Saturday, August 4, 2012

Waaaaa!!!! (That was me not the baby)

I'm probably going to regret writing this as soon as tomorrow. Because it's about to get ugly. I'm fixin' to start screaming and stomping my feet into the Interweb for anyone who cares to listen.

I swear this is not just another post where I whine about being sleep deprived. But really it is. Why did I just lie to you people? Probably because I'm surly and sleep deprived and have nowhere else to turn.

So, I guess when you take a baby who's just 5 months old across 8 time zones, something wonky happens to their night time bio-rhythms. Emmet is now sleeping thirty minutes – THIRTY MINUTES – at a time. Nearly All night. Well somewhere around 3 AM he figures it out and sleeps for a few hours at a time. So, I've slept at most 2 hours in a row in over a week. And my nightly sleep totals have ranged from 0 – 4 hours. Even writing this down and knowing it to be true seems impossible.

I could stand it if he would get up 2-3 times a night. He's my last baby and I love those quiet tender late night moments nursing him. Well, “love” might be strong, but I can get that they're special. But waking 8-10 times a night is a new circle of hell.

I can barely lift my head in the morning but I have to get up and face Caleb who has already started jumping on my bed demanding attention and a playmate after his long night of peaceful slumber. I momentarily hate him for that. I look angrily at my now slumbering baby as I get up and grumpily pour myself coffee and curse my husband for being slightly less miserable than myself.

I somehow manage the day. Because I'm starved for adult interaction, I even hold it together enough to talk to other adults. They'd never know my condition, unless they look carefully and see my hands are shaking. At some point in the day I'll sob. When I close my eyes for a moment, I begin the hallucinate, a stockpile of dreams pushing to escape my mind. This is my new normal.

The nights are agony. I can't hope this night will be better because the disappointment will be crushing. I can't expect it will be the same because that prospect reduces me to tears. So, I just steel myself to endure what comes my way.

But my reserves are gone. At some point I'll sob into my pillow or threaten to check myself into a hotel. Colin will help as much as he can, but nursing works quicker and better than anything he can do. He comforts me when I fall apart telling me logically to take heart and that it's sure to get better.

I nod my head like an admonished child as my hysterical sobs slow to deep breaths. But under this acquiescence somewhere inside me that's still going crazy I think: “F*%K YOU you mammary-less mother f#@*&er. YOU wake up every 30 minutes to nurse him back to sleep and then just as you drift off hear him cry again. Then repeat this the whole mother f*%$ing night”.

My inner crazy is unsympathetic and has a cursing problem.

I need another lactating mom to spell me for just one night. Any takers?

*Before you say it, Emmet won't take a bottle, and Colin does try to calm him when he can. We might let him cry (though that's almost more painful for me than the sleep dep) but I fear the neighbors would start knocking on my door wondering in what way we are abusing the mtoto (baby). So.... we'll wait it out.

** My secret hope is that Murphy's Law of the Internet will kick in and as soon as publicly make a big deal out of this it will cease being an issue. So, I'll be forced to sheepishly deflect all your sympathy and advice since Emmet's sleep improved on its own. I'll take that too!      


  1. Oh man! That sucks and I hope it gets better soon. Being a mommy is hard no matter what the issue. And it is okay to rant and cry when you need to. I hope you can get more sleep soon.

  2. Let's also keep in perspective that you are still recovering from surgery which also explains your lack of reserves. Hope you are allowing yourself to sleep some in the daytime. I am sure Rukia is happy to hold Emmet or play with Caleb. Take care of yourself.

  3. Oh dear... he's my nephew and I can't remember how old he is. I always know how old Caleb is-- 3 months older than Vicky-- but Emmet? Nope. Other than, "He's fairly recent," I'd have to check our family tree. I don't even remember what month you all visited us. April? May? I'm guessing he was 2 months old in May, making him about 5 months now? How off am I?

    My horrible, un-motherly advice is to stick a binky in his mouth. He doesn't physically need to eat every 30 minutes, so it's just the sucking that's quieting him. Now I will duck and cover as a million moms tell me off.

    Rukia doesn't live with you? If she's there every day, then absolutely, please do as your mom says-- hand her both boys when she arrives in the morning and go to sleep! With earplugs! 5 months is old enough for baby cereal with expressed breast milk, so if he's hungry, Rukia can feed him that. I'm sorry, but my Outer Crazy is just as reasonable (yes, reasonable!) as your Inner Crazy: nowhere is it written in stone that mothers have to come within an inch of their sanity or personal health and safety just to keep their kids temporarily satisfied. I'm not suggesting you ignore or starve either child-- you are leaving them with a care-giver and a food supply. That is well within the framework of "acceptable parenting."

    1. Oh how I wish we could stick a binky in his mouth and oh how I've tried! He's just not that into it. I'd stick a bottle in his mouth too, but again no dice. I'm not dogmatic about this breast feeding thing, but both kids are pretty crazy about it. Marni's baby takes a paci and I see how much easier it makes her life. It's gotta be at least 2 or 3 times as easy. And when I was in the hospital Emmet pretty much refused a bottle with anything including breast milk in it for 2 days.

      But i agree with you that I should not have to sacrifice my sanity for my child. It would be much better for both of them to have a more emotional stable mother! Rukia does give me a few hours break generally when Caleb is napping and when I can tear myself away from this blasted computer I sleep.

      But the good news is that Emmet is now sleeping 2-3 hours at a time at night, so we are out of the worst of it! But thanks for chiming in and reminding me to preserve my sanity!! : )

  4. Major hugs and support coming your way. Waking up every 30 minutes is actually a form of torture, I'm sure of it. He will eventually move past it and adjust. I agree with the poster above. At 5 months there shouldn't be any problem with nip confusion over the pacifier and he could have a bit of cereal. Even if you don't want to do cereal, getting a few winks in between feedings during the day could really save your sanity, at least until he starts sleeping again. This is like newborn bootcamp all over again.

    1. Thanks so much! Yes. Definitely a form of torture. Luckily we are now beyond the worst of it. Murphy's law strikes again! Since the babe has poo pooed my paci AND bottle attempts, I might have to move forward with the cereal...

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