I’ve slept through the night only a handful of times in the last 6 years. Between pregnancy insomnia, having our first baby, pregnancy insomnia again, having a toddler and a newborn, more pregnancy insomnia, and then 2 toddlers and a newborn, sleep just wasn’t a thing anymore. Throw in some teething or sick kids, and it just wasn’t in my cards. I accepted that. We had 3 kids in 3 years… we certainly didn’t expect to be sleeping in. So I learned how to live off of naps and coffee.
Then Micah was diagnosed with acid reflux at 6 weeks old. That called for a whole lot of screaming at all hours… mainly at night. Combine that with 2 toddlers, and I was exhausted. Completely and utterly exhausted. The acid reflux medicine would help, but he would nurse around the clock to help the pain reflux caused. I figured once Micah would start solids then sleep would get better. It did for the first two kids, so this one would follow the trend… right? Wrong. So wrong. Starting solids led to hospital trips, even more screaming, medical appointments, and Micah’s FPIES diagnosis.
After figuring out the majority of foods Micah reacted to through my diet (and this included caffeine of any type. Goodbye coffee. I will never forget you.), sleep came back. By that, I mean that we went from being up every 30-45 minutes to going 1.5 hour stretches. It sounds terrible, but it was amazing. An hour and a half straight?! It was so wonderful! He was 12 months old. An age where a lot of babies are sleeping through the night (or have been for awhile), and I was up every 1.5 hours to nurse him. Like a newborn.
For whatever reason, Micah napped just fine. He’d nap from 1:30pm-4:30pm… as long as he was in my arms. And only in my arms until he was 22 months old. That was the first time he napped in his crib. A 3 hour stretch that I was desperately wanting at night. Haha! And nighttime was always spent in bed between me and the hubby. Because we didn’t go to bed early, neither did he. He’d sleep at 11pm or midnight or 1am, wake every 1.5-2 hours throughout the night, and I’d have to wake him up when the older two would get up for the day… typically around 8:30am.
Then Micah turned 23 months old and the hubby put him in his crib at night when I was at work… just to test him out. It was something we’d try and would always end with Micah crying, so we would resort to keeping him up and/or napping in our arms. That day though, I’m not sure what happened, but Micah slept in his crib at night. I’m talking 8pm-6am. It was a miracle! Since I was at work, I didn’t get to bed until 1am, and I woke up a few times during that period to check on him, but it was unreal! I actually had to pick him up to nurse at 6am, because I was so engorged and leaking milk that I just needed some relief! Haha! But he went right back down until 8am. How?! What?! So Jason put him down in the crib the next night. Maybe this was going to be the start of something new? He slept in there again with no fight. He didn’t give us a long stretch, but we got our bed back… and that was a win in itself.
Now Micah is 2 (25 months old today to be exact), and he sleeps from 8pm-12am straight. From 12am-8am, he is up every 2 hours. Since I don’t get to bed until midnight most nights (and usually later), that means I’m up every 2 hours too. There’s no crying in pain anymore, and I’m sure it’s likely routine for him, but I’m not one for sleep training. Especially not for Micah. Considering this boy had spent so much of his life crying at night and screaming in pain, I cannot bring myself to let him “cry it out” in any sense. I know he’ll give me longer stretches of sleep one day. I know that it probably won’t be tomorrow. Or next week. Or next month. But I know it will happen. If Micah decides to surprise me next month with 4 hour stretches, I’ll happily take it! But I won’t force it. This too shall pass, right? At least, that’s what we’re told! One day I’ll sleep again… one day…