep. When he did sleep he would wake up within a few hours crying and then would sleep well in our bed until morning.
Blah, blah, blah…time passes…
Every single night for the past two years of living here we have laid next to Drew until he fell asleep. About 6 months ago our pediatrician suggested trying 1mg of melatonin to help him fall asleep with a little more ease. And it worked. Within 15 minutes of laying down he was out. But he was still waking up constantly throughout the night. MOM, DAD!?
He would sneak into our bed and kick and dig with his feet at 3 am.
Daniel or I would take him to his bed (while very comfortable it's only a twin) and lay down with him and fall asleep until the morning. I am positive that this has shaved years from my life. I don't want to sleep when I'm dead. I want to sleep now.
On Monday night Daniel and I told the boys that from now on we would be tucking them into bed and they would be going to sleep on their own. We have tried this before but were totally serious this time. Totally desperate.
Eli falls asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow, so we weren't really surprised that he did so well. Drew was asleep without melatonin within 10 minutes. He got up once for water but went back to sleep in his bed. Tuesday night, same thing. Wednesday night, went to sleep on his own again and did not wake up until 6:45 am! I am so thankful for last night's sleep and how easy (this week) has been.
Feel free to learn from my mistakes or not. Crying it out was just never an option for us. I am thankful for the snuggles and time we spent with our babies. I will want those nights back some day. I think that this was a long enough run and I am so thankful and hopeful for the more peaceful nights ahead.