Sleeping in

I was on my college swim team: Go Sagehens! (or as my mom once said when reading my parka wrong "Go Saga Hens!").  In the height of our season, we had two practices a day and at least twice a week, I had to be at the pool by 5 am, which meant I was up by about 4:30.  It was tough on my 18-21 year old partygirl soul. I stopped swimming in my senior year just so I could sleep in a little longer.

I lived on a kibbutz in Israel - 3 different times. Wake up time on a kibbutz is brutal. We often met in the banana fields at 5 am. I would be done with my work every day after lunch, around 2 pm, and then I'd come back to my room and sleep until dinner. 

Early mornings are not for me.  With the exception of those two experiences, I've never been an early riser. If I know I have to get up early, I cannot stay up late, even though it's my favorite thing to do. I love sleeping and have even often fantasized of coming back in my next life as a bear. Oh how glorious it would be to sleep through the winter! 

Both of my babies were sleeping through the night pretty young. I've learned since having children that THAT is what is important to people who ask. "Is he sleeping through the night yet?" They start asking that when your baby is about one week old. To me, the sleeping through the night has never been as important to me as whether they go back to sleep after waking and how late we can keep pushing our actual "get out of bed" time each morning.  Mo used to wake up at 4 am, play a little, go back to sleep at 5 and then sleep in until 8. I'm happy to play at 4 am if I get to go back to sleep until 8. In fact, in the really early days, I could keeping pushing our mornings out until 11am. After a year of sleeping all day, every day, I needed to transition back to a parent's schedule slowly. 

But for the last year or more, there's been another routine. 

Mo goes to sleep by 7:45 or so and sleeps until 5 am. Five is REALLY early. There is no way I am leaping out of bed at that hour and starting to play - especially because I know he's not going back to sleep again until almost 1 pm.  So, I usually pull him into our bed and then try to cuddle (read: sleep) with him for as long as I can, then turn on the tv for him (and sleep) until he gets bored, and then finally give in to getting out of bed.

This last week, the routine has changed again. It's changed in a way that should be bringing me tremendous joy. He's been sleeping in!  Most days this week he slept until 7ish. Today he slept in until 7:30.  This should be a dream come true! Complete deliciousness! But instead - it scares me. I get up starting at around 5:30 and start worrying. I look at the monitor to see if I can detect movement. Eventually, I go to his room and put my hand on his chest. After I reassure myself that he is fine, I leave and am already worried again by the time I get back to our room. I go back as often as every fifteen minutes to make sure he is still alive. The sleeping-in is wasted on me and it's a bummer, because I want it so bad. 

I've been surprised about how far I've come. How I've made it through the last 22 months of Mo's life without losing my mind with fear. I'm still impressed. I imagined it being much more challenging. But a part of me is still filled with fear, still imagining the worst case scenario. I may never feel quite right.  I will probably never get to just lie there and soak in the extra hours in bed.  It's ok.  It's probably expected for someone whose been through what I have.....but - Oh, how I'd love to sleep in!  You feel me?


Anonymous said...

I have not lost a child and cannot imagine your grief (and am so, so sorry for the loss of your sweet Maxie) but I do understand, in part, the constant fear that something may happen to your child. I go through this daily. I read stories and then become paralyzed by fear. I read a very sad story about a woman whose husband took their son out on a boat so the woman could read her book...then they both died. For YEARS I could not send my son and husband off to the park without thinking about that woman. :-(

Taryn said...

I think you've done an amazing job letting go. You've shown that you can go through hell and still learn live and thrive in the world that brought you so much pain. I was wondering, what your sleep safety routines are like these days, now that Mo is older. I'm assuming he won't wear his breathing monitor on his diaper any more. Does he sleep with a blanket or will he still sleep in a sack for you? You've always seemed to have a good, safe sleeping game plan, and I was wondering what it looks like for a nearly 2 year old. My youngest is only a few months older than Mo, so I’m interested to get your thoughts.