Friday, May 11, 2012

do you believe in magic?

Personally, I believe in the wondrous excitement of having gotten a half-decent night's sleep.  I don't know if I would call it magic, but it's some sort of wonderment to wake up and realize, "Hey, she slept 6 (or 7, 8, 9) hours straight - awesome!"  

Just as 4 months was steadily approaching, Aria began marathon sleeping.  I remember a few nights of her sleeping 9 hours where I would wake up, engorged and leaking, and panicking that she wasn't alive.  I'd reach out and just barely shake her, poking fearfully at her... and those bright eyes would pop open while giving me this, "Mom, what the heck?!" look in a frenzied manner.  Whoops!  We had a full week of 8+ hour nights, which was awesome!  I admit, a (very tiny) part of me began to almost miss the late-night feeds, those cuddle sessions with my baby when nobody else in the world (or in my house) was awake.  A very small, minuscule portion of me.  

Apparently Aria didn't get the memo that it was a small portion, because she suddenly began sleeping less - usually 3-4 hour stretches.  And I was getting tired and wondering, "Why did I miss these sleepless nights?"  Granted, I should be grateful for the stretches she did, but selfish me - I had a taste of more and I wanted it back!  

We determined pretty early into the regression that although sleep regression is typical around 4 months, another issue was also the swaddle.  I won't go into the long saga now, but I'll say I am a believer in the swaddle, at least for Aria.  When we stopped swaddling, she stopped sleeping.  I'm not even kidding, she'd be up from 11pm until 5am, without shutting an eyeball.  It lasted about two and a half weeks - pure hell - until we decided to try swaddling again.  She hates it and always fought being swaddled... but she'd sleep.  It was beautiful. 

way back when we first came home from the hospital. <3

She is now, however, almost 25 inches long - a leap from her original 19.  Thus she no longer fits prettily into her cute little velcro swaddles.  And a blanket?  Forget it, she busts out like nobody's business.  We tried swaddle after swaddle method and the only thing to work was a fleece kiddopotamus swaddleme.  But we knew swaddle weaning was quickly approaching, and we were scared.  Or, I was because I feared a lack of sleep - my OH was kind of like, "Well, okay."  

Anyway, I had heard from a few people about this Magic Merlin's sleepsuit.  Right, okay, whatever.  I ignored their comments, read the website and was no way paying 50 bucks for some sleep suit when she has a thousand and one sleep sacks that had been given to her.  That being said, she's never been able to sleep longer than one (dumb luck, perhaps) two hour stretch in a sleep sack.  Normally she wakes up every 15-30 minutes in one.  

So I kept swaddling, and as it began falling lower and lower on her body as her legs grew, the more restlessly she slept as she spent any half-waking moment trying to squirm free.

Cue CraigsList, and a listing for the Magic Merlin sleepsuit.  A girl in my birth club was trying to convince me to try one, and when I found a listing for a lightly used one for 20 bucks, I said okay.  I'll try anything at this point, I just want sleep.  

I'll be darned, the thing works.  I don't understand how.  Or why.  But it works.   She still sleeps in her rock and play beside my best.  She still comes into our bed after she wakes up for the first time each night - usually around 4:30-5:30am.  Hey, that's fine.  I can nurse her in bed and we both drift back off to sleep.  In fact, she's still in my bed while I type this, waiting for Jayden to arrive (whole other story).  But it works!  We went back to sleeping about 6 hours straight - sometimes more, never less - before waking for eating and going right back to sleep.  She doesn't flail, she sleeps soundly... it's fantastic.  Needless to say, I am now a believer.  

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