“It wasn’t till I became a Mother when I realized how important sleep was” – wish I could relate to that common statement. I do know the importance of sleep. Working through wedding season, as a Florist, teaches you that in no time. What really took me by surprise, as a Mother, is how harmful long term interrupted sleep can be.
Jake was 10 months old in this photo. He is now 14 months. Kayla Tiffany tried her best to conceal the horrendous bags under my eyes.
The paradox of emotions parenthood brings is bewildering. To be honest, Mike and I were shocked by how exhausting it was taking care of a newborn. You really don’t understand what phrases like “it will be hard” mean until you are actually living it. Little did we know we were about to embark on the toughest year of our lives. Here we are with this beautiful little angel we feel so much love for but at the same time has us yearning for the days where we could simply sleep. We quickly realized nothing is simple anymore and we have to accept the changes of our new life. And we do. Believing that the day will come when he will sleep the night.
Jake slept in a bassinet (via dock-a-tot) in our bedroom for the first 5 months. Once he started to sit up on his own we transitioned him into a crib. Jake was not happy about that change. Months went by bringing a still continuous cycle of him waking through the night. Always trying a pacifier first, I knew he really just wanted that bottle. Eventually we allowed him to sleep in our bed. Anything to get him (and really all of us) to sleep more soundly. Over time he would drop a night feeding but he was still waking for 2 bottles at 9 months. It seemed like sleeping in our bed was helping until about 11 months. Then we noticed his behavior changed as he became incredibly restless. He would toss and turn throughout the night. We tried putting him back in his crib (figuring he’d be more comfortable there) only for him to protest in return. Who would guess an 11 month old knew how to protest?! We even tried the “cry it out method” but couldn’t bare it despite our desperation. Back in the bed we go.
Then Jake turned 1 and I realized we hadn’t slept in 1 year. Endless nights of interrupted sleep left us completely rundown. All three of us were sick with constant colds. The worst and most unexpected part is I noticed all these sleepless nights were putting a strain on our marriage. It’s hard to admit but at that point we were just miserable.
Thankfully, a friend of mine referred a sleep consultant that helped her through a similar situation. I was skeptical at first and it took me 2 weeks to make the phone call that would ultimately save our sanity. The company is called Calm Baby RN. They specialize in a gentle sleep training method that worked super well for us. Not only does Jake sleep through the night (in his crib!) but the method even helped our bedtime routine become more efficient – my goodness that’s a story for another day. Lets just say we went from reading books for 1.5 hours every night to a quick routine that takes about 20 minutes. Jake loves sleeping in his crib and knows how to self soothe himself. Mike and I are sleeping and feel like ourselves again.
I know my story isn’t very original. I wanted to share this because if I can help out at least one Mother or family then it was worth taking the time to write. Raising these little humans is the hardest job in the world especially since we are mostly learning as we go. I do believe it could be easier if we shared our stories to create support for one another other.