Friday, August 07, 2009

Sleep, it turns out, not so overrated

When you first have a child you expect to have many sleepless nights. It's one of those things everyone tells you about. Even though most of us are astounded at how much sleep you don't get, you do have a sense of what's coming. Later, depending on your "sleeping philosophy" (yes, there is too such a thing) when you finally decide your child needs to sleep in their own bed, in their own room, you will usually experience a similar bout of sleeplessness in your efforts. Also, sort of understood that you're going to go thru this when you choose to co-sleep. I hear the teenage years also give you a new reason to lose sleep, but we aren't at that juncture yet. I guess the point is that, I get it, when you have kids you lose out on your sleep. I just didn't expect it now.

Little background:
I have FM (Fibromyalgia). One of the major components of FM is not sleeping. I look like I'm sleeping, I just never get to any REM sleep. To say it SUCKS would not begin to do it justice. So, I am familiar with lack of sleep. I also have been very lucky in finding protocols that have been affective in treating my symptoms. I guard my sleep very closely as you might imagine.

When the girls were born, they slept in their own rooms from the first night home. I know, I'm an evil, evil woman and they will require years of therapy for it, I'm sure. Both girls, BTW, slept thru the night from day 1. Ducks Ok, so before you get your panties in a bunch over it, we still had our share of lost sleep. Both girls were also very small (for full term) and had trouble gaining weight. They fed well, they just couldn't get much in them in the beginning. Trust me I had my full share of stressful newborn stuff, and we had to set alarms so as not to miss feedings. No, the baby didn't wake us to be fed, but if we didn't wake her & missed a feeding, it was a pretty big deal. (With Big, we had to go to the doc to have her weighed every other day. She should've been back in the hospital for failure to thrive, but the doc knew I was doing everything possible to rectify it, so he gave us a pass, as long as we came in for weighs every other day to show we weren't slipping backward with her.) That being said, both my girls have been excellent sleepers from the day 1.

Little has always been an early bird, which SUCKS, cause I'm a night owl , but otherwise on the sleep front our girls have been amazing. Until....the last six months. When it comes to Little, everything is about control. So when she started giving us a hard time w/bedtime, we knew it wasn't really about being tired or not. We've gone thru the: lay w/me, need water, one more book, have to go to the bathroom, doesn't matter, she'll find an excuse to delay. Then we went thru a long, drawn out period of her getting up & us putting her back to bed. (The record was 80x in one night. Nanny Joe would've been proud.) We've gotten past all that, finally, and now she's started w/middle of the night stuff. She gets up in the middle of the night (2/3 AM,) goes to the bathroom & climbs into bed with us! At first, she'd come to my side & try to get me to pick her up. That didn't fly. Now she's sneaky and climbs in, in between us so we won't wake right up. But, Mama is a lousy sleeper, and she usually wants to snuggle up with (or kick) me. Both of those are more than enough to wake me & try to get her back into her own bed. (I won't sleep more or less, once she's in our bed.) Putting her back in her bed results in tantrum throwing; ear piercing screams, throwing herself on the ground, face as a wall of snot, the full deal. It's a minimum 1 hour deal on a good night. Most nights it goes on till it's time to get up. We put a lock on her door (so we could lock her in) but that resulted in her starting out w/the tantrum because she couldn't get out of her room to pee. We still think that's part of hte answer for now, but I sure wish she'd stop screaming.

She's deceptively cute.

On top of it, she's been running a fever off and on all week, so she's not sleeping all that great anyway. Now I have the fever (big surprise). I'm averageing 2-3 hours per night right now, and I have two very active girls, who don't nap, during the day.
I don't really expect any great solutions (other than putting some whisky in her juice at dinner). I know we're doing what we should do to resolve this and it's just a matter of being consistent. I just wanted to vent.

And to tell you, "Damn, I'm tired."


Anonymous said...

Oh I feel your pain. Completely. I hope a decent night sleeps finds their way to you soon.