Saturday, October 8, 2011

31 for 21- Day 8: Sleeping Like a Baby

What a ridiculous expression! I'm sure that most of you who have ever had a baby know that the expression that conjures images of restful sleep is pretty inaccurate. 

I'd heard that sleeping can be an issue for some children with Ds, but I've also heard about kids who sleep through the night from Day 1.

Little pre-surgery heart failure Cora slept all the time and through the night. Or she would have if we weren't constantly waking her to try and eat.  Note that this does NOT mean that I slept through the night.  I usually was up every 1-1/2 hours for about 1-1/2 hours.  Yes, fun, but lack of sleep is expected when you have a newborn.

Then for the first few months after surgery she slept great, and we were able to gradually reduce her night feeds to the point where she would sleep through without needing to eat for about 10 hours.  So I started to gradually get more sleep too.

But then she turned 6 months old and all that stopped. With the introduction of solid foods she started waking up at night.  It doesn't seem to be a specific food intolerance since we've given a variety of foods individually.  At this point she wakes up several times a night and needs Nick to use his "secret weapon" to get her back to sleep or needs to be nursed.  Yes, we've tried letting her self-soothe, but she'll stay up indefinitely whining the whole time.

So the whole sleeping through the night thing is not a reality in our lives and certainly doesn't seem like it will be any time soon.

But what's supremely frustrating is that when I worry about sleeping, I get insomnia.  And it's been plaguing me a lot lately.  Last night I was in bed for more than 9 hours and slept less than 5.  And it's really not Cora or Nick's fault.  I've even taking to sleeping upstairs away from everyone else.  It's getting to the point where I can barely sleep in my own bed.

Ah, the joys of parenting, right?  To tell the truth, in some ways it's a relief to be dealing with such typical parenting struggles.  After the stress and worry of our lives pre-surgery, life became pretty euphoric for a while. It seemed that the typical early parenting woes and the difficult transition didn't really apply to me.  Because the initial worry made me feel so apart and so atypical, and later, the intense joy and high from suddenly having a healthy baby made me so happy.  I just couldn't relate to other parents who were worried about what seemed to be mundane day-to-day things.

Except that now the day-to-day seems significant to me.  I get stressed out and frazzled like the rest of the busy mommies of young babies do.  But even so, stressed and frazzled and tired, these "mundane" worries can be kind of nice, since they're mingled with the joy of life with Cora.

Little Cora certainly is not worse for the wear-- although her bedhead may be!  


  1. Sweet Pea has been sleeping great- up once or twice to eat. I'm almost dreading what she'll do with all her new- found energy in a couple weeks.

  2. Oh my goodness, this picture is SO cute! I hope you don't mind but I've claimed Cora as Ben's girlfriend:) As they almost share a birthday it would be a perfect match!

  3. That sweet picture made me giggle - I love the joyful expression on her face! Hoping you all get good sleep tonight...

  4. That picture! Oh my...her eyes and her smile are so big!!! (that smile is contagious!) I'm so sorry that you are dealing with that issue of parenting! We lucked out. Hailey sleeps better than are other two! It will happen...hopefully soon!


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