Fast forward a few thousand days and my dreams of the perfect nursery are replaced with dreams of a restful nights sleep not only for me but mostly for my daughter. It's a known fact here that we have had major sleep issues since day one with our cricket. The sleep issue was no surprise to us when we were in China as our referral paperwork clearly stated "moderate sleeper". Little did we know that what that translated to was really, "hates to sleep, can operate on little to no sleep and will wake at the drop of a feather". We seriously walk on eggshells here once we are able to get those beautiful eyes to close.
In the last few months it had become very clear that our "sleep issues" were more than not wanting to fall into blissful dreamland, sleep was becoming torture for us all. We've tried it all let me tell you! Co-sleeping was immediately dismissed because our little cricket would only play when we were in bed and I mean play all night long. Then there are the special blankets, sound machines, night lights, door open, door closed, 10 different kinds of jammies, swaddling, rocking, not rocking, walking, singing...and the list goes on. We've even tried driving around but as soon as the engine gets turned off the eyes open and it's time to party and play.
As the weeks wore on this summer it was becoming harder and harder for us to even put a completely snoring passed out baby in the crib. The minute our bodies would touch the rails of the crib the cricket would scream in terror...sound asleep mind you. Our nights also became a struggle of who would get a full nights sleep and who would spend the night in the rocker. It wasn't pretty. Then during a camping trip we decided that one of us would sleep with our girl in the bed and the other on the couch. We could easily get her down in a regular bed but always felt the need to stay with her to make sure she didn't fall out of course. We had pretty long periods of sleep surprisingly using this method.
At home our tactics began to change. Once we were able to get the cricket to sleep one of us would sleep with her in the twin bed in her room but always had too many kicks to the kidneys. Then we brought in a futon mattress but soon realized that A. she would roll off onto the floor, wake up and then play the night away or B. it was like sleeping on a cement floor for the parent who was on duty that night. But it was also apparent that the futon was actually working. The cricket would go down on it with no struggle and if we did have to sleep with her on it, we actually got some sleep, not rem sleep but sleep non the less.
The trip to L.A. was the kick in the head that was the beginning of the end. By now a crib or pack & play was met with screaming, kicking and pure terror so I chose to sleep on a mattress on the floor with her during my stay. Each night I could easily get her from bottle to bed with no trouble. Each night when I crawled into bed beside her she wouldn't wake. Each morning I was pushed off my pillow during the early hours only to discover my cricket sweetly passed out still. I fretted the pillow and would sit up and watch her sleep to make sure she didn't suffocate. And during those hours I saw on her face for the first time during sleep...a peace. With each morning she woke with such happiness. Big smiles with sweet hugs and kisses. Every morning.
On the drive home Mike and I shared our thoughts of what to do. Obviously the crib was the problem and our thoughts were put in stone that first night home, she wanted nothing to do with the crib. The next morning Mike said he had the solution and by that afternoon our little cricket had a new bed. Behold the pipe bed.....
With the mattress from the trundle bed on the floor, ten dollars worth of PVC pipe made into a wrap around bed rail and dressed up with the bumpers from the crib we have a new bed. The cricket LURVES it! She loves to be in it and has no issues with bed time, nap time or anytime she's in it. She also has a new pillow that she loves almost as much as the bed. Just seeing her smile when she's in there is enough to melt me. It's also enough to kill me thinking about these last 6 months and what the crib did to her. It was nothing short of torture for her.
Now don't get me wrong, we still have some sleep issues but the terror is quite obviously gone and that is worth letting go of my dream nursery forever. The only thing that would fulfill my dreams now is seeing my daughter happy and comfortable with sleep. When we took the crib down this week, we did it together, mommy, daddy and daughter. It was a painful process for me but worth hiding my tears to see my sweet baby wave goodbye to the crib when it went out her door. After it was gone we all got in her new slumberland snuggled....with smiles.
(excuse the horrible picture quality...trying to capture a busy baby is like trying to take a picture of a shooting star!)