We're cooking our third, and while we are proud and happy to have been given this chance again, we were researching adoption and fostering when the positive test came. A decision to adopt/foster is always multifaceted, and ours was too... but there was one really selfish reason for which I preferred adoption/fostering to pregnancy: sleep.
At first, I thought the reason I wanted to adopt a baby older than 1 year was because I am just not a "baby person." It's true: I did not really enjoy either of my son's babyhoods. Isn't that awful? But it slowly has dawned on me in the last year WHY I did not enjoy their babyhoods. I was exhausted.
Our boys are 2 years apart, almost to the day (2 days between their birthdays). Neither slept more than 3 hours at a time until they were 2. My husband was in medical residency until the last one was 18 months. In short, I never slept more than 2 hours at a time either for 3.5 years. I was/am an extremely responsive nighttime parent. There has never been any attempt at any type of sleep training. They wake up, I seek out any problems, and try to put them back to sleep. I feel good about that-- don't get me wrong. I'm proud of it. But proud of it almost in the sense that someone would be proud of fighting in a war. It's not something I really wanted to do, but I acted according to my ideals within an extremely trying and less-than-ideal situation.
I was super responsive at night... and drop-dead exhausted everyday, for 3.5 years.
I've had about 1 year of more or less solid sleep, often getting woken up no more than 1 time in a night to change wet sheets or calm a nightmare. It's glorious. I am exercising again. I am reading again. I have a social life. And even more importantly: I don't want to divorce my husband and I PLAY WITH MY KIDS. I could go on, but my point is that when well-rested, I am a bad-ass daytime mama.
So I am worried about what the year beginning in April will bring.
It's true that my husband is no longer in residency. It's also true that we now live closer to supportive family. But I'm also now fully committed to finishing a dissertation by January 2014, and I no longer want to sacrifice my full and happy days for the sake of one of the five members of our family. It just doesn't seem like a fair exchange. In short: I cannot envision waking up every 2 hours for another 2 years. So I'm trying to piece together a plan. Just in case. Because I know-- not every baby wakes as often as my first two did.
So... to come to the broader point: when I saw this new sleep book advertised on Ohdeedoh.com, I instantly clicked through to amazon and bought it. (And so did a lot of folks apparently, as it seems to be out of stock today.) It arrived last week, and I'm having a hard time not reading it cover to cover. I want folks to discuss it with, so I'm hoping some of you have it or are interested in getting it so we can discuss.
The major premise of this book (which for the most part, 3 chapters in, seems quite AP acceptable) is that babies wake frequently at night because they are fearful for their safety. They experience "survival anxiety." Having a full tummy helps, she says, but "protecting" your night-crying baby by picking him or her up reinforces the idea that the baby was NOT safe where it lay, and that it was right to wake up so it could be "rescued" by you. The main philosophy of the book is to provide your baby with peace and security so that he or she can learn to enjoy sleeping. She claims that applying her method will lead to a baby as young as 4 months old sleeping 12 hours at a time.
Yeah. I'm not so sure either.
But I can't help but be hopeful. I just want a new approach that doesn't entail my baby crying by himself for any period of time. Pantley didn't do much for us, though believe me, I tried. So I'm hopeful. But cautiously so. But I would so appreciate a few other readers!
So let me know if you can get ahold of a copy and want to join me in discussing the book.