Monday, January 7, 2013

One Day I'll Sleep

Well, the baby has settled on a daytime schedule. It goes roughly like this: Anytime Josephine is sleeping, I am awake. Suck on it, mom. For the millionth (?) day in a row, as I was closing Josie's door and imploring her to "rest her eyes, rest her head," wailing from the room next door started up. AS I WAS CLOSING THE FRICKIN' DOOR. How does she DO that? 

It is nice to have one-on-one time with each of the girls every day, don't get me wrong, but it also means I get NO BREAK EVER EVER, on top of no sleep at night, AND it makes it wicked hard to get out of the house to do anything, and OH MY GOD, it's too much at once!

That's basically what has been consuming my time over here: Sleep issues of every way, shape, and form.

Basically, the baby is still struggling with establishing a solid daytime schedule that leaves her happy and rested AND has decided nighttime requires constant comfort from mama, and to top it all off, Josie is putting up a fight at nap and bed times now, something she doesn't do all that often. 

The short story is I am obsessed with sleep but get none. The long story is what you will get, however, because hello, have you MET ME?

Let's start with Genevieve. She is doing okay during the day. She doesn't have a real schedule yet (but Josie didn't either at this age), but she is sleeping and being happy, so that is good. She was rocking the two hours up, two hours down thing, even though it never started at the same time every day, and I could handle that. Now she is up for two hours, goes down easily, takes a great nap, is up two hours, goes down for a nap-- oh, just kidding, that ten-minute nap is all I'll do, mom! Then the rest of the day is like that -- no real naps until bed, and by then she is cranky and overtired and can't sleep. Shocker!

We also just recently decided to buy the video monitor we desperately needed (Josie's crapped out) and move her downstairs to her nursery in her crib (SOB!) at night instead of sleeping upstairs in mom and dad's room. The first night she was a champ: up twice to eat and right back to sleep in the crib. A miracle! Amazing. Also, too good to be true. She's back upstairs now, and the worst part is, she is back to her desire for constant comfort at night. One-night break. Awesome. 

This all started in October when we had the combined total of maybe 20 healthy days between October and Christmas. Every time she got sick, she needed to be held and/or nursing to be able to sleep. ALL NIGHT. So I didn't sleep or slept for short bursts in very uncomfortable positions while nursing. Then she would get better and get sick a few days later, and, needless to say, she got used to her new nighttime situation and got hooked. Then came Christmas with no schedules and super-exciting moments which made it impossible for her to nurse or sleep well. Look! A thing! Listen! A sound! I must see and hear it ALLLLL! So, she got good and overtired and used to no-schedule life, and bedtime became even worse. I thought if I got her out of our bedroom and she couldn't see, smell, or hear me at night, she might actually get some rest. And the biggest burn is, I was right, but only for one night. I don't get it. Unless she's getting sick again. Oh, help me Jeebus.

I was talking to someone about this recently, and they said something to the effect of "Oh, it's too bad that breastfed babies need to get up a few times during the night when bottlefed babies at this age can sleep through the night." No, I'm not crying about getting up a few times to nurse. That would be a god damn pleasure cruise compared to what we are doing. I wake up feeling like I was hit by a Mack truck. That is no way to start the day when you are going to be caring for two kids all day with NO BREAK EVER. 

I guess the thing is, I had ideas about the second time around. I was determined to not make the same mistakes I did with Josie, or at least not let things get as far as they did so it didn't take as much effort to teach my kid about the beauty of sleeping long stretches. It was pretty hellish with Josie. 

If you weren't around then, I can sum it up by saying that I was guilty as hell about the first few months of her life being marred by constant pain, and that, combined with me leaning more towards Attachment Style parenting as a new parent (though I had never heard the term at that point) made me inclined to do whatever made her happy. Oh, you want me to hold you ALL DAY and ALL NIGHT? Okay! I love you, angel baby! Whatever makes you trust me again after I couldn't respond to any of your urgent needs when you were a newborn! Seriously. The guilt was overwhelming. Then, when we decided she was much too old to be sleeping in our room and getting up four times at night to nurse (I'll spare her by leaving out the age, but ... it was ... OLD), we realized that she was a tension increaser, and even if we wanted to try that plucky old "cry it out" method, we were shit out of luck because girlfriend could cry all night long and not give in. (Seriously, if you've never experienced a tension increaser, just thank your lucky stars and move along.) 

Luckily, Josie finally got it, and once she started sleeping through the night, we slowly crept her bedtime forward until she was sleeping 12 hours straight through, which made her naptime much easier too, since she wasn't overtired. It was a miracle. But it took a LONG time. I do not want to go down that long and winding road again. However, I'm not ready to just toss Genevieve in her crib and leave her there to cry. I'm just not. Honestly, I never will be. It's not the answer anyway, because there is no way I could sleep with her doing that, so it won't give me a break of any kind if I am up, listening to her and wringing my hands. 

The current sleep problems with Josie are a whole different ball game, obviously, as we are dealing with a two-year-old who has ideas and preferences and must do everything HERSELF and HER WAY, and I'm guessing that's 99% of the problem, and frankly, I'm much too tired to get into all of that, too. 

Plus, I'm teaching a history class this quarter and GROSSLY underestimated the amount of time I would need for reading, outlining, and making PowerPoints with awesome pictures to supplement the reading. You know what doesn't help? Only being able to work on all those things for five minutes at a bleeding time.

I know, two bummer posts in a row. Why do you even come here anymore?!?

Here, I hope this helps offset the complainy nature of this post: Cute girls! Being cute!


  1. So sometimes I think the thing that helps me the most is hearing that it's not just my baby who doesn't sleep, like at all.

    Jax takes tiny little cat naps (an hour TOPS, and that is on a good day) and then gets over tired and crabby, and we basically have to wrestle him to sleep at night. And then he wakes up every hour at night unless there's a boob in his mouth. I'm scared to move him to his crib because I feel like then I'll be getting up a million times a night rather than just rolling over, but sometimes I wonder if maybe it would help... And if I had a dollar for every person who's told me that formula fed babies (and babies eating lots of solids) sleep better, I'd be rich. I would be cheering if I was getting up *just* to nurse, but J is screaming in the middle of the night, and we have no idea why (teeth? how long can I blame the teeth?). I'm hoping to get a 6 hour stretch of sleep by 2014. I should add that to my resolutions.

    So anyways, I was glad to read this (that sounds really evil, I know), and you are a superhero for doing it with a 2 year old to take care of too.

    1. NO, you are not evil. I'm glad you feel better, knowing that you are not alone. Since the move to the crib, it made it even worse. Some kids are not born sleepers, and don't let anyone tell you any differently!! Some kids are awesome sleepers, and some aren't, and the reason your kid hasn't figured sleep out yet is NOT because of anything you are doing wrong, I promise!!

      It will get better. I promise!

  2. Olivia is age 7, still never sleeps and I can't care anymore. I'm at the point where if she wants to be bitchy and tired all day, it's all her. I need sleep otherwise I will murder innocent people in Target with my cart.

    1. Ha! I am excited for the day I finally think they're old enough, and I will be putting in some earplugs and wearing them every night for the rest of my life. :)

  3. Wow. Poor sleep deprived Mama. :(

    Anthony and Molly were bottle fed (I was unable to get Anthony to latch and I stopped breastfeeding Molly after 10 days or so because of the pain and lack of support and yaddayaddayadda) and completely sleeping through the night at 3 1/2 months.

    I was hell bent on breastfeeding Timothy.

    I had to move Timothy into his own room about 3 weeks or so ago because I was getting no sleep. He was waking every 1 1/2-2 hours to feed....and at 7 months that is ridiculous. Pretty sure he was doing it just because he knew he could and I would feed him.....and not because he was really hungry.

    First step was to get him out of our bed (I cried and cried because I LOVE having him in bed with us and I believe co-sleeping is a good thing, at least when they are little). He slept in his pack and play in our room and I fed him in a chair instead of laying down in bed. That helped stretch out the feedings to 3-4 hours or so.....since he wasn't laying next to me, smelling me, wanting to nurse just because my boob was 3 inches from his face while sleeping.

    I finally decided that he needed to go to his own room if I wanted more than 4 hours at a time though. It was hard at first (for him and me!!), but all is well now. He still fusses for a bit when we lay him down, but he is sleeping 8 hours now! I actually only wake up because I'm so engorged I have to get up and wake him to feed or my boobs will explode, lol. So he'd probably sleep longer than 8 hours if I'd let him. I hope this trend continues and isn't just a good sleep phase that will end! As much as I miss him in our bedroom, I'm really enjoying the sleep and feel so much better come morning time.

    Sorry I wrote a novel and probably didn't help you any, lol.

    Thinking of you!!

    1. OH man. Since writing this, we tried the crib, and she got worse. She is at the point where she will not sleep longer than ten minutes at a time -- day or night. Maybe in a few weeks, when she gets over whatever is going on (teething? sleep disturbance because she is coming up on a milestone? who knows!) she will learn to love her crib, because I would LOVE to sleep and to sleep in a comfortable position!!


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