Yesterday I took an online survey for new parents...How much sleep are you getting? I included only night time hours and was pleased to see that the majority of the the thousands who took the survey fell in the 4-5 hour range that I had clicked off as my vote. About 25% were getting more or less than that. It was comforting to know we fell into the normal range. I felt even better knowing I did not include naps and that we were closer to the 5 hour end than the 4. Discovering a new normal is certainly where we are at.
We appear to have some routines during the day...anticipated nap times and feeding times. The night is a whole other beast. I can't complain...for the most part Rylyn only cries when hungry or uncomfortable (i.e. I want a snuggle! Do you really need to change my diaper...the air is cold!?!) And, for the most part she sleeps at night when she is not feeding. We have, however, had a few twilight challenges...wide awake baby who if put down will cry and won't settle. For now, we are just snuggling and loving her until she falls asleep, because that is more enjoyable for both parties than listening to her cry! We have tried letting her "cry-it-out" but more than 10 minutes of that just seems cruel...and she is still awake and wanting love. So I guess we can call our present strategy "love-it-out."
Thank God for daddies. Last night, after nursing her, the awake spell with cries hit. After about an hour...my resolve was to put her in the nursery and pray in the room next door, "Lord, I don't know what she wants, I don't know what to do. I am tired and need to sleep." She fell asleep after about 10 minutes of crying, only to wake 5 minutes later, because it was time to feed again. More cries after the feed. Chris promptly took her, snuggled her to sleep and that was the end of it. Rylyn and parents then slept for a good 4 hour stretch...our longest yet! It is amazing how just when you think you are at the end of your rope God pulls through (in this case through my husband).
We are still trying to figure the night out...trying to be led by Rylyn's cues and need to nurse...but also our own need for rest. We are open to suggestions, please feel free to respond with your own experience. For now, the 1.5 hours of crying was worth the 4 hour block of sleep. Our twilight challenges in the future will probably involve puke or worrying about date Rylyn is on, so for now we'll cherish the cries, because the greatest reward is knowing she just wants our love.
Bible Reflections from John Chapter 14
14 If you ask[c] anything in My name, I will do it. - A promise that will keep new parents going when they feel at the end of their rope.
23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. - Our home is with the Father. Just as Rylyn needed to snuggle and feel at home with her Daddy, so too must we remember to come to our Father in heaven with our needs. That is where our security lay.