This is the truth and I’m sticking to it – sleep deprivation makes me a nut job.

First of all, Poppyseed has been sleeping much better over the past few days.  I think that she was in a growth spurt or something and that’s why she was waking up at 2am.  I started making sure she was taking good long feedings at 10pm so that she’d be good and tanked up for the night, and sure enough she slept through the next few nights.  I also started putting her to bed before she started to get upset and cranky (so that meant 6:45pm or so instead of 7 or 7:15pm), because I’ve gotten a lot of advice that actually the earlier you put them to bed, they better they will sleep.  It’s proven to be true, at least in our house!

I have to say that having a baby has made me SO sympathetic to other tired parents.  Sleep deprivation is no joke.  I feel like I have been very lucky with Poppyseed.  I got her on a good schedule in the very early weeks and she never really woke up more than 1 or 2 times a night.  She quickly got into a habit of only waking at 3am, but I would be able to rest/sleep from 10:30pm until she woke at 3am.   That may only be 4.5 hours, but to the mother of a newborn that can make the difference in your mental stability.

There were a few nights however where I was not given the privilege of sleep.  There was one little stretch in the earlier months (I think around 8 weeks of age) where she randomly went from sleeping 4-5 hours stretches to being up every 1-2 hours.  It only happened for two nights in a row, but I happened to be back at work part-time already, and as luck would have it, these sleepless nights occurred on work nights for me.

So I’d put her down at 10:30pm after her dream feed and go to bed myself.  Only to be awakened by cries at 12am, 1:30am, 3am, 4ish, etc.

It was horrible.  And I had to get up and go to work the next morning.  H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E.

Well the second night that it happened, I started to get a little loopy.  For some reason I was hell bent on making her stay in her crib on work nights, and so I basically was back and forth again for the second night in a row.  I really don’t know how I functioned at work that next day.  That was probably the day I switched from decaf to regular coffee.  I felt like I’d been slapped in the face repeatedly.

Thankfully, on the third night she went back to her old ways of sleeping 4-5 hours again.

Until.

Something woke her up.

Now let me paint this picture for you.  I was asleep in bed, enjoying a continuous 120 minutes of sleep after an exhausting 48 hours of working, infant care, and sleepless torture.  Suddenly I awaken to the sound of footsteps running around, dogs barking, and a door slamming.

Then…. baby crying.  I jumped out of bed asap to find Oatmeal trotting through the house, having just let the dogs out.  At like, 2am in the morning.  NOT quietly.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!?!” I asked.

“Don’t worry about it,” was his response.  He sort of smiled (smiled!!!!) and hopped into bed.

Ohhhhh man.  This did not sit well with me.  My brain was just about to rot and shrivel by that time anyway, and the only two emotions I had left in my brain were anger and hopelessness.  The anger took over the hopeless and I immediately felt a rage. I could not believe that my husband had awakened our baby and then mouthed off to me in the hallway.  I had no idea why he was up, why the door slammed, why he wouldn’t tell me.  All I knew was that I was TIRED, I was MAD, and that no one but me (and my boobs) could remedy the problem.  I had no choice but to go feed poor little crying Poppyseed.

I have to admit, at that moment I went a little psycho.

I went into the nursery and gently lifted my baby and began to feed her.  All the while I was just seething that Oatmeal was in the next room, sleeping peacefully.  Call me crazy but I decided to get up and wake him up.  I got up, carried the baby into the bedroom with me, and turned on all the lights.  I started hollering (about who knows what) in a loud voice.  Oatmeal was lying face down in the bed, I ripped the sheets and blankets off of him.  I marched out of the room and back to the nursery.  I heard him get up, rearrange the blankets and turn off the lights.

I got up again, went back in there and turned them back on.  On my way out of the bedroom I turned the baby monitor up to the highest volume.

I was sitting in the glider nursing when I heard him get up and turn the lights off again.

“Don’t worry about it!?” I thought to myself.  “Don’t worry about it!?!?!

I took the monitor and started dragging it across the floor.  I could hear that the loud screaching sounds were coming out of the receiver in our room.  I heard Oatmeal get up and turn it off.

I really don’t remember how the night ended.  I think I eventually cooled down, finished nursing and went back to bed. I probably even curled up behind him in bed and spooned him.

I’m sitting here typing this now in bed while he fiddles around on his iPad.  I just asked Oatmeal if he remembered this particular night, and he said, “Yes I remember that.  It wasn’t that big of a deal.”

Typical.  Even today he does not understand.

I really wish men could make milk with their boobs.  Wouldn’t that be a game changer.

So, to you sleepless parents out there, I sympathize with you.  There is no harder job than having a baby who doesn’t sleep.  I recommend coffee.  And Babywise.  And just trying not to go psycho like I did.

But if you do, forgive yourself.  And try to get some sleep.

 

 

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