4 Month Sleep Regression

*** So, I wrote this… posted it… and then after reading it a couple of times after it went live, it became painfully obvious exactly how tired I am. So much for proofreading. Please enjoy the edited version… you know, the one with correct spelling and decent grammar.

Since birth CharlieJoy has been pretty good sleeper. I was warned about cluster feeding, but that wasn’t that bad. I have always been able to feed and get her back down without incident. The doc mentioned something about teething disrupting her sleep, but she’s been trying to teeth since she turned three months old, and that hasn’t been that eventful either.

About two and a half weeks ago things completely changed. I can get through our normal bedtime routine and get her down. She sleeps for no more than two hours. I’ll get her up, feed and lay her back down and she’s restless until she wakes herself up again. The only way I can get her down to sleep – and get any sleep myself – is to put her in the bed with me and nurse on my side. She latches and essentially pacifies for what feels like forever, going in and out of sleep. She’ll unlatch, I’ll push her away so I can’t roll on her. An hour or so later she starts with the restless thing, so we latch again, she pacifies and then falls out and I push her away. We do this dance all night until somewhere around 4 am when she completely falls out and I could throw a circa 1995 rave party and it wouldn’t wake her up. At that point she’ll stay asleep all morning until about 10 am.

Now, I get that babies are babies. They are growing and changing, their little brains are going about a million miles an hour, everything is new, and they are learning. However, as 24/7 caregiver to this tiny human… well, I’m learning too, and to make matters worse, I’m exhausted.

Image from rawpixel.com

I hate bed sharing with CharlieJoy. I hate it. I gave in on about night 3 of this mess and let her sleep in the bed, but my bed is not safe baby sleeping surface friendly – and when I gave in she had just learned to roll. I am also a sound sleeper – a sleep through Armageddon sound sleeper (or at least I was for my entire life until 4 months ago, I’m not convinced I’m completely over that so I don’t want to risk it).

I did a little post on my personal Facebook page about putting her in the bed with me to finally get some sleep and several friends commented on how wonderful bed sharing is. Apparently everyone does it and everyone loves it. That’s so awesome. I wish I could.

I am paranoid to DEATH about SIDS and accidental suffocation. I worked really hard and put up with a lot of crap (and by crap I mean needles) to get this baby here. I don’t want to lose her to something so absolutely avoidable.

I did some research on bed sharing and found out that according to the APA about 3,500 babies die from SIDS, accidental suffocation and unexplained causes every year. I was confused by the fact that the La Leche League encourages bedsharing and cosleeping saying that mothers instinctively form a cocoon around their babies to protect them and that they are getting the most sleep by doing so. My instinctive parenting looks like a trainwreck… I’m thinking I don’t want to risk anything that has a consequence like accidental suffocation.

HOWEVER, I’m now two and a half weeks in. Totally gave up. I’m bedsharing now that my little munchkin has learned to roll back to front and front to back. I still don’t like it. I’d never recommend it. EVER.

I’ve managed to come up with a system where I use the same boob all night, and that boob determines how we sleep. If it’s right boob night, then I feed her, push her away and surround her by pillows, I roll to the middle of the bed and hold her foot all night so I’ll wake up if she rolls. Her pack n play is also right next and it’s got the mat in it so if by some chance there was an accident, she’s not rolling very far. If it’s left boob night, then she feeds and I push her away a few inches and put a pillow between her and my SO who is a very light sleeper. I try to use right boob all night though since it’s super boob anyways and then I don’t have to worry about my SO.

And yes, in case you’re wondering, I do wake up with one super deflated boob and one full boob. It’s pretty comical. My hope is that since she’s basically continuously feeding a little all night long that it will help with milk production. I give her the one that’s full after she has her cereal or I pump. I’ve been trying to store some milk in the freezer for days she goes to daycare, so it actually helps get a good pump out of that wimpy left boob but honestly, I HAVE seen an increase in production in the left boob since I’ve been doing this whole “same boob all night” thing.

None of this gets her out of my bed though. So I went to my Facebook groups for moms who nurse. I asked this question about her latching off and on all night and how to deal with it. Apparently all babies go through it and it’s called “4 Month Sleep Regression”. This is a thing. I had no idea. Apparently everyone knows about it but me. It has to do with brain development and it lasts 2 – 6 weeks. Cue my incredibly sarcastic happy dance right here.

Image from rawpixel.com

So I got several responses and one lady was kind enough to give me some pointers on encouraging healthy sleep practices. Okay, totes cool, but I asked the obvious question of what about it they cry? Do you let them cry it out? Do you pick them up? How does this work?

Back in the dark ages when I had my first baby (which feels like it was in a stall with the village midwife), we just put them down groggy after a bottle and if they stirred, you patted them on the back and as they started to go to sleep, you dropped to the floor and quietly low crawled out of the room. Was that just me? Please tell me I’m not the only one….

Fast forward a little over a year with that same first baby and she was still waking up at 2 am for a bottle and I was losing my damn mind. The doctor promptly informed me that she had ME trained and I needed to knock it off. At the time the Ferber method was all the rage. I totally see why too. By day three her little behind slept through all through the night, and it has continued to do so for the 15 years that have followed. If she’s up she is sick, dying, or there is some unexplainable teenage drama that I have to sort through until we determine the actual problem… but I digress….

I’m certainly not going to even consider the Ferber method with a 4 month old baby, but I do want to know more about healthy sleep practices and how to implement them because I still fully believe that I probably was not the wisest choice to entrust the safety and raising of a living and breathing tiny human to. The response to my “do we let them cry it out” was “we’re not allowed to talk about that thing you referred to that starts with a ‘c’ but you can try…..” and then she went into giving me some options like putting her down awake so she learns to put herself to sleep.

Then I was like wait a minute, hold up, what is going on here??? It’s true as we went back and forth in this conversation I clearly explained that it was cool, I understand parenting has changed over the DECADE AND HALF SINCE I’VE DONE IT and given that, I’d like to know what’s common practice now so I can explore my options, etc, etc…. It appears that you absolutely cannot talk about crying it out. Like they will delete your comment if it even indirectly refers to it – which mine was clearly a “what do I do IF” statement and not a recommendation or direct reference to crying it out. AND ADMIN IN THE GROUP DELETED IT FOR VIOLATING GROUP RULES. I can’t. I’m done.

So here we are two and half weeks later…. She’s still in my bed. Last night was right boob night in case you were wondering.

This battle goes to CharlieJoy. I admit defeat. Anyone else?


Dear Diary: 4 Month Update

Dear Diary….

I have survived four whole months in captivity… not including that previous 9 months. My living quarters have definitely expanded, but the chaos that ensues out here daily is ridiculous.

This has been a big month for me, so here’s the recap….

My mom never stops with this stupid camera.

Let’s just get the ugly out of the way… my dad is a University of Florida fan. My mom is a Florida State fan and a University of South Florida graduate. I think we all see where this is going…. My dad bought me a small collection of UF outfits and my mom lets me wear them for big game days for only a few minutes as seen here:

I know, I have no idea why I’m wearing this either…

NOTE: Come November I’ll be in FSU gear. NO NEGOTIATIONS. GO NOLES!

In other news, my mom is going back to work for a few days before she officially accepts the position as my full time servant, so she’s going to be documenting her transition from boob to bottle… or rather MY transition from boob to bottle. I bet she regrets that decision. Stay tuned….

I’m not mad about the copious amounts of lactation cookies she’s flavoring my milk with…

One of the cool things I’ve done this month is learning to roll over. I hate tummy time, so I’m one of the few who learned to roll back to front. Mom and dad discovered this at midnight the other night when I rolled myself over in my sleep. Listening to them panic, debate on rolling me over and finally googling if it was safe to leave me face down was entertaining. They were both up and down all night long making sure they could see me breathing.

I’ve also started eating real food. Thank God. The breastmilk I’m getting is 3/4’s Pepsi and the rest is just her tears of pain and suffering. So far I’ve had rice cereal, rice cereal mixed with pears, bananas, and apples, and green beans – sort of. If you’ve ever seen my mom feed a baby, about half of it actually makes it in my mouth. I’m really better off feeding myself. I’m starting carrots tonight. Wish me luck.

Why Lord… Why me?

This month also consisted of about a million trips to Walmart because well, we live in the woods and it’s this or Dollar General…

One trip in particular I had been very quiet, so if you know my mom, she just has to ruin it by saying something… so she says “Did you just poop your pants?” I gave her this angelic face….

Just wait, it gets better….

So…. ten minutes later when she figures it out…. here I am in the bathroom in my birthday suit…

Note: Still. Wearing. A. Bow.

An outfit change and some clean panties later… She thinks I’m going back in the restraint chair…. I think not.

I feel like I should mention here that I’ve found my voice, and I love the way it echoes for aisles and aisles in Walmart…


I can’t let her make it out of Walmart without one good nipple exposure…. Here’s the hot mess that is my mother in the checkout line, in my 75 year old disabled grandmother’s walker… NURSING.

Nursing bra hanging out and everything…

I bet she never asks me if I’ve pooped my pants again!

If you want to read the story about how she left me asleep in her king size bed to chase the dog down the street in her underwear earlier this week, those shenanigans and more can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/SincerelyCharlieJoy



My AMA Pregnancy Journey Part One: I’M PREGNANT

If you know me personally, my pregnancy was pretty well documented on Facebook and Instagram. During that time I received so many comments and a lot of support – not that my journey wasn’t without it’s negativity for any number of reasons. I’m going to share to my pregnancy here, and of course, I’m pretty much an open book, believing that women should lift each other up, so if you have questions, please feel free to comment here or send me an email at SincerelyCJinFL@gmail.com.

I intend for this to be a multi-part series. There’s really no way to cover it all in one post and I’m hoping it will be a relief to others out there who are trying to conceive, are AMA, post DVT, unexpectedly pregnant and the like.

Some of this will seem negative, some will be graphic. I’m one of those “Don’t make it pretty, just tell it like it is” kind of people. If you find a part of these posts that seem terrible or make you think I hate my SO, kids, life, family, or this baby, just know right now that I don’t. I’m sharing my thought process and it will come back around, so just hang in there. I find it really frustrating that I’m supposed to keep a happy face and pretend everything is perfect or the most amazing thing in the world just because I’m a mom. It’s not. And I refuse to pretend it is. HOWEVER, it’s a bad five minutes, not a bad life.

Nothing I share is intended to be taken as medical advice or the gospel truth. ALWAYS make informed decisions based on recommendations provided from YOUR own doctors and health care providers. This is MY own experience and yours may differ greatly.

Circa 1995 or 1996

First of all, while my SO and I have known each other since we were 14 and 15 years old (that means 25 years), we’d only been dating for 11 months when we got pregnant. We had literally just gotten engaged on July 1st of 2018, we celebrated our birthday on September 8th (I turned 40 and he turned 39), and boom, four quick weeks later on October 5th… we’re pregnant.

Circa 2018

I think there was this assumption that we were somehow trying, or planning to get pregnant, wanted to get pregnant, thought having a baby right at that moment would be literally the best thing we could ever do… FALSE, it’s all so far from the truth it’s not even funny. I’ve seen a few snide looks whenever I tell people that this wasn’t a planned thing and it always irks me.

I had a 14 year old at home, he had a 17 year old. Literally, we’re looking at planning a wedding and within just a couple of years being two people, head over heels in love, who were in our early 40’s with the ability to do whatever whenever, and most importantly wherever. We were batting around moving out of the country, not gender reveal ideas.

In terms of kids, we WERE considering adoption and there are reasons for that. 1: Adoption sits close to BOTH our hearts. 2: As previously mentioned, I had a 14 year old, he had a 17 year old… I have yet to be informed that the process to get pregnant has changed… and we both only had one. Neither one of us has even had so much as a pregnancy scare, so we were 98% positive that pregnancy wasn’t an option for either of us. I also have DVT (deep vein thrombosis) history so I’d been told for years that more kids wasn’t an option for me.

We had actually already looked through available children, got the paperwork, made an appointment with an adoption counselor so we could go in and sit down and really start to get our ducks in a row. I remember joking with my SO about folks that start this adoption process and wind up pregnant. Thank God we’d never be those poor souls…. One day I’m going to learn to just be quiet. I might be dead when it happens, but one of these days it’s going to happen.

Anyway… I actually only took a pregnancy test because my SO suggested it. It hadn’t even crossed my mind that I might be pregnant. I figured I’d take the test, it would be some stress related thing that was causing me to be late and the test would kinda kick things in gear and all would be good.

The stupid test was supposed to be a 4 minute test… in my case it was like a 37 second test. It was one of those “you’ve got to be f$%$ing kidding me” moments. I walked out of the bathroom and took the test straight to my SO who’d gone outside to water the horses.

Well… That was unexpected.

Now, mind you… we’d made so many plans for this time in our lives. We had things we were going to accomplish, renovations, trips, our kids had things they needed and wanted, new car, a Harley, emergency funds, school loans, maybe a credit score or two, there was a whole list… We had said to each other that for all the things we would get to experience and accomplish, having birth children together was one that we would always be a little sad about because at this age, it just wasn’t an option. No way were we starting over. And… well… that explains the whole train wreck I was as I walked out the front door on a full fledged completely selfish mission to completely wreck delivering the news about being knocked up because I refused to have this nervous breakdown by myself…

If you can picture me walking out of my 1984 trailer home that is in desperate need of renovation, wearing only a tshirt and underwear, barefoot, yesterday’s makeup, bed head, and a lit camel in my hand (yup, it’s as bad as it sounds)…. My SO turned around and looked at me, looked at the cigarette in my hand, and then looked back at me and said “NICE babe”… I just looked at him and said “shut up, it’s my last one” and handed him the pregnancy test.

That’s it. That’s how I told him. I’m old. This is bad timing. We’re in the worst possible financial situation right now… but I’M PREGNANT. Literally every single plan we had was consistently being derailed by one unfortunate ass kicking after another, but somehow we DID manage to get knocked up. WE are the only two people this could this happen to. I swear.

The day we found out – after I managed to pull myself together.

It didn’t get any easier telling people either. While lots of people were supportive, there were a lot of THESE comments too:

  • You’re not keeping it are you?
  • I wouldn’t keep it if I were you.
  • I’m so glad it’s not me.
  • Oh man, your life is basically over.
  • You know it’s not good to have a baby at your age.
  • You know there’s a lot of things that can happen to a baby when you’re pregnant at your age.
  • And my favorite was after I’d BEEN pregnant for a couple of months someone actually looked at me and said “oh, so I guess you’re still gonna have it, huh?”

I think the comments that were hardest to get used to were the ones that pretty much assumed we’d be having an abortion, or that the only logical option was an abortion, or that if we had half a brain, we’d be HAVING an abortion. I found it amazing the ease with which these comments would just ROLL off of the tongues of random people. I understand that most of the people making these comments were really trying to be supportive in their own way, but it was not received that way.

As previously stated, I wasn’t happy about this pregnancy. Having another baby was about the very last thing I really wanted to do. It was most definitely the very last thing I needed to do, and with DVT history, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to carry the baby, or die myself trying to carry it. However, adoption and abortion weren’t options, so I was very scared and very stuck having this baby whatever the outcome was going to be – but apparently to many other folks an abortion was a walk in the park.

The first thing I did was tell my BBFITWWW and my brother, and then I called the doctor. They didn’t want to see me until I was 8 weeks, even with the DVT history. That just didn’t sit right with me, not to mention the doctor was a million miles away from where I live here in Central Florida. Luckily, I got a recommendation for another doctor up here. I made a second appointment and since this doctor ALSO didn’t want to see me until I was 8 weeks, I decided that it must be okay. I counted the days.

I spent a lot of time crying. I spent a lot of time assessing life. I spent a lot of time arguing with myself, praying for guidance, reminding myself that the opinions of others didn’t matter because of the people we told, very few were happy about this pregnancy, and finally I tried to force myself to come to peace with the fact that I had this tiny little bean of a baby in there, and no matter what, I was a birth mama for the second time. It was an overwhelming whirlwind of emotion and at times it just felt like I had ruined everything.

Note: Nothing REALLY worked. Until I went to the doctor and had an ultrasound. There it was, that tiny tadpole with a big ol’ heartbeat. My newfound doctor was a Godsend. She gave us what felt like a three hour ultrasound – not really, it was minutes, but it was long enough to fall instantaneously head over heels in love with this tiny little life I was growing. I don’t think I ever really reconciled anything, I just knew that I was going to have a baby, and I was finally okay with that.

An 8 week old Baby CharlieJoy

I hope you found a little humor in this post as that was my intention. There are three reasons for this initial post:

  • I know that some of you reading this are AMA and are still trying to conceive. If you’re kicking yourself because it hasn’t happened yet – STOP. You either can or you can’t, you will or you won’t. Either way, stop blaming yourself. There’s a million ways to be a parent aside from pregnancy. I urge you to consider those other options – or at least research them. I get the desire for biological children, but if it is wrecking your life, making you depressed or giving you anxiety, or making you feel like a failure, please take a step back and at least explore your other options. I get comments all the time from people who are so distressed about getting pregnant and my heart hurts for every single one of you because I can feel the pain you’re in, but please know there are other avenues.
  • If you’re like me and unexpectedly pregnant, then you’re probably scared and feeling hopeless. Just know that it’s okay to feel that way. It is not okay to harm yourself or your baby and I urge you to reach out to a medical provider for help. It is NEVER wrong to seek help. It does NOT make you a failure because you need help.
  • Finally, if you struggle with anxiety and depression, pregnancy may make that worse. PLEASE KNOW THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SUFFER. Reach out to your medical provider, they can help you. Pregnancy hormones made my anxiety go through the ROOF and for the first time almost two decades I could not get a handle on it. I am grateful every day for my doc. She made sure that mental health was as much a part of my pregnancy as my physical health and the health and development of my baby was. You CAN get the help you need, and no it will not harm your baby.

Given my age and medical history, there were a lot of moving parts to this pregnancy. It was a dramatic change from being pregnant at the age of 24 and it took a lot of getting used to, so…..

Stay tuned for Part Two: I can’t stop going to the doctor.

Note: If you are a DVT survivor or suffer from blood clotting disorders, do not lose your mind like I did. I was 11 years post DVT and hadn’t had follow up care in years. I was going off the care I received previously which made pregnancy seem very dangerous and impossible. I now know that information was only partly true. With appropriate medical care and supervision, a healthy and successful pregnancy is completely possible – which is why you should call your doctor immediately and stay actively involved in your treatment plan!

Note Two: Main photo courtesy of Nadine Amos Photography located in Brooksville, FL.

Dear Diary: 9-25-2019 4 mos

Dear Diary:

Me and my pal Mila (a/k/a Mila Kunis)

Here’s a sneak peak at my Wednesday morning workout routine. 🏋️‍♀️👍🏻

Being outside and staying active are my favorite things, and I like to alternate between jumping in my #fisherprice #rainforestjumperoo and forcing my parents to walk endless miles around the yard while wearing me in my carrier. 🏃🏼‍♀️🏃🏻‍♂️

Hey, my parents are old, so I gotta do my part to help with things like cardiac health, weight gain, and regular bowel movements. 👴🏼👵🏻 🚽

I’m basically a pro at that last one… see my previous posts… 🤷🏻‍♀️ #noshame .

My parents are thrilled about our family workouts – especially when it’s midnight, on a workday. 😉👌🏻

#sincerelycharliejoy #stayfit #revengebody #diaperblowout #babyworkout #wednesday #humpdayhumor #charliejoy #callsigncharlie

Moms Notes:

Today my tiny little baby is 4 months old, or 17 weeks. I’m not really sure how that’s possible. It seems like yesterday this was us:

Me, my SO and my amazing Doc

I thought I’d snap a quick photo with my munchkin before we took a walk outside. It’s started to cool off just a little bit here in Central Florida and Charlie loves being outside and seeing the animals. Luckily the last week or so I’ve been able to do that for longer than 3 and half minutes without having a heat stroke. However, I breastfeed so… Anytime I try to take a picture laying next to her, I get this….

Every. Single. Time.

I am more than just my boobs. I’ve never been able to say that in my life, I just want to get in all the boob related humor I can while I still have them.

After this failed attempt at making a memory we can look back on fondly, I gave up and opted to go outside for fresh air. I have a little stump in the center of the front yard that I will occasionally sit on. It’s low enough that I feel like I’m on the ground but I’m not actually on the ground, and I don’t have to worry about bringing a blanket since well, my arms are now full of a baby I wasn’t expecting to have (stay tuned for that blog post).

The aforementioned stump.

I’ve got blackberry bushes all over my yard. They just pop up in random places. I find them when I’m barefoot, or when I have to walk across the yard in shorts, in the dark. I could clearly see that the bush on the right of the stump is a blackberry bush, so I made sure to angle my descent toward the left of the stump.

I also have free ranging goats. Translation: between the horses and goats we never have to mow. Note: a lawnmower is cheaper. I digress….

Apparently the goats like blackberry bushes too, but they must also have ADD and got distracted after they ate the bush on the left, which is why I never saw it. Until I sat on it. This very instant was like a metaphor for basically every single day of my life. I think I’ve got it all figured out and then well… nevermind… I’m not sure where I was going with this but with MY sense of humor it probably was’t appropriate.

So awesome when stuck in your butt cheek.

I managed to haul myself up but I think from now on I’ll just go get the stupid blanket to be safe.

In other news, I also decided to pack up the bassinet this weekend. Charlie has started rolling on her side and moving around more, and I have this intense fear that I’m going to wake up to a thud and find her on the floor.

New bed with my dino buddy to watch out for me.

Since her nursery isn’t finished… still… I’ve replaced the bassinet with the pack n play and so far it’s a hit with her, and I figure once she gets used to sleeping in that moving her to a crib won’t be so difficult. Except that it’s a completely different thing. In a different room. In the dark. And I’m not there right next to her. I swear, this works out perfectly in my head. I’m gonna go with that until the day arrives and then there’ll probably be a blog post that says the exact opposite happened.

I’ve also been trying to get out a walk more since I have DVT history and well, I have another 10 pounds I want to lose. Since Charlie hates her carseat, I’ve had to swap to the other attachment and try to make it sit up where she won’t lose her mind. You see how well this worked out….

I swear I fixed this right after this photo.

I laid it back some and loosened those straps. She was clearly not amused.

I’m probably not going to win any parenting awards, but it sure does make life interesting…



Dear Diary: 09-15-2019 3 mos

Dear Diary:
It has been 3,842 days since we got in this car. 👉🏻🚗👎🏻
Not really, it was just this morning, but I bet after all my screaming my mom and dad THINK it’s been 3,842 days. 🤷🏻‍♀️

This highly inappropriate @eminem playlist on @applemusic is the only thing that keeps me sane and adequately expresses my rage. 😡
Someone save me.😢
#sincerelycharliejoy .

Dear Diary: 09-14-2019 3 mos

Dear Diary:
There are moments when I look at mom and think to myself “WHAT IN GOD’ S NAME HAVE YOU BEEN EATING?” 🙅🏻‍♀️

It’s usually right before a diaper blowout. 💨💩
It was Spicy Shrimp Mei Fun in case you were wondering. 🍤🥡
Does anyone have coupons for Desitin? 👉🏼🍑🔥
Happy Saturday.
#sincerelycharliejoy .