Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ahhhh! So This is Jet-lag!

I was almost daring to hope that we'd somehow skipped the whole jet-lag thing but tonight (night 3) we're up and wide awake at 2:30am.

The first 2 nights were totally opposite to what I'd imagined they'd be like. Night one my poor sweetie was totally out of sorts for a couple of hours. We were home, just the two of us and had followed our normal bed routine of a bath, lotion, cozy pj's, bottle and then bed. She went right to sleep but woke within half an hour and was oh so distressed. Kicking, screaming, flailing and more. It broke my heart as I tried everything I could but just could not comfort her. Finally after about 2 hours of this, around 3:30am she drifted off to sleep. Don't worry sweetie...mommy isn't going anywhere!

I woke for a bit around 8 and then again at 9:30 and thought I'd just lay there dozing until she woke up. You can imagine my surprise when we woke to the phone ringing at 12:15 in the afternoon!!

The second night was much the same. Bed around 9:30, slept for an hour, snuggled for half an hour, slept for half an hour, snuggled for an hour and then around 12:30 she drifted off not to wake again until 12:45 in the afternoon when I woke up too and gently woke her! So much for no more sleeping in! I haven't slept until noon in years and now we've done it two days in a row.

But....then there is tonight and I'm learning what true jet-lag is about. Hannah went down around 9:30 again but had a couple more snuggle times than the nights before. Then, around 2 she woke up and wasn't too keen about going back into her crib so she came in with me. I dozed off and around 2:30 woke up to find her laying awake entertaining herself with her little fingers in the air. As I lay there and watched her quietly play with her fingers it broke my heart. How many nights had she layed awake in the orphanage and rather than call out had just entertained herself?

At this point I had a decision to make and it was an easy one for me. Some may not agree but I chose to get up and we enjoyed a middle of the night playtime together. When jet-lag hits and you're just not tired...you're just not tired. You can tell by this pic that sleep wasn't to be had at this moment. Why make her play by herself when mommy was only too happy to do her part and play along? We enjoyed reading some stories together ('The Bedtime Story'....subliminal messaging? :o) and played for about an hour. Around 4 she'd relaxed so we decided to head to bed again and that was it until this morning when I had to wake her at 9:00 as she has her first doctor's appt. at 10:15.

Our days and nights are still out of sorts and we don't have any real routine down yet but it will come with time. Right now I am constantly amazed with how well Hannah is doing and the new things she does every day!!


  1. Think of her entertaining herself as a gift that means she is comfortable with her surroundings.

  2. Sounds like you are doing well..
    and things are going wonderful..
    Love her pretty little smile..
    have a great week.
    hope the jet lag goes away soon..

  3. You don't have to work. You're allowed to have middle of the night play time!!! It may take a while but she'll get turned around soon. I must admit, I'm slightly jealous of the sleeping until noon thing.

    Hope to see you soon. Alyssa really wants to see Hannah. Take all the time you need to get settled and feel free to invite yourselves to our Friday dinner anytime. You're always welcome!


  4. She is just so sweet! Jet lag was a killer for me. I would say a good 2 weeks before I felt somewhat normal. For Abby it was faster. Welcome home :)

  5. Don't ever feel you need to explain your decisions or worry that others might not agree with you. Coming home from China is hard. Establishing a routine is hard. Getting over jet-lag is hard. It took us a good 2-3 weeks before we were over it. You need to do WHATEVER works for you.

    Good luck. I am so glad to see you home with your sweetie!

  6. You are doing great Catherine! You are one heck of a fantastic mama!!

  7. My girls always have those jet-lag when we go to visit China. It takes about a week to adjust. Sometimes in the summer we will be up and ready at 5:00am and out playing. What I normally do just try to keep a normal schedule as much as possible. But jet-lag is hard especially for the mommy.. hang in there. Your daughter is beautiful.

  8. What a sweetheart!!!! I've been following your blog for a long time and home time is always the best part of the whole adventure because you're truly family now.

    Hang in there with the jetlag-let it run its course. Especially, our first bout of jetlag with Faith I truly wonder if life and sleeping would ever get back to "normal".

    I hope you won't mind a piece of advice. If it's really sunny where you are, stay outside as much as you can. The sunshine helps to re-adjust your sleeping cycle quicker. I found this out with the second round of jetlag when we came home with Sam.

    Hannah is so precious and dear.

    God Bless,

  9. Yeah...I was wondering how you two were doing. You have been on my mind all the time and have dying to call but wanted to give you time to adjust to being home.

    Sunlight is helpful but just take it as it comes. You will both adjust and routines will naturally develop.

    Keep smilin!

  10. I have been waiting to hear how your first days home are going and was so happy to see your post this morning. Sounds like you are just rollin with the punches and that is good. You will both get into a rhythm and routine soon. Just be easy on yourself and little Hannah.
    Your post always brings a smile to my face.

  11. Wow - I'm tired just reading about it. :) I remember it oh so well and since it's just you and Hannah so you can sleep when she does (I wasn't so lucky!) Here's hoping jet lag goes away really fast! For now, just enjoy those middle of the night play times!

    Love ya.


  12. Jet lag is brutal--be easy on yourself. It can take two weeks before you feel human again, and often the third day back is the worst. It was for us, all three times. Hannah probably didn't have to entertain herself at night in China--she's just still on China time. That's the only time her little body has ever known. It sounds like she had wonderful care in her orphanage.

    Tracy is right about getting out in the sunshine during the day. That will make a big difference in helping your body clocks to adjust.

    You are an amazing mom and your daughter is precious.


  13. Ahhh....I so remember the Jet-lag!! WELCOME HOME HANNAH and CONGRATS again Catherine. We both have the greatest gifts in the world...our preious daughters!!! Enjoy every moment as they go by so quick!!! Loved your trip journal and thanks for taking us along and sharing your greatest moments with all of us!!!

    Take care and talk soon!!!

    Love Kim & Channing

  14. What ever works for you two, is right!

  15. Cute pics Cathy. Praying your Dr's ap't went well. Adored all of Sharon's pics - such a cutie!!! (ya..you too..LOL)

    Hope your day is going well. I'm off with mom and dad for the rest of today.


  16. If I awoke to that cute little face, I couldn't resist some middle of the night playtime either!!

  17. This sounds absolutely wonderful! I know the feeling of jetlag coming from Asia very well, having lived in Japan for 3 years and visiting twice more after moving back to the US. It's true, not tired is plain NOT TIRED.

    I hope her dr. appointment goes well. I'm curious to know what you're doing about vaccinations. Did you receive any kind of record of previous vaccionations Hannah may have had in China?

  18. You lookso wonderful together..My computer is down and so I've being reading your blog only once in a while. I am so happy you and Hannah are now home and the beautiful life now commences... I know how Lauren has filled our lives with so much joy and happiness and I know it will be the same for you. How little they are and how much Love they bring is so amazing. Linda ( Laurens Gramma)

  19. Who could resist that sweet little face at 2:00 A.M.??? I'm all for party!!! And, before you know it, your days will be back to normal ...so sometimes, "uncommon" is best!!! And an excuse to "live outside the box!" Hope all goes well at the Dr.'s! Pray for you both every time I'm on your street!!! Hugs, Japh

  20. Well if anyone is going to judge you on waking up to play with Hannah, they don't have that adorable little face smiling at them in the middle of the night, I know I wouldn't be able to resist :)
    Jet lag can be rough, hang in there and do whatever is best for you guys! You have the rest of your lives to sleep during the night, your body will adjust eventually! :)

  21. We like to travel and jet lag is always an issue since we really need to get adjusted to the new time as quickly as possible so we don't miss any of the fun! Coming home, there's less of a big hurry to transition so we do what feels the least stressful.

    We've found that the only real way to influence when our kids (and us) sleep is to make sure we don't oversleep by too much. I'm sure you realize that playing games at 2:00 AM and sleeping until noon is kinda like staying on China time. But you can bump it back an hour or so each day and eventually you'll end up right where you want to be!

    Sounds like you're on track and enjoying every minute with your sweet Hannah. Just as it should be!

    Welcome home!

    Our Blog: Double Happiness!

  22. AWWWW!!!Very happy for the update...and oh my that adorable littlesmile was worth the wait for sure,she is just precious.Hope the appointment went well.Hang in there your days and nights will get sorted out once again.

  23. This exact same thing happened us too. We just keep Lilah up and awake an extra hour every evening and I tell you, I was so thankful for 24 hour Walmart, because we headed there around 2am for a whole week, every night or EARLY morning, I should say, it would get earlier and earlier, until we were on schedule. It took about 2 weeks of pushing one hour a night to get her into a 8pm bedtime schedule!

    For Lilah it took a few nights of waking up absolutely distrought and beside herself, she would only sleep for maybe half an hour at a time and wake distressed, poor little mite, my amazing hubby slept on the floor beside her crib and held her hand very time she woke up. Again, it only lasted about 2 weeks and she was sleeping comfortably in her own room on her own. Poor little souls, they go through so much.

    Sounds like you two are getting on great! Enjoy her.


  24. What a happy face for 2:00 a.m.!! The first year we were home with daughter number 2 she woke EVERY night 3-7 times. We'd always tease and say "you're lucky you're cute!" as no matter how grumpy we'd be with such little sleep, that big smile always made us forget that we were grumpy at all. You'll get back on Canada time. No worries. But I agree with Donna, you need to start to force yourself up, even if it is just a little earlier. And I hope it's sunny where you are because I find the sun a great help in turning my clock around!!

  25. Catherine, your sweet Hannah is reminding me of when I came home with my sweet Hannah, 10 years ago! Oh my gosh!!! So much of what you've written was so similar to my Hannah. Even the little hand position! Sunlight has helped me deal with jet lag, and I'm sure you'll both be sleeping through the night very soon. Congratulations! You made it home! You can do darned near anything after a trip home from China!!!
    Jeana in Illinois

  26. Beautiful baby!Hope the doctor's visit went well!

  27. Welcome home! I think you're doing an awesome job - you're doing what comes naturally! 2 am playtimes are fine and enjoy them while you have them.

    We were like some of the others; up at Wal-Mart at 2:30-3:00 a.m. just to get out. We spent as much time in the sunshine as we could, too. Backing up bed time helped a tremendous amount.

    It will click and you'll be amazed at how well it will and probably sooner than you think.

    She's gorgeous.

  28. What a cute picture!!!!!!!! Hope you get a normal sleep routine soon.

  29. Sounds like you are doing great Catherine!! Trust your instincts and do what is right for you and Hannah!!

  30. Sounds like you too are doing great! If your baby is up at
    2:00, then you do what you think is best. You will get on a normal routine and those moments will be just something to laugh at someday.


  31. Catherine: She has the CUTEST dimples! Enjoy this next adjustment period. Jet Lag is brutal. Lot's of sun exposure helps with the adjustment. Don't sweat the small stuff. I am glad to see that you had a great trip, and you are home safe and sound. She is SOOO cute!
    Laurie Nesbitt
    Tillsonburg, ON

  32. Hannah's smiles are priceless, she is beautiful. Catherine i can feel the love you have for that little angel in your blog, that is so wonderful!!! Just sleep whenever and take in every smile and enjoy every second with her, they grow up way too fast. Congratulations and praise God for a safe jouney home for your family.

  33. Sadly this lack of sleep is just the beginning for you, mommy! It will take her a few weeks to get all sorted out! And then a few months to get completely settled in to her sleep routines. Have fun. There were a few nights I couldn't resist those sweet smiles at 2 in the morning too!

  34. Take your time. There is no rush. You will get back to normal soon.

    And I wholeheartly ditto the suggestion to get out in the sun as much as possible. With our 26 hour return from Vietnam 2 1/2 years ago, it really helped get us back on normal time a bit sooner.

  35. Sounds like you ladies are doing great. I must admit that I found the first month at home REALLY hard - we were all so off schedule and our daughter took a bit to get used to her new environment. But, every week it got better until we were all settled in 4-6 weeks or so after we got home...just all part of the process. You're lucky though that we're currently having some great weather so you ladies can get out and get a little sunshine! :-)


  36. I love that you are doing what is best for HANNAH and not what the "experts" suggest. You are her mom and you know what is best for her. Those late night play fests are the stuff of memories. Enjoy every second of it. I'm so proud of the woman and mother you are.

  37. Don't let anyone give you grief for middle of the night play sessions. When our son was born 6 months ago, everyone kept saying we needed to get him on a "routine" right away. We found that letting him set his own little schedule made for a happier and more content baby. And after all, isn't that what it is all about? He had his days and nights swapped for 7 weeks and then one day it just clicked and he swapped them the "right" way. I'm sure Hannah will get there on her own time. You've waited years for Hannah, so you play with her any time you well please. :) I think you already have this mommy thing figured out. You are right, some won't agree. You'll find that everyone from the clerk at the fast food restaurant to well meaning relatives has to get a word in about how you are supposed to be doing things. Trust your instincts. Do what feels right and most of the time it will be. :)

  38. Continue to what works for you and Hannah, thats the best you can do:) Your doing great.

  39. That is the exact thing we went through for the first 5 nighs upon arrival home. Good luck! It will come to an end.

  40. I loved the middle of the night with my kids. I always felt like the rest of the world was sleeping. I think there is something special about just you and your babe in the middle of the night.

    Don`t ever feel you have to explain yourself or the choices you make for Hannah! YOU are her mommy.

    I do agree with those that suggested a daily dose of sunshine. (if possible, sunshine can be hard to come by this time of year) My kids are now 11 and 10 and STILL sleep better when they have been out in the sun.

  41. Hey Catherine - yeah, ain't jetlag a b**ch?? We were torturing poor Beckett by day 3, trying to keep her up so we could get her into some kind of sleeping pattern. She's finally sleeping through the night and we're still exhausted. But it seems like she needs more sleep now than she did in China. In bed, in the stroller, in the car - whenever I look at her, she's happily snoozing away. But she is just thriving!! I miss coming to WalMart though and wish you lived around the corner. Real life is sneaking in to this thing and I wish it would go away again. Lotus is being AMAZING with Beckett though. Super yay! So glad you're home safe and sound. Don't exhaust yourself!! Call if you need us. Big love!!!

  42. it's brutal but it passes
    keep checking back for new posts but that's ok because her face is so sweet it makes me smile everytime


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