Tuesday, February 12, 2013

One time thing

So yeah, that sleeping through the night was a one time thing and the next two night she made up for it with a vengence such that I have now had a total of 10 hours of sleep over the past two nights which would not be so bad in itself except for that the longest stretch was just over two hours.

So... please stop reading now if you don't want to hear me whine AGAIN about sleep deprivation. Please stop reading if you have real problems and you don't want to hear me wallowing...

I don't know how I can do this. Not sleeping is, with no exageration, makes me a shitty, grumpy, impatient parent (who uses words like shitty). It makes me ineffective at my challenging job. It endangers the life of my children, my life and the life of others as I drive them to the places they need to go (I try to take public transport but when I am only sleeping minimally I often grab that extra 45 minutes of sleep in the morning rather than haul myself out of bed early enough to get the bus or subway). Where was I? Right. Sleep deprivation. Shit mother. Life threatening. Shit employee. And don't get me started on running... or on intimacy (or someplete lack thereof) with hubby.

I don't know what to do. How can I get this baby to sleep? It's beyond ridiculous. She's 11 months old and she's sleeping like a 2 month old.

And here's the other bad part. I am becoming addicted to sleeping pills. I use them because once Thing 2 wakes me up it takes me anywhere from 60-90 minutes to fall back asleep again by which time, you guessed it, she is waking up again. I started by using 12.5 mg of diphenhydramine hydrochloride (essentially what is in gravol) once a week to help me fall back to sleep more quickly. Now I am up to 30-50 mg DAILY and it is often ineffective. At my annual physical last week I actually asked my doctor if he could perscribe something and he (thank god) said no. Glad one of us was thinking. He said anything he would perscribe would be extremely habit forming and he didn't want to turn a perfectly healthy 38 year old mother of two into a sleeping pill junkie. He did not seem concerned about what I am currently using but did mention I would find it increasingless less effective (check).

Argh. That little taste of 7 hours of sleep in a row three nights ago was total torture. It gave me a glimpse of what I can do and feel like if I am allowed to sleep. I know that I cannot work full time at a challenging job, be the kind of mother I want to be, be the kind of wife I want to be, be the kind of PERSON I want to be and yes, run, on this little sleep. Something is going to give and I am kind of waiting around in morbid fascination to see what it will be.

Ok. Call me a WAaaaahmbulance. I'm done whining. I know that this phase will pass (if one can call it a phase when it has been going on for 11 months) and I know I am super fortunate in many ways.


  1. You must do this: switch off sleeping with "thing number 2" with your husband. Do not allow him to refuse!! When I started doing this with SR, my whole life changed for the better (his for the worse, but still...).

  2. i remember you writing this on your blog and actually resolved to do it starting tonight. hubby is extremely helpful and very involved at night and keeps telling me to "let him take care of it" which is very sweet but the bottom line is that when all 3 of us sleep together, we are all sleep deprived so yes, I agree, starting tonight Thing 2 is sleeping in the basement and we are alternating nights being down there with her!

  3. I'm so sorry about the sleeping thing. I had a horrible sleeper for more than a year. It is EXHAUSTING - and I wasn't back at work yet.

    Totally alternate with your husband. Something has to give - and it seems you've given as much as you can. Good luck.

  4. No sleep is the worst. It makes me feel ill and turns me into a complete be-atch. We went through a rough patch with Snugs over Christmas when she was transitioning into a bed. There were a few nights she ended up sleeping on her floor, in between knocking on the door, on which we had put a childproof doorknob. I felt like a horrible mother and like my heart was breaking, but you're right, lack of sleep endangers the lives of my kids when I have to drive them 20 miles each way to where I work and where N takes her cello lessons, so as cruel as it sounds, her being left in her misery a few times probably actually saved her life. It sucks dude. And I whine very excessively when I'm going through it, so whine on!

  5. I'll second what SLG said! No way I would have been able to function without switching nights with my husband. We also had our son sleep in a different room, and did a gentle version of the Faber method where we would go in when he cried, check diper, etc, then leave, let him cry for 5 min, go in, etc. It worked great. I think sleeping and self soothing is a skill (everyone wakes up in the middle of the night a few times, often unaware) that kids can learn to develop:) Oh, and my husband and I would also used to each take a long nap in the weekends, one of us on Saturday, the other on Sunday!

  6. That is TERRIBLE. I like SLG's suggestion - spread out the sleep deprivation because you need some real sleep to function! Does Thing 2 wake up to eat or is she just awake and hanging out? I hope that more non-drug induced sleep happens soon at your house! In other news, bananas are on sale for 39 cents a pound and I thought of you. Maybe I should do your grocery shopping her and then mail the groceries to you... you may actually save money! :-P

  7. I expressed a feed for the night and slept in a different room occasionally - note if that different room can be out of earshot of your husband and thing 2 then all the better. You'll only need a few nights to recharge and who knows, you might come back to a more consistently sleeping baby (it has to happen some time). The whole world is so much nicer with some sleep... Hope you get on top of things soon