One of my worst nightmares is to not get enough sleep - prior to having a baby I tested all my limits and found that I have a HARD limit of 7.5 hours per night (anything less and I am dysfunctional) and a critical limit of 3 nights of less than adequate sleep before my health is compromised.
It seems that having a baby changes something, because I've found I'm able to survive on much less now. Thank goodness, because I need to! After 2 months of great sleeping, Layla suddenly turned into a nocturnal sleepless monster at about 3 months. She wakes constantly, sleeps loudly (it sounds like she's fighting bears), is always hungry, and is often ready to party at 2 am. The Studly Hubby and I worked out a system so that we each would at least get 4 hours of sleep (split shifts, I stay up until 2 am and he takes over at 2 am). Even with this plan, we could only get about 4-5 hours each per night and it went on for almost three weeks. I don't have any idea how I managed to work a full day after all that. Thank goodness the Studly Hubby was on paternity leave, so he could take care of the house stuff and other things that came up. Otherwise our house would have totally fallen apart.
We looked into 'sleep training' (where you let the baby cry it out) but haven't started that yet because Layla's still pretty young. We talked to the doctor who gave us little more than sympathy. We talked to the doula who was encouraging that it wouldn't last long but told us this doesn't sound abnormal so there's not much that can be done (blah!). We were looking into paying someone to spend the night every once in a while so we could just get some sleep (the Studly Hubby goes back to work next week!) and then finally on Thursday night she mysteriously turned around and slept 10 hrs straight. Aaaaaaahhhhhhh, sweet sleep..!!! Fingers crossed the phase is over..!