So this is what 36 looks like, huh? Not too shabby I suppose, given the circumstances. And we all know to what circumstances I'm referring, and yes, those are the same circumstances that have kept me from blogging (or answering email or reading email) for days now. Unfortunately I can only type when I have my hands free (unlike Hatchet I can't type one-handed. Damn you, lack of a useful skill) so unless the kid is sleeping in the sling, my hands are busy doing things like trying to encourage tummy time or doing dishes or holding the remote while breastfeeding. (Rock of Love ain't gonna watch itself.) I won't lie, things were ugly - U-G-L-Y - for awhile. I won't bore you with the details but suffice it to say, prolonged lack of sleep makes things grim. How bad did it get? Bad enough that we paid for a consultation with an infant sleep specialist. She came highly recommended by our pediatrician and the testimonials were beyond glowing. She was to come to our house, suss out the situation and offer a personalized, step-by-step plan to get our guy some zzz's. Granted, it seemed like a lot to cover in only an hour ("unless you want to arrange a follow up consultation...") but we figured what the hell? All we had to lose was money.
Oh yeah, money.
The going rate for sleep in this city? Three hundred and fifty smackers.
Did I mention it was only an hour?
Not that any of it - the outrageous cost, the magnitude of the task - stopped us. You promise that my baby will sleep, I'll give you massages covered in truffles coated in gold. Desperation drives people to do crazy things. $350 an hour things. (Apparently in some cases, $80,000 things. Click for pics!) So was it worth it? Does $350 buy happiness? Hell to the N-O.
Instead, a very nice, very intelligent twenty-something came over, sat in our living room, and regurgitated the opening chapter of "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child". We learned all about infant sleep cycles and brain development and what to expect when we start sleep training which we can't do until he's 14 weeks. Turns out, we can't do much of anything until he's 14 weeks. Which would have been good to know - BEFORE WE SPENT $350. We sat there smiling and nodding, waiting for her to get to the point (what can we do now) but she just kept burping up variations of wait and see. ("Well, when he hits this next developmental milestone...", "In a few weeks you should start seeing major changes!") That's fine and good but for $350, I want to learn something I DIDN'T ALREADY KNOW. ANNNNND! If you're promising solutions, I expect them to be more creative and interesting than melonfarming cry-it-out! If I wanted to do a modified Ferber (which, yes, is what we're going to do) than I could've just re-read one of the gazillion sleep books gathering dust on my bookshelves or called Missy for some good old-fashioned hand holding. To give her some credit, she did offer some much needed reassurance that Will is on track developmentally and some things to look forward to in the weeks to come (consolidating sleep!) but I still get a little sick when I think about writing out that check.
That said, all is not lost. Some sanity has been regained. And the best part? The solution was totally free. I was talking to another sleep deprived mommy and she said that she and her husband slept in shifts. He took the first one - 10 pm to 2 am - and she did the second - 2 to 6 am. At first it sounded crazy but last night we decided to give it a go. And friends, it was heaven. Right now we're still sleeping in separate rooms but once we get our spankin' new co-sleeper set up (expect a call this weekend, Boyers) we'll have something that resembles a life - at least for three more weeks until we start sleep training...