I never intended on being a crunchy mom. In fact, I can remember actually saying things along the lines of, “I will never allow my child to sleep in bed with me,” and “I will not sit around and hold a baby all day.” Then I actually had a baby and I realized that some of the crunchiness suited me.
I have breastfed all three of the boys on demand, and sometimes for marathon sessions when they were newborns. That was pretty much just because it was easier for me to just sit there and nurse than to get up and walk around with a screaming baby. I ended up putting Brady in bed with me after 7 or 8 months of sleep deprivation and a failed attempt at cry it out. We both got more sleep that way and were happier. I started making my own baby food out of sheer cheapness and found that I really enjoyed it. Colin basically lived in the Moby wrap for the first three months of his life so that I was able to keep up with the older boys.
I’m not entirely crunchy though; I had three hospital births full of interventions, I vaccinate, I use disposable diapers, and I plan on weaning Colin around one year of age. I’m somewhere in between crunchy and mushy (is that the opposite of crunchy?). I’m textured.
So now I have this inner battle playing out in my head and I’m not sure which side of me is going to win. Colin is sleep-challenged. In his nearly eight months, there have been a handful of nights that were good. By good, I mean he only woke 1-2 times at night and there was even one incredible night where he did not wake at all. Most nights, however, he’s up 3 to 5 times.
I will usually get up and sit in the recliner and nurse him back to sleep. Most nights I’m so tired that I end up falling asleep too. I may or may not wake up a couple of hours later and try to put him in his crib. Sometimes he will stay sleeping, sometimes he will not and then I’ll end up back in the chair where I may or may not fall asleep. If he does stay sleeping, I’ll drag myself to bed and fall asleep and, without a doubt, he’ll be up again in 1 to 2 hours and then we repeat the process. I’d say most nights, I don’t spend more than 3 hours actually in my bed and I don’t generally sleep more than 2 hours at a time. I’m tired, and although I keep repeating my mantra of ‘This, too, shall pass’ it’s not passing quickly enough.
I thought I had him figured out. I’m a math nerd, I like patterns. It seemed like he was having two good weeks followed by two bad weeks. Last week, I had a couple of good nights in a row so I thought that would continue for a little while. I was lured into a false sense of security and even had a couple of drinks Thursday night and then bam, right back to bizarro-sleep Colin.
Last night was pretty typical. I finally made it back to my bed around 2:30 am and then he was up again at 3:30 am. As I pulled him out of the crib I said, “Oh will you please shut up and go the f*$& to sleep.” Now, if you are gasping in horror, you have clearly never been woken up every 1 to 2 hours all night for eight months or you are a saint. Even Mark, who has been dubbed Saint Mark by my mom, gets frustrated with Colin. The other day, he was walking with him, trying to get him to sleep, and I overheard him saying, “I’m holding you, so why do you give a rat’s ass if I’m sitting or standing?!?” (Why DO babies care if you are sitting or standing? It’s one of life’s great mysteries.)
So now that I have found myself swearing at my sweet little baby, I’ve got to do something about this sleep thing. It’s crunchy mom vs. mushy mom, co-sleep versus cry it out. I’m putting five bucks on crunchy mom.