Sunday, January 29, 2012

Reality & Blessings

The reality of being home is that Emma has a hard time staying asleep.  She is awake all night tossing and turning, checking, and rechecking to make sure we are still there.  We have been co-sleeping with her but she still wakes up to check and recheck.

When we first got home, I thought  she just wanted to co-sleep (I had been fighting that in China to keep my rest). We thought that perhaps her foster family co-slept and that if we did that she would sleep more soundly.  It didn't help. 4 days later, we were just all exhausted.   Then, 2 nights ago,  my DH agreed to sleep on her floor as she slept in her toddler bed (as opposed to the crib she slept in while in China). She still popped her head up every 40 mins to check that he was there; however,  as long as he was there, she was good and went back down to sleep (on her own!).  She didn't need us in bed with her, she just wanted to make sure we hadn't left her. :-(

I have a great online community of adoptive parents that are helping me brainstorm my way around this while Emma learns we are not going anywhere.  We are pulling out every stop in the book -- natural products, music, a lovey, etc.  Honestly, I underestimated it when they told us that most kiddos coming home have sleep challenges.  I thought 'Oh i had a newborn, I get it'.  Nope. This is totally different from anything we saw with Alexis.  I want to openly say this so adoptive parents who are waiting know. You gotta prepare yourself for a tough first week home. Tougher then anything we saw in China at night.

During the day Emma is a dream and such a blessing to our family.  A few updates since we have been home:
  • She eats like a champ & continually uses the signs for 'more' food and 'down' from her high chair. 
  • She can traverse her way up the stairs (I found her on the landing one day this week so the gates went up immediately) and she just learned yesterday how to go down the stoop to our mudroom (1 step) backwards so she doesn't fall.  :-)  
  • We had our first Dr's Appt and she did great. Poor thing was pricked 4 times for the 12 vials of blood but they got it all eventually and so far so good!
We have wonderful friends and family who have been bringing us dinner so we haven't had to cook this week at all, thank God. Thank you to everyone who brought us something, we so appreciated it!

Lexie is loving being a big sister but having a hard time sharing our time. To be expected.  Funny day this week Matt walked in the playroom to find Lexie with a pair of kids scissors behind her back and a guilty face. He asked her what she did and she said 'I gave Emma a haircut'.   It was all we could do not to smile.

Emma's 'first' haircut from Lexie

Even with all the sleep issues, we were bound and determined to do some 'family' events this week. We went ice skating on Monday (before everyone got sick). Emma slept through the event.  Lexie loved her new skates but is still warming up to the idea of being on the ice. She has already asked to go again though so that is a good sign!

Emma sacked out as Lexie and Daddy come back from hitting the ice

We also hit the pool yesterday morning.  It was good for about 20 mins until everyone got cold.  Still 20 mins is pretty good for an outing!The only glitch -- getting two kiddos plus parents dressed and undressed in a small locker room is clearly still something we need to master, lol.

Emma's first swimming adventure

That is the update for now. We are doing freaking thankful for our employer who give us maternity and paternity leave for the next 9 weeks.


Anonymous said...

We had this exact same experience with sleep when we got home with Linna. The first 4 nights home from China were the worse we had. We first tried her in her crib with me sleeping on the floor next to her and she cried out every 20 minutes or so all night long. After 4 nights of this when we hit rock bottom (even the dog and cat too, ha), we decided to move her in to a pack-and-play next to our bed. We used a humidifier or fan for white noise. I stayed in the room when she went to bed for the first few weeks (I read or used the laptop for entertainment). After a few weeks of this I could sneak out of the room once she fell asleep. A few months later we had her start napping in her crib in her room and she did ok. Once she did this for several weeks we switched her to sleeping in her crib at night too and she did much better. She slept better for naps too. She would wake up once or twice a night but that eventually got a lot better. She had a lot of teething going on too which didn't help the first few months home either. We probably could have moved her to her room faster but once we were all finally getting some sleep we were scared to try it out! Each situation is different but this is what helped us in case it helps. So glad you have some time off from work to adjust. Things definitely get better as each month goes by!

Lori J

Jen said...

Love reading your updates! Looks like you had successful, fun outings!

Pam said...

So glad to see everything is "better." We get our Emma today!

Tracy said...

Looks like things are moving in the right direction! I hope the sleep issues improve...LOVE your pics!!! Missing happy hour with you guys!!! xoxox T + P + E

Tera said...

Love the pics! How awesome that you both get time off from work! Sounds like you both need it since Emma isn't sleeping well. Glad to see an update!!

Debbie Sauer said...

Precious girls. Blessings

Anonymous said...

We just got back from China today. I'm bummed I won't see you tomorrow.I too am glad to leave the Chinese food behind for a while. Love your updates and pictures.

Johanna said...

We've been home a month and our Tahlia has the same sleep issues as your's so hard!! It's like she thinks we'll vanish into thin air if she sleeps for more than 2hours in a bed that's not ours. But, in our bed she sleeps so soundly....poor baby, just doesn't understand "mommy and daddy permanence" yet:(....I guess it's gonna take time, but its do hard.

Mortensen Family said...

Praying for your family as well. Thanks for checking on our family and praying. Exciting to see her with her sister. What a blessing!!!

Stephanie said...

Oh, this so reminds me of us the summer of 2010...fresh home with a new daughter, coming home to another daughter. Sleep issues, adjusting, etc. Sounds like you are doing pretty well considering everything!! :)

Tera said...

Missing updates from you!
Wanted to let you know we finally got our LOA today! 99 LONG days!!