Y’all, I see from my stats meter that it has been almost a month since I last wrote anything here, which is a damn shame, because I like telling you what’s happening around these parts, even if it’s not terribly exciting or zany. My big major excuse is that I haven’t slept. At all. Like, any. I can’t believe I’m about to do this, because typing it out like this makes it both more real and more unbelievable, but I have not slept more than three aligned hours in a MONTH AND A HALF, at least. A MONTH AND A HALF. I am a walking zombie with massive rage issues on this little sleep, and I imagine I am deeply unpleasant to be around most of the time.
Which is why I haven’t been here to write, because my new plan of attack has been to go to bed at 8pm, and try, as hard as I can, to sleep while the baby sleeps, even if it does mean my blog, my relationship, and my sense of myself as an autonomous individual suffer.
I realize there are two (at least) schools of thought about this- cry it out, or persist using more gentle methods, and each has downsides. If I thought for ONE SECOND that crying it out might work for Olivia, I’d do it- but I know from how things work when she and I are in the car when I can’t reach her- she’ll whine, and then cry, and then the howl, and then vomit, and then pass out, and well. NO. There is no way I can convince myself that crying until she VOMITS is a positive sleep association. So cry it out is off the table for us right now, which leaves other methods.
I’ve read Pantley’s No Cry Sleep Solution, and I like it, in theory. But there are two issues, for us personally, and the first one is that Olivia starts fussing WHILE STILL ASLEEP. If I wait to pick her up, she’ll just fuss until she’s wide awake, making it harder for her to fall asleep. If I pick her up, she’s asleep almost the INSTANT she’s in my arms, and Pantley’s solution is to put her down while drowsy, which I can’t do, since that moment is a millisecond long somewhere between her sheets and my arms. I’ve tried simply laying my hands on her without picking her up, with mild success- sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I know it isn’t that Pantley actually thinks things happen this way, but her book reads like your baby will wake in a predictable fashion and respond in a predictable way and that through careful training, you can convince your baby to stay asleep, because your baby always does things a certain way, and by progressing through steps, you can fix it. But Olivia doesn’t do anything in a predictable fashion- sometimes picking her up works, but the minute I put her down, she’s fussing again. Sometimes touching her works, and sometimes it wakes her up more.
And my second issue is personal, and that is that at 2am, I am low on just about everything, but patience and calm are very high on the list. Pantley’s solution requires a deep well of both- repeatedly picking her up and putting her down, or patting her, or replacing the pacifier for the millionth time, or whatever technique it is you’re supposed to be employing to encourage sleep. And I just don’t have it. I get that it’s supposed to be a short-term pain for a long-term gain, but at 2 am, I CANNOT see the forest for the trees. I just CANNOT.
And so I take her into my arms until she’s comatose asleep, and then try to put her down, which somehow, no matter how slow I move, wakes her up about 50% of the time. I give up then, and take her into the bed with me, where we sleep fitfully for another hour before starting all over again.
Oh, lord, just re-reading those 600 words makes me want to shoot myself in the face, because I sound like the whiniest of little bitches, but there you have it. That’s what’s going on ’round these parts, and I told you in the beginning that I am deeply unpleasant to be around.
Lay it on me, those of you that have been there. What other books should I be reading? What other techniques worked for you? Is DO NOTHING a valid technique? Anyone got a discount coupon for a full frontal lobotomy?