Once upon a time, about a decade ago, getting through the day on less than five total hours of sleep was not a big deal. In fact, any night that I got more than six hours of sleep was considered a rarity since I was in college full time and working full-time to support myself through school. Sleep was often a luxury that there just wasn’t extra time to allow for in my schedule. Sure, I was often tired, but I could function relatively well and when I would get really desperate for sleep, I’d just hold out until weekends or breaks from school and then just sleep for 10-12 hours at a stretch and ‘refuel’ with sleep and be ready to do it all over again the next week.
Fast forward a few years (like to my mid to late twenties) and see how pitiful I have become. Ten o’clock at night would hit and it was like a sleeping pill–time to go to bed. At the time, I was living at my grandparents house (I’d house-sit when they were out of town and they traveled a lot, so it was just easier to live there all the time) and often I’d be in bed for the night before my grandparents would even have turned in for the night. This trend getting to bed early and actually getting eight plus hours of sleep a night was the norm, even after I got married. It was very rare, even on weekends that we would stay up past 11:30 pm. If, due to some freak occurence, we managed to stay up really really late, like say until 1 or 2 am (we party hard at our house, let me tell you) then we’d regret it for the next week, since it would take that long to feel not so tired anymore.
Enter Owen into our lives. He had us fooled quite well in the beginning. At about 2 weeks, he started sleeping mostly through the night–for at least five hours at a stretch, usually only waking up once, maybe twice to eat. Right around Christmas, we got off his normal schedule and did go through a bit of a rough patch, but by the first week in January, it was looking like he was going to start sleeping the entire night through, every couple of nights waking up once to eat, but overall on the road to becoming a good little sleeper.
However, two going on three weeks ago, Owen seems unable to sleep more than about an hour and a half at a stretch at night. Even if I am able to get him down for the night without incident, he wakes up, usually without fail at around 11:30pm- midnight and from then until 3am–NO.ONE.SLEEPS. Or, if they do, it isn’t very restful sleep. Owen wants to nurse, so I nurse him. Then he doesn’t want to be in his crib, so I bring him to sleep with us (now with the added bonus that Owen then thinks this is an invitation to nurse EVERY.TWENTY.MINUTES.CONTINUOUSLY). Then he doesn’t want to be in our bed. My husband and I rock him and sing to him, snuggle his soft blankie and frog lovie in around him. We turn on soft soothing white noise. We pat him, we burp him, we rock him again. We finally give up and let him cry it out for twenty, thirty minutes and when that fails, we start the cycle all over again.
Internet, I am about at the end of my rope (and I strongly suspect my husband is as well). I am averaging about 4 hours of sleep a night, if I’m lucky and mind you, those hours are not necessarily continuous hours of sleep either. I am so tired, I have about no short term memory left. Let me sit somewhere for more than five minutes and I start to nod off. I just can’t figure out what the problem is–Owen doesn’t have (hasn’t had) reflux or gas. He eats and nurses well, especially before bed. We have a very soothing routine we follow every single night before bed. His room is neither too hot nor too cold. Owen iscurrently trying to grow a tooth on the bottom, but it apparently isn’t bothering him because we don’t have any problems with it at any other time during the day.
What are the chances that this is just a really ugly phase and when it ends in another week (PLEASE.LET.IT.END.) we’ll head into the beautiful land of him sleeping for eight continous hours at a stretch?