Thursday, March 24, 2011

Can you feel it?

The air is crisp (not cold!)... the sky is cloudless,bright blue with the odd jet-stream shooting across it... The daffodils are out... the days are longer and pasty white men are shirtless in the streets and in the parks... We will drink Pimms in the afternoon... and listen to the birds...

This is the Great British Summer.

Shall we celebrate?

Sssssssh! Mama's sleeping....

I have been very open with all who know me about our 'sleep' situation.

Our beautiful girl is still waking frequently through out the night, as well as ready to start her day anywhere from 3-5am. It is quite frankly, exhausting (this blog post comes to you bleary eyes, coffee beside me at 5.15am.) We do not have a 'typical night', but Avalon usually goes to sleep about 7-8pm, then will be up about 10pm... 12.30am... 1.30am... well, you get the point. I think we could deal with this night time waking if they were short periods but sometimes she is awake for a good 40 minutes at a time, sometimes she is distressed and crying, sometimes bright eyed and 'bushy-tailed' smiling and chatting- ready to play.

For 11 months now we have soldiered on (is there any other choice?) and just hoped for a day when things will get better. I have watched our friends with babies get increasingly more sleep than we do and it is hard, and maddening at times. We just cannot see why it is so different for us, and have come to the conclusion that maybe, just maybe, Avalon doesn't 'need' as much sleep as some. Kind of like Einstein... or Thatcher. We are hoping she is following the former.

Please, don't get me wrong, I don't begrudge our situation- totally. As physically tired as I am I still feed her as she needs at night, Grant will frequently rock her until she falls back to sleep, we still co-sleep/bedshare for the most part too, but have decided that I need a night (or two) of 8 hours rest.

I truly cannot remember when that last occurred, certainly not since Avalon was born and possible it was very early in pregnancy as I wasn't sleeping by the end... so yeah, let's go with 18 months since I have had a full nights sleep. I have felt my physically health has been affected by this and certainly my sanity.

Now I don't want you to think I am a victim, I know others who have a similar experience (sometimes for much longer) and often they relish their role. But I have got to a point where I am not doing myself, Avalon or my husband much good- my mood has been affected hugely by this deprivation and it is time to act.

I have been very vocal about the fact that we will only consider what we term 'gentle' approaches to getting more sleep with Avalon; I don't know what else to say except methods such as CIO (crying it out) or Sleep Training are not something that we would consider.... You must stay true to your instincts when parenting, and both of those methods go against what we hold as natural and intuitive to us as parents. Letting her CIO has been suggested many a time by friends (and health professional) and I get they are just trying to help, but it is not for us.

So where do we find ourselves? Well tonight Grant is going to take Avalon and stay with his Mother. I know. Even as I type these words I feel parental guilt creeping in but I NEED this. Last night Grant was begrudgingly sent to the spare room to get a good 8 hours sleep as to prepare for tonight (and maybe appease some of my guilt about missing a night from my family.)

I am absolutely secure by the fact that she will be in her Daddy's arms, being comforted and fed through the night as needed and hopefully tomorrow will feel like an even brighter day for all of us.

I am going to miss her terribly tonight. I have no doubt of that, but I am forever grateful to Grant for understanding that I need this time to rest.

So... my sweet girl, I wish us both a night of rest and I will see you in the morning.