I've been asked about how our sleep is going fairly often since I posted this.
The short answer is: much much better. Cry it out was not torturous and it did not last long at all. The key is putting her to bed before she's completely asleep so that when she wakes up she's not disoriented. Now she sleeps through the night every night.
But the long answer to the question of sleep is a convoluted explanation of how only after having Ari home with us did I really absorb all of the adoption literature I read last year.
I read it but it was in one eye and out the other, so to speak.
This is what I know now:
1. Babies are so smart about sleep. Sleep is not just sleep. It really isn't. Sleep can be bonding or sleep can be divisive. Sleep can be restful or it can be restless. Sleep isn't always sleep. It can be playing or it can be sobbing. Sleep has rythms and it has power. It is fascinating.
Take for instance right now. Right now as I type it is 10:43am on a Sunday morning and A has been talking in her crib for 43 minutes exactly. For the last 3 weeks A has slept, without fail, from 10:00am-11:10am. Usually it takes a rocking and a bottle lead in but it doesn't fail. However, every Sunday morning she skips this nap because we go to church at 10:15am. We made a plan to start rotating one person staying home for nap and one going to church so that she could stay on a 7 day/week schedule. This is day one of the new plan for Sunday mornings.
HOW DOES SHE KNOW that it's Sunday? Why is she wide awake? We didn't do anything differently this morning but her body just knows.
A baby's body is capable of absorbing knowledge. I had read this but had not processed it.
This leads me to thought #2.
2. A baby's body absorbs information that possibly their brain cannot yet handle or make sense of. I am realizing that sleeping time is a processing time.
A is approaching a major milestone. She is approaching the time when she will have been in our care as long as any previous caregiver's. And it shows in her sleep. She's started to cry out multiple times each night. She's become restless in her sleep. A few days ago I had to get up and give her a bottle and rock with her for the first time in 2 months. Call it intuition or call it being well read about adoption - I just know this is her body's way of working out the fear of another big change. It's like her body is on count down. I am anxious to see how she does after we pass the 12 week milestone.
Finally, a thought not related to the above 2.
3. The whole "sleep when your baby sleeps" is just the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Inevitably the second I fall asleep for a nap she wakes up. It's apparently a law of nature or something like that. And it is much much worse than just staying awake.
Overall I think we are really fortunate. This is J's thought on the subject from a conversation we had yesterday.
J: "Do you think we got really lucky with A or do you think we just don't know the difference between easy and hard since we have nothing to compare her to?"
My answer is that I really don't know. Obviously we DON'T have a baby or older child to compare her to. But in so many ways she just fits us. Or we fit her. Something is working out right here.
She looks to us. We are important to her. She trusts us. Whether it is a nighttime wake up or a new situation, we are her people.
And that is big. THAT makes us very very lucky.
- Me. Us. She.
- J and I have been married for almost 15 years. We have shared many adventures and a lot of watershed moments. In 2009 I began blogging and in 2010 we adopted our daughter from Ethiopia. In March of 2012 we began the process to adopt a little boy from Haiti. This blog follows the many twists and turns on the road to our two children and beyond.
- ▼ August (8)