Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Blessed Sleep - Part Two

Tonight marks 9 nights in a row of sleeping in her crib in her room. I think it's safe to say that's how things are gonna roll at our house. Her foster mother didn't co-sleep with her. Mia slept by herself during her time with the foster family. She also preferred to sleep that way while we were in China together.

We tried co-sleeping when we first got home but just because that was easier for me. We were both so jet lagged and exhausted, sleeping at odd times. It was easier to just lay down together in mommy's bed. I also think it helped her during that first week as we transitioned to yet another new place for her. I was her familiar something. The only familiar something really. So it worked for us.

After she fell asleep on the living room floor after a hard day of playing, I decided to see what would happen if I put her in her crib. And we haven't looked back. We still do naps downstairs on the couch or the floor. Sometimes if I'm gonna nap with her we'll end up in my bed just cuz I can't resist snuggling with her.

Like this particular day. We were all cozy and Griffey decided he wanted a little snuggle time, too. I'm so glad I had my I-Phone laying on the night stand so I didn't miss this moment. He's finally starting to accept her into our pack. Total cuteness.
But at bedtime, she's in her crib 100% of the time. We have a bottle, read a few books, snuggle in the upholstered rocker in her room and then rock until she falls asleep. Her foster mother also rocked her at night... but in a cradle... not in her arms. Mia had two foster sisters. One a month older and one a month younger. So her foster mother did the best she could while basically juggling triplets.

I hope that someday we'll get to a point where I can kiss her goodnight, put her in her crib and she'll drift off to sleep on her own. But we're not there yet. Probably not for a long while.

She generally goes to bed anytime between 7:30 and 9pm. We shoot for 7:30 cuz that's what she seems to need. But not every night is easy. Sometimes it takes her until 9 to fall asleep. She doesn't always want to give in to sleep. Even though her body says otherwise. Her eyes will be rolling back in her head... but she'll fight to stay awake. And this child is stubborn! She'll fuss, sometimes just flat out cry, pull her hair, kick her legs, move her arms. Just anything to keep her body moving. Because once she's still... that's all she wrote.

I never let her cry it out in her crib. Never. I stay with her until she falls asleep. No matter what. And most of the time, I'm rocking her. There have been nights where it exhausts me. My back and arms ache. But I never leave her alone to cry it out. It's way too soon for that. Right now the most important thing is for her to know that I'm here. I need her to learn to trust that. It's a work in progress. 

I've heard the fighting sleep thing is common for kids. Especially adopted children transitioning into their new life. I don't know why she does it. Is she just too nosy? Afraid she'll miss something? Or is there anxiety somewhere under the surface?

She's a fabulous sleeper.... about 95% of the time. She'll stay asleep until sometime between 7-8:30am. She may whimper a couple times throughout the night. But it just takes me popping her pacifier back in and rubbing her back and she's back out within a minute or two.

I really can't complain about the sleep thing AT ALL. I've heard friends talk about how they struggle with sleep issues. I was prepared for that. But so far... I've been so blessed. Knock on wood. LOL!

Once she's out... she sleeps really well. I watch her on the video monitor. Usually she sleeps like a rock, barely moving. Which makes me believe it's not so much anxiety or stress keeping her awake. I'd think her sleep would be restless with a lot of waking up if that were the case. But I don't really know.

I just know I say little thank you prayers to the sleep gods for blessing me with such a good sleeper. Even when I'm in my second hour of struggling to get her asleep, exhausted, hot, and ready to cry myself... I know once she gives in I'll usually have 8-12 hours of peace. So I hang in there. That is So Much More than I ever imagined was possible. I'm sure we'll have our moments with rough nights here and there. But right now... I couldn't be happier with how well she's doing.


GGHadden said...

Mia finally let me leave her room without crying at about 2 months, what a great moment that was :)
Glad all is rolling along quite well over there at your house-totally a life changer huh?

myminivanrocks said...

I'm so glad you are both getting some rest. (Well, Mia, anyway. I bet you are still watching her on that video monitor all night! It is wonderful after sleeping works consistently and long enough that you can finally relax and sleep through the night yourself!)

I'm glad the two of you have found what works for your family!

k1 said...

I think they sometimes fight sleep because they don't know if the parent(s) will still be there when they wake up. They've been through various numbers of transitions by the time they come to a family. As long as they are awake and can see/keep tabs on people, they know things are okay and they are safe. But by going to sleep they can't be sure that their people will be there when they awake.

Same thing will probably happen when Mia's a little older when you try to go into the bathroom alone or back to work or even just into another room. She needs to know you will still be there or come back.

cougchick said...

It sounds like you are settling in rather well. Thanks so much for sharing.

Cuz Debbie said...

Both my kid fought sleep as long as they could!! they were just nosy and didnt want to miss anything! (they are both still that way!!) lol I did the same as you, rocked them every night, no matter how long it took or how many favorite TV shows I missed! They eventually went to sleep without rocking. Hang in there, it doesn't last forever! Glad everything is going so smoothly for you!

K said...

Isn't a mother's love an amazing thing? It gives us strength and patience that go beyond whatever could be imagined before motherhood.

You are a great mother and it sounds like Mia is bringing out the best in you, as my daughter has done for me.

KJS said...

I am glad to hear that Mia is sleeping. Can you please have her tell Livi to sleep. :-)

Aus said...

Morning - I'll second K1's thoughts - and I'll bet you next weeks paycheck that at some point on the trip to her forever family Mia was asleep - maybe even until shortly before she was handed to you for the first time...

And right now - in her own little kids way - she know's she's got it made.....

and if she falls asleep - when she wakes up - will it all be differnt?

But that will pass in time - promise!

Acutally - sounds like things are going great!

hugs - aus and co.

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