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Tuesday, January 22

A Big Change

Today I made a VERY hard decision. It was a gut-wrenching one for it played on my insecurities as an adoptive parent. "What decision??" I can hear you asking. Well, it was a decision made by both DH and myself to move Alice into her own room. To cut a long and stressful story short, I have come to the conclusion that I am NOT a good parent when I am sleep deprived. And we aren't just talking missing an hour or so's sleep here - were are talking an average of four broken hours sleep per night. Ack. Since handover, Alice has slept with us, either in our bed or in her cot, but with the side removed so that she can roll into our bed if she wants to. This worked well in the early days, but for the past month or two it hasn't been working so well. The main problem is that Alice is an incredibly restless sleeper. She grunts, groans, talks to herself, farts and mumbles in her sleep. She shifts around the cot constantly, frequently banging her head or feet on the ends of the cot. Funnily enough, she tends not to wake too often, even with all this nocturnal activity, but guess what?? I DO!!! Every murmur or moan has me wide awake, and I then have a shocking time trying to get back to sleep. So, after yet another night of crappy sleep, I cried to DH and said I couldn't do it anymore. I feel like the WORST adoptive parent in history, as I know how important co-sleeping is for bonding and attachment, but I just can't function on four hours interrupted sleep a night. And not only am I suffering, but so are my kids. Unfortunately I have been super-grumpy mum the past few weeks, all because of the lack of sleep. I feel that I owe it to my kids (especially my big kids) to be a less miserable parent, so this is the path we have decided to take. I just hope that it works. Alice is currently having her second nap of the day in her new room, and just woke crying, but she seems to have put herself back to sleep. The nap this morning was fine, but I did put her into bed asleep, so she probably wasn't aware of the change in surroundings. This afternoon she was awake when I put her down, and she did protest briefly but aside from this and the little wake up a few minutes ago all seems to be going OK. Tonight will be the big test!

So there you have it people - I am wracked with guilt, but feeling secretly relieved that my bedroom has once again become MY BEDROOM and not just a room with a bed and a cot in it. I pray that the decision I made was the right one for all of us....

PS - is that one of the Walton girls in the picture?? 'Goodnight Jim-bob', 'Goodnight Mary-Ellen', 'Goodnight me.....'


Jen said...

Aaah sweet Cristina. When God is in the picture - none of it really matters. We COULDN'T put Ebony in our room when we first brought her home because the room we were in was so small. Yes, I did stay with her (sometimes for an hour and sometimes laying on the floor beside her cot with our hands touching) until she went to sleep - but within 3 months she was getting off to sleep absolutely fine without me (or hubby). She WILL be fine as a matter of fact she will probably absolutely adore her NEW mommy! xx Jen

Glori said...

Hey Cris. I know there are special needs and adjustments for adopted scenarios, however, all children are adaptable & flexible. Sure, there will be some adjustment time but ALL kids go through it. Alice KNOWS (it's primal) that she is surrounded by love & support. You need to make sure that YOU support yourself and, for you unbroken sleep is imperative. Your decision is right. Trust your instincts & trust the love you all surround yourselves with. Here's to sound sleeping.

PS My DS is STILL (at 13) a restless sleeper. I never tuck in the sheets - no point. Plus, he talks too (especially when overheated/overstimulated by something). It is just the nature of the beast :)

Louanne said...

Tassie - fear not. Nadia has never slept with us and I don't think it's affected our bonding. Deep breath and sleep well tonight :)