Monday, January 12, 2015

The Elephant In The Room

Yesterday I mentioned it briefly, but today I am ready to talk about the big, ole, fat, pink Elephant in the room…sleep.  Or better yet, the lack there of. 

Do ya’ll remember 2009-2012 when I complained regularly about Eli’s sleeping habits?  Well, now the boy sleeps like baby.  Ugh, bad analogy.  He sleeps like a baby SHOULD!!!  He goes to bed every single night by himself and doesn’t wake up until I have to get him ready for school.  On the weekends he will sleep until 9:00 or 10:00 in the morning. 

Ellie…not so much.  She is an extremely light sleeper.  She roots and tosses all night.  She cries out several times a night, but usually goes right back to sleep…except when she doesn’t. 

It comes in waves and is a very predictable pattern.

  1.   She will go two or three weeks with a perfect nighttime record, then out of nowhere it stops. 
  2.  When that happens, I’m awakened nearly every single night with all the restlessness I hear from her room (yes, I too am a light sleeper), and even though I don’t have to tend to her on those nights, I am up listening, wondering and sometimes worrying about the nights to come.
  3. Next comes a few nights of me actually having to get out of the bed to sooth her.  For the most part, a pacifier and a short pat on the back will do wonders.  At first she's up once a night, then twice, then I just stop counting.
  4.  After a few nights of this little charade comes the worst part of the cycle.  On one of my trips into her room to sooth her, she will decide to get up and be up ALL NIGHT LONG!!!  As in 1:30-5:00.  Usually we have two nights of this, and then it’s back to the stretch of perfect sleep.
You would think that by now, I would be able to prepare myself for the rough patches, but I’m still not used to it.  Five years…it’s been five years since I have regularly slept through the night.  With Eli, the exhaustion manifested itself as depression.  With Ellie, it comes out in anger.  I don’t want to admit the person I become on those nights.  It’s not pretty.  The other affects of sleep deprivation are there too…forgetfulness, weight issues, moodiness, exhaustion.  You know the drill. 

Anyway, I’m finally ready to deal with it.  I’ve wasted a lot of time being angry, and when I am not angry, I am anxious about the next round of sleeplessness.  That’s no way to live.  I can not allow my circumstances to dictate my joy.  I cannot allow Satan to steal my peace of mind. 

My greatest regret with Eli is not enjoying the baby years on account of wanting him to sleep.  I have been much better about it with Ellie, but in the past month or two, it has really started getting to me.  Now is the time to take control of the situation.  The problem is, I don’t know how.

I haven’t decided whether I will let her cry it out or not.  I may go ahead and transition her to a full size bed (like we did with Eli) so that I can go to her when she wakes up, or I may lay with her on the couch and then move her back to her room.  Although I don't have a plan yet, two things are for sure.  I don’t want her in my bed, and I have to figure out a way to get some rest.

Right now Ellie is in Lexington with my parents, and while she is gone, I am praying for wisdom.  Please remember me if you will.  I could use some prayer…and some sleep. Ha! 

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