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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Sleep Problems

My baby doesn't know how to fall asleep. He's nine months old, and he requires swaddling and bouncing to find dreamland.

As I write, I am trying to block out the sounds of his frantic screams from his crib. You see, I just spent 55 minutes trying to get him to nap. First I nursed him and he fell into a milk coma. Then I caaaaarefully stood up with him in my arms and he woke up. Of course. So then I sat on the exercise ball and bounced him back to sleep.

When the weight of his 23 pounds became too much for my upper body to hold a moment longer, I tried to put him in his swing for a break. He woke up during the transition, so I laid on the floor, gently pushing that swing until he nodded off again. But then Maddie nudged open his door, spilling light into the room. And then Aspen's staccato cough hit us like bullets.

So he is awake. After 55 minutes of trying all the tricks. At that point, it was like a switch went off in my brain and I was so angry. I'm so tired of this. I'm so TIRED. So I put him safely in his crib and went outside to sit on the porch in the cold by myself. I just needed a break.

These hours I spend trying to trick him to sleep are brutal. But nothing works. He won't go to sleep by himself. He never cries himself to sleep. He never gets so tired that he finally nods off. He won't stay asleep after being nursed. I have tried everything.

And during all the hours I spend trying to sleep Linc, Aspen is left to fend for herself. She watches TV, or does preschool on the computer, or gets a rushed bedtime routine and is left to look at books in her bed alone while I desperately try to sleep Linc some more.

The effects of colic make me want to scream. I am so frustrated. I constantly wonder what on earth I'm going to do when he really is too heavy for me to hold. He's the size of an 18-month old. Imagine bouncing an 18-month old to sleep three times a day. My body and my heart hurt so much.

By six months old, Aspen was entering sleep training. She eventually learned to put herself to sleep after being put down in her crib with her binky and her blankie. I would give up the Internet forever if Linc would take a binky or a bottle and just. go. to. sleep.

He's still averse to having Kev put him down, too. The nights that I give up and make Kev put Linc back to bed, I cry into my pillow while listening to Linc scream bloody murder as Kev bounces him in the nursery. I can't imagine I will ever leave the house for my own recreational purposes EVER AGAIN. As it is, I basically leave just to take Aspen to and from school and dance. Sometimes I manage a trip to the grocery store with the kids. Sometimes we make it to the park. But it's brutal.

Kev is working nights this entire week, so I'm in a perpetual state of heightened anxiety all day as I anticipate juggling both kids at bedtime. If I'm lucky, they both sleep simultaneously for about 30 minutes before Linc wakes up screaming and I have to hold him for two hours before I can even think about putting him in his crib and going to bed myself.

I try to convince myself this can't last forever. It can't, can it? He has to eventually learn how to fall asleep. But how?! When?!

I guess it's time to stop wondering and instead get him from his crib. 

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