Feb 27, 2012

Rantings. And LOTS of them.

{Warning. I am going to be complaining. I don't need judgement. I just need to vent. This is more for me than for anyone else to actually read, so it's probably going to be a jumbled mess of angry rantings. You've been warned.}

I have a zombie baby. One who has decided that sleep, unfortunately, just isn't for her, no matter what kind of sleep training techniques or bedtime routines her mommy and daddy try. And we're not just talking not sleeping at nighttime. That, I could almost handle. We're talking not sleeping...EVER. She's a notorious catnapper. Ten to twenty minutes later, she's awake. You rock her to sleep when you see that rare window of opportunity when she begins to rub her eyes and show signs of sleepiness. But don't even dare try to lay her down. She has a magic sensor that alerts her body when someone is no longer holding her and those sweet little brown eyes fly right open. No matter how tired she is or how little sleep she got the night before. She WILL NOT sleep unassisted. She has to have help going to sleep and staying asleep. The going to sleep thing, I can handle. I love rocking her and singing her a variety of bedtime lullabies and watching as she can't fight anymore and sleep overcomes her. Those moments, I cherish. It's the moments when she cries the second I lay her in her crib or on a mat in the floor are the ones that are about to drive me bananas. For the most part, I had come to terms with the fact that Avery never sleeps. Until this morning. The last three nights, Avery has been up almost every single hour and laid in her bed and whined. Not really cried, which lets me know that she isn't in pain or needing to be comforted, just whined. Like "Someone please come get me because I sound so pathetic and I know you can't stand it" whined. And for the past two nights, I've ignored her. (when I say ignored, I mean laid by the monitor and listened to every noise she made, but didn't go to her). Last night, however, was a different story. After several hours of waking, whining and falling back asleep, Avery thought that 4:30 am was an appropriate time to wake up and start really crying. Just enough to get my attention to make me think that she didn't feel good or needed to be attended to. So I got up, went in her room and got her out of her bed, thinking that I could rock her back to sleep. Fifteen minutes later, I still had a wide-eyed baby that had no intention of going back to sleep in her crib. So I made the mistake that I'm sure a lot of sleep-deprived mommies make....I put her in our bed. I swore, from the moment I found out that we were expecting, that our babies would not sleep in our bed. I didn't want to find ourselves, five years down the road, with a toddler still sleeping in between. But sometimes, in the wee hours of the morning when you would do almost anything to get a few hours of sleep, you're not thinking 100% clearly. I laid her down, thinking the warmth of our bed and her laying in between us would immediately put her back to sleep. Wrong. She laid in our bed....and played. She reached for my pajama top, my nose, my hair, the blanket--anything she could get her hands on and play with. She rolled from Marty's side to mine. She flipped over, she sighed, she popped her pacifier in and out of her mouth. Basically, she did everything BUT sleep. Soon, I found myself facing 6 am and time to shower and start the day....all without a single wink of sleep since 4:30. I gave her a bottle and placed her beside Marty, thinking that she'd keep him awake and demand early morning playtime or episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. So I showered and fought to stay awake. I applied my makeup and fixed my hair. All was well until my dryer bumped the display board where I have all of my earrings and down went all of my earrings in the sink. As I picked up the pairs of earrings, I found only one lone earring belonging to my favorite pair....meaning the other probably went right down the drain. And I lost it. I stood in my bathroom and cried. Over a $5 pair of fake pearl studs. I knew it was less about the earrings (which could be easily replaced with a trip to Claire's or another equally cheap jewelry place) and more about the fact that my baby's sleep issues make me feel like a complete and utter failure. What have I done, or haven't done, to get her to this current pattern of sleeplessness that she's in?? Did I baby her too much as a newborn? Did I hold her too much? Show her too much attention? Rock her to sleep too long when she should have been laid in her crib as soon as her bedtime routine was over? Which, in turn, made me angry. Why should it always be my fault? Why should it be something that I did, or didn't do, to cause something as huge as these ridiculous sleep issues? I shook off these feelings, finished drying my hair and walked out of the bathroom to get dressed...only to find my 7 month old curled up to her daddy....sound asleep. Which started another fit of crying. Why me? Why will she go to sleep just fine for Marty, but seems dead-set against getting a good night's sleep for my sake? It wasn't always like this. When Avery was about 10 weeks old, she was sleeping at least 8 hours through the night. I was incredibly thankful. Each night that I would lay down and wake 6 hours later without a peep was a restful and wonderful night. Then, Avery caught a cold. Stuffy noses and a whiny baby became our nightly routine and I thought we'd never get back to that blissful state of restfulness we were in before. Until Marty and I started Avery on a pretty strict bedtime routine. At 7 pm, on the dot, we were beginning her routine which started with a bottle and cereal and ended with a bath and lotion-y massage. For awhile, that worked. She would sleep from 8-5 consistently for about 2 weeks. Then she got an ear infection and broncholitis and spent an entire week in our bed propped up on pillows so I could make sure she was still breathing through the night. Which brings us to our current state. The routine is still the same...filling that little tummy and then a bath and lotion before bed, but the results have been far different than they were before. But no one else in the house seems to be affected by this sleeplessness, other than me. Avery is a happy baby...seemingly unaware as to how awesome sleep is and the fact that most babies her age should be getting 10-18 hours of sleep a day. We're lucky if we get 18 hours in two. Marty, while extremely helpful whenever I ask him to get out of bed and tend to her, has the remarkable ability to sleep through anything and usually doesn't hear her crying at night. There have been a few times that he'll stir when she's really wailing, but he can always roll over and go right back to sleep. And I'm envious...and a little bit angry...and a lot bit resentful. Anger is now my #1 emotion...if I'm being completely honest with myself. In fact, more than once during this frustrating morning, I had to refrain from punching my snoring husband. And why? I'm exhausted and want sleep more than anything...why on earth would I begrudge anyone of getting their own 6-8 hours of sleep a night? But when I'm in the middle of being sleep-deprived, I don't think of things like that. I think of how jealous I am that he gets to sleep and how I want to be the one that's drooling on my pillow. I've become this irrationally angry person that I don't even like being around. I get mad over clothes left in the laundry room or a dish left on the table. Things that absolutely don't matter in the long run. But rational thinking and an even-temper have completely left me. And I have no idea how to get them back. I resolve to be a nicer person and to control my emotions when it's no one's fault that I'm so tired, but I can't. I go right back to being the snappy, hormonal, momasarus I was before. Not to mention the fact that I have become a blithering idiot. I can't think of words that I'm wanting to say, I lose my train of thought at the drop of a hat and if it's not written down or I'm not reminded 5 times or more, I will forget things. My co-worker probably thinks I'm the dumbest person in the world. I feel like I'm on this vicious merry-go-round: Avery doesn't sleep=I don't sleep=I blame myself=I feel like a failure=I get angry=Avery still doesn't sleep...the cycle continues. I want it to stop. I want my baby to sleep. Forget all of my issues for a second...how is she functioning?? If a baby is supposed to be getting 10-18 hours and she's getting maybe 7 the entire day, how is that good for her? If she doesn't take naps, is she a burden to anyone that watches her? I know I'm barely able to get things done on the weekends because she refuses to be left alone and she doesn't nap...do other people resent the fact that they have to stay right by her side the entire time they're babysitting her? In fact, this very issue lost us a regular weekly babysitter. One who had children of her own that needed her attention, which is how is should be, and my whiny baby was beginning to interfere with that. Which makes me feel like a terrible mom. No one likes to hear that their baby cried all day and didn't let the babysitter get anything done. I don't want to be THAT mom. I just don't know what else to do. We've tried crying it out. It worked for a little while, but now she's up all the time just crying. What do I do? Go to her every hour that she's crying and rock her back to sleep? But then doesn't that teach her that she needs me to comfort her before she enters any state of sleep? Do I let her cry every single time through the entire night? But doesn't that teach her that nighttime isn't an enjoyable time because she knows she'll lay in her crib and cry? Why isn't there a clear answer? I can handle all the ifs of mommyhood...if she'll be succesful, if she'll hit her milestones on time, if she'll be healthy and happy...but this is one issue that I just want the magic answer. Don't get me wrong, if there's a good reason to lose sleep, my Avery girl would be the best one. But I would like the magic formula to get my baby to sleep through the night and get my home to return to some type of order and the old, pleasant Devan back. I guess until then, I just have to keep repeating that "this too shall pass...."


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