Mid-night Insomnia

Ever since we brought Lincoln home from the hospital, he has slept three-four (and sometimes five or even six) hours at a stretch during the night. We go to bed around 10 or 10:30 and then he typically has me up once between 2 and 3 and not again until the big kids are getting up for the day at 6 or 6:30.  I’ve had babies that have done far less sleeping, so really, I’ve been OK with LT’s self-proscribed sleep schedule.

Lately it is my own sleep that has been causing me fits, and not just fits, but Royal Hissy Fits which is another expression from my dear father. I’m not struggling so much to start the night…usually I fall asleep with no problems after Lincoln’s final feeding for the day. What’s been getting me, however, is the going back to bed after the middle of the night nursing session. I am sucking at that. It seems like some cruel ironic twist that someone as tired as myself could ever have problems sleeping, but really, the last several nights have had me up from 2-4 or even 5 a.m. because I just can’t shut it off and go back to bed once I get Little Dude back in his cosleeper.

Perhaps part of the problem is that I have never, for the life of me and my sweet babes, been able to nurse in bed. I physically have to drag my bum to the rocking chair because I just can’t get comfortable when I try to nurse horizontally (which might explain why I am such a nutter for collector of rocking chairs). Maybe the whole getting up is really just too much of actual getting up and therefore makes it hard to go back down?

Perhaps another part is that Lincoln is not a quiet sleeper. We’ve always had our babies in our room for their first five-six months and I remember all of them making noise, but LT seems to be an especially loud roommate. He grunts and shuffles and grunts and wiggles and grunts some more, all without ever really squawking. Actually, it is just these movements that eventually wake me up and get me to nurse him at all during the night; he has yet to start crying enough to get me up and in the chair for him, but he doesn’t need to because the rest of it is plenty loud. So last night, for example, each time I was about to fall back asleep, Lincoln would make one of his many sounds and I’d be wide awake once again.

Or perhaps the real problem is that my mind spins in the middle of the night and keeps me up because I know that all too soon, I will be doing this day-in-day-out with three little Littles all on my own. Ben starts back to school at the end of this week and I’ll be honest – I’m quaking in my boots. When I think about the daunting task of aligning all of their schedules and meeting all of their needs not to mention functioning as capable adult human myself, I get a wee bit overwhelmed. I know I’ve got family and friends that will lend helping hands when they can, but still…my life as a mama of three is about to get Real. So it is unfortunate that I feel like I’m about to enter the dark and scary way-too-tired place because this is the time when I need to be rested and ready to face each day with enthusiasm, not dread and dragging feet. And since I’m still avoiding caffeine and would like to continue to do so, I’m really going to have to dig deep to get the energy and motivation I need to get from getting through to actually living the days and weeks to come.

So how do I do it? How do I shut off my head and get back to bed so I can get the rest I very much need to be the mama I very much want to be?  


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