Oliver is a terrible sleeper. We were sure we would get a champ of a sleeper this go-round because we put in more than two years in the trenches with his sister. He duped us at the beginning. As a newborn he consistently woke up twice a night, around 1 AM and 4 AM every night. We thought we had hit the jackpot in the sleep department. Julia was waking 5, 6, 7 times a night as a newborn. The only place she would sleep any substantial amount of time was on her Daddy's chest. We were spent, and felt like we had been hit by a mack truck.
As Oliver has gotten older, his sleep has gotten worse and worse and worse and worse... ultimately as a survival tactic, he ends up in bed with us every night... just because it is easier to just nurse him lying down than it is to get out of bed and sit in the glider 5 times a night. And if we were cry-it-out kind of people (which I don't think I have the heart to do... thus the 2+ years in the trenches with his sister) we couldn't really do it anyhow because he is still in our bedroom, YAY tiny New York City apartments. Last night he went to bed at 7:45, woke at 9:15, again at 10:45, again at 12:30 and at that time decided it would be a good idea to hang out with Mommy and Daddy. For two hours and 15 minutes. In fact, I just got off the phone with Eddie, from Wall-2-Wall, a company that installs temporary tension walls to cordon off a room into two separate spaces. Will it help? Who knows, but it helps me to think we might have a plan.
Now I have perspective. I know that at some point he will go to bed and SLEEP. Despite her AWFUL sleep beginnings, Julia now goes down around 7:30 and SLEEPS until about 7 in the morning. I also have a different perspective as I head down the path of x-rays and endoscopies. Is his poor sleep caused by some sort of a physical challenge? Is he waking because he is truly hungry and needs to nurse? I know it must take a terrific amount of calories to sustain his 25 pound body weight on a liquid diet. And he is just nursing. Period. So as a result, I am loathe to night wean a 25-pound exclusively nursing baby, even though we are heading to about the time I forced the issue with his sister.
But taking these two things into account, somehow I muddle through and somehow I find myself far more compassionate and far less frustrated at 2 in the morning when he has been in our bed, in his bed, rocked in the glider and back in our bed over the course of 1 1/2 hours and still is WIDE AWAKE. And I dig deeper. And I find patience. And I get out of bed and rock with him once again.