09 April 2014


And if you want to know what I did to celebrate, well, it looked a lot like me running around our condo in my skivvies and laughing/crying and pumping my fists in the air.
A full REM cycle has been a long time coming, and let me tell you; it feels gooooooood.
After months and months of sleepless nights, we finally get to join the club of rested parents. It has been a long and, umm, whiney road. A few months ago I wrote this, a post about moving Marin into our bed after a sudden and unusual change in her sleep, or lack there of.  All of a sudden around SIX months old, she went from sleeping 10 hours a night to waking every 2-3 hours, just like a newborn. I think a growth spurt was the initial culprit (insert fist shake and dirty look at you, growth spurt). We knew co-sleeping would be a temporary fix and temporary it was. She was back to her old tricks in no time: waking, climbing, crawling, laughing. It was really cute and endearing until it wasn't.  So we tried what felt like EVERYTHING to get this sweet pea to sleep a full night. I knew I couldn't stomach the cry it out method, even if it does seem to be a surefire cure for lots of babes. I don't think it's wrong, I just knew it wasn't for us, at least not the hour long sessions I had read about. Every mom has a different crying threshold and mine is somewhere around 5-7 minutes. Beyond that I'm a puddle of  worthless crying mommy mush.  So, resolving not to listen to hours of baby Marin cries, we spent months gently coaxing and cuddling (and me crying instead. Lucky Andy).
We were determined to find a solution that would work for all three of us. And after ALL those months of waiting, having 8 inches of mattress to my name, and being an open-all-night lactation station, we finally did it!
Here’s how it went down.
Marin is only a couple weeks from her first birthday, so a couple weeks ago Andy and I sat Indian style on the kitchen floor for a pow wow of sorts. We decided it was time to start coaching Marin to attempt this sleep thing in her own bed. Maybe she was "ready" now.
We came up with a plan.  We would put her in her bed to sleep and go to her every FIVE minutes until she fell back asleep.  We planned to sing to her and rub her little head, and only pick her up if we felt it was absolutely necessary.  And lastly, we prayed.  Yeah, I know it seems dramatic and cliché, but we knew this was going to be tough.  We knew that even the little bit of fussing and the long nights of getting up to go to her crib would be patience-testing. Plus, we needed a reminder that God lets us to our tears sometimes so that we can learn.  And if he does it, then it must be good.  Simple as that.
The first night we layed Marin in her bed right at bedtime, just after bath and books. And we walked into the next room and listened. She cried which we expected, so after exactly five minutes I went to her and layed her down then walked away. We repeated this process, taking turns going to her, for a WHOLE hour. She finally fell asleep. First success.
We knew she would do her normal wake up thingy within the next couple hours. At 10:40 she was at the edge of her crib crying, woken by a toot or nose rub or something, and like usual she was frustrated by her tiredness and annoyance that she couldn't fall back asleep. I took the first shift of the night and went to her every 5-7 minutes to lay her down until she was back in dreamland. She woke twice during my shift and twice during Andy's. We kept our resolve. We worked as a team. Well, except for the time when Andy got confused about whose shift it was and told me, "It's your turn" when it was actually his, and in true grown up fashion I stomped my feet and threw his covers on the ground before walking over to the baby. Ha. Besides that little issue, we held our resolve, and we continued this routine for FIVE nights. 
Then there it was...the night of cricket sounds. I actually didn't sleep much because I was attacked by bewilderment induced insomnia. It was glorious and I was so proud of our efforts, Marin's efforts. These little people do things on their own clocks sometimes. So there you go. Marin has learned to sleep through the night (for now) and we learned to be patient, love her through her quirks, and stick to what fits us and our hearts.

Happy snoozing to all!

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