The last week has been rough in the sleep department for our house. Well, actually, I should rephrase that: Our firstborn has been sleeping like an angel for the last week and has enjoyed multiple nights of uninterrupted rest. Everyone else in the house is about to lose it. Thank you, sleep deprivation. I missed you - not.
After we brought the babies home in November, nights became long. (Yes, I carried those triplets 36 weeks, and we welcomed our sweet babies in November, though I'd planned all along to meet them in October.) The husband and I were so blessed that we didn't spend even an hour in the NICU. The downside to that? (Can there be a downside to that? Yes, there can.) We returned home with three tiny infants and a recovering momma - and not one of those babies wanted to sleep when it was dark outside.
I guess no sleep at night would have been bearable had anyone wanted to sleep during the day. But that, unfortunately, wasn't the case. One was almost always awake and needing something. Rest was so hard to come by. So the five of us resorted to "sleeping" in the living room. The babies won't stay in their cribs? OK, we'll camp out in the living room as a family and get whatever rest we can, rotating babies from the recliner with Momma to the couch with Daddy to the Pack 'N' Play. (Anyone who is tempted to comment about the dangers of letting an infant sleep with you can stop reading right now.)
We did whatever we could, and I prayed and prayed for the day those nights would pass. The husband suggested letting them cry much sooner than I was ready to let them. "They're only a week old once," I told him. Then I said, "They're never going to be a month old again."
I so badly wanted those babies to get in their cribs, and then I'd look at them and realize how much they needed us and see how much they just wanted love and snuggling. And then I'd melt and happily sleep with a baby tucked - face up - in my elbow to rest for an hour.
But those days passed. We got our firstborn into her crib, her little brother, too, and finally our baby baby started sleeping in her crib, as well, despite a few tears here and there.We actually had nights where I had to get up to pump, but I didn't have to feed anyone. They slept and slept - sometimes for four hours at a time!
How is it that we've now returned to No-Sleep November, four months later? The babies are growing and changing with every day that passes. They smile and laugh and roll over; they'll all be mobile before I know it. And when it comes to sleep, our firstborn can now have nights where she sleeps 11 hours. It's like a gift from God. I wake up in the morning telling her I missed her all night because I hadn't had any interaction with her in hours.
But our little man is on a 30-minute-sleep-in-his-crib steak. He's trying to roll over, but he has yet to master the technique. And then he wakes up. And then he gets mad. And then he cries. And when he won't stop crying, sometimes Momma cries, too.
Our baby baby's issues are a little different: She's always liked the warmth of Momma or Daddy nearby, and she's recently decided that as soon as we put her in her crib, she's going to wake up and cry.
So, nights are tiring yet again, and I know this will probably go in waves for years to come. It's just rough when you're right in the middle of it, trying to survive the night so you can drive to work the next day and not fall asleep at your desk. All I can do is look at those little babies and thank God for everything he's given us. There will come a day when we won't be needed quite so much, so I better enjoy this while it lasts.