This is supposed to be an exciting time for us as a family, and it is, but it’s also a total disaster and NO ONE warned us about what we are currently dealing with.
Let me first take you back to the week of Christmas. Dean had been sleeping BEAUTIFULLY for weeks – in his crib by 8, up between 5:30-6:30 waking up once around 2 on a bad night.
Then the day after Christmas we had to travel to Tennessee to visit family and while there Dean had to sleep in his pack and play, which he has outgrown. So not only was he in a new place with new smells and sounds, but he was also too big for his bed. Needless to say we had two very awful sleepless nights with him waking up ready to go at 4:30 a.m. Both days.
When we got back home, it took a few days but then he was back on track. Then our friends came over for a play date on New Year’s Eve and their daughter had a cold they didn’t warn us about, and not even 12 hours later Dean had it and was so congested for the first three days of 2017 that he couldn’t lay flat in his crib so I ended up sleeping in the glider just so we could all get some sleep.
Finally last week the cold stopped and he started to sleep a little better but then all of a sudden started waking up two or three times a night. And he would just SCREAM during these wake ups. He hasn’t had a night feeding since 9 months so I know he’s not hungry. He is getting his molars so I know some of the problem is teething, but the week of his first birthday – last week, he hit a full on sleep regression and won’t take his afternoon nap, which means he’s likely over tired when he goes to bed and therefore won’t sleep through the night.
Last night I ended up sleeping on the floor of the nursery because he was up so frequently and the only way he’d settle back down was if my hand was on his back. I’m exhausted and at a complete loss as to what to do.
He’s also apparently in the middle of a wonder week so his little world is just a total clusterfuck right now and I can’t wait til things calm down for him so he can sleep. Otherwise I am going to have to be committed.
Everyone warns you about the 4 month sleep regression but no one warns you about the 12 month one. And it’s real people. And not only will he not sleep but he’s also started having temper tantrums which just makes the sleeplessness 10x worse. It’s so hard to stay calm and patient and objective during all of this, but I keep trying to tell myself that this too shall pass, it’s just a phase … but I know that by the time it’s over I will have a head full of grey hairs and the permanent dark circles under my eyes will be more like craters.
If you’re reading this and have experience with this phase and have some tips, PLEASE SHARE!!
In the good news arena, Dean is a walking everywhere, loves books, can identify and mimic animal sounds, loves music, riding on the back of the bike (in his bike seat that Michael bought him for Christmas) and is still loving swim lessons! He’s a super sweet and silly boy and his first year has been amazing.
If you’ve ready any of my blog you know it hasn’t been an easy year, I don’t know anyone who has an easy first year, but I didn’t expect it to be a cakewalk. I will say though that it was harder on our marriage than I ever dreamed it would be. So when we celebrated Dean’s birthday last week, I was celebrating not only his first year of life, but the fact that Michael and I survived our first year as parents and we made it through together.
People tell you how much sleep you aren’t going to get, but they don’t tell you how that sleep deprivation is going to destroy you and turn you into a complete lunatic … especially if you already have issues with anxiety as I do.
This first year has taught me to be open about my feelings – no matter how scary and nasty they are – to turn to friends and family when I feel like I can’t possibly handle things anymore – and to turn to Michael and ask, or beg if I need to, for him to share in some of these tough moments, because motherhood is not something for the faint of heart, and I doubt if anyone can do it alone. We all need a support network – so whether you’re single or married, be sure to surround yourself with people who are going to love you unconditionally through this process and who will lift you up rather than judge you when you have a really horrible, no good, awful day/week/month!
Here’s to a year of firsts and more sleepless nights than I can count, and here’s hoping this next year brings us even more joy, laughter and love, and maybe even some sleep!