A Tale of Two Nights

[A flashback to Monday and Tuesday of this past week] Night One: After four pretty decent nights of sleep, we had our worst night in a while. Spencer woke up at ten-ish (after three-ish hours) crying, and would not settle down for over two hours. Whenever he wakes up crying, we give it 15 minutes before we go in. Most times, he goes back down himself. (We were at ten minutes, but we found that wasn't enough time for him and we were ultimately making the situation worse.) Then after going in and telling him that it was night-night time, we give it another ten minutes before going in again. This continues until he falls asleep... which has typically been after one or two "visits." Not this night. This night it just got worse and worse. At 12:30 am, I finally brought my blanket and pillow in to his room and laid down on the floor. We haven't had to do this since the first week home, so the emotional impact on me was one of devastation and failure. He, on the other hand, settled right down. For two hours. And then it started again. I got him down after an hour and a half and tried to fall asleep again. Which didn't happen. My mind was racing and the floor was really uncomfortable... which meant I got two hours and he got maybe 6 or 7? Not good. I was in a bad state the next morning... emotionally and physically. Why did this happen?! Who knows. The fact of the matter was that it did. The following day wasn't much better... he fought me on both naps and he and I spent most of the day in tears and complaining. (Thank you to both Courtney and Elizabeth who listened to me vent and complain for way longer than was necessary.) I also had some of my worst mama moments ever... I completely lost my $hit. I didn't even know who this person was... I was screaming, cursing, and slamming doors... I think I finally met my breaking point. It wasn't pretty and it left me with the most incredible guilt. Never again.

Night Two: Spencer went to bed at 6:55 pm and slept until 6 am!!! Now this is miraculous for a couple of reasons. In this house, sleep begets sleep and bad sleep begets bad sleep. Normally after a night/day like we just had on Night One... we'd have a similar night on Night Two. We've never been able to "bounce back" like this. Knowing that we can does wonders for my confidence in this matter. Also, he slept for 11 hours straight. Up until this point, that was a rare occurrence... in the four nights since, it's been 10.5 - 11 hours straight through... for five nights in a row!! That's a record!

I mean, what a difference in those two nights. Night One, while severe, reflects what was a normal occurrence in this house (with the exception of me sleeping on the floor). Waking up, having to go through the procedure of "training" him to go back to sleep, mama not getting good sleep, fighting naps the next day, etc. All that was commonplace here... I've complained enough that I think you all know that. Then, on Night Two, it was like everything clicked. Finally. I am so very proud of my little guy. He's worked really hard at this, and it's finally coming together...

Case in point: Saturday night he went down the most "awake" he's ever gone into the crib [meaning he was not really showing his sleepy signs]... and he still managed to get himself to sleep within 20 minutes.

So far, I have not jinxed myself with the sleep statement. And yes, I am knocking wood. As most of you know, sleep has been a struggle for us, so I won't harp on that (too much). But,  I've had a lot of time to complain about contemplate what has been going on. There are a lot of factors that go into why we don't didn't get great sleep here. Teething, attachment, teething, grieving, teething, hunger... and I just don't think Spencer is a great sleeper. I don't think he ever was. Reading his reports from Korea with 20/20 hindsight brings some other interpretations than they originally did. Just saying. I have a lot of theories in addition to the above, but everything in it's own time is what I ended up telling myself.

This sleep thing was a long time in coming... and we worked really hard to get here. Now I just hope it sticks around for a couple of weeks...