Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Sleep, Perchance to Not Be a Jerk

For the most part, I think my children make me a better person. I swear less. I am a more courteous driver. I eat more vegetables. I take more joy in the little things in life.

However, recently, Petunia's sleep patterns have made me a worse person. We're in the period in which separation anxiety is setting in, and new motor skills are being practiced. When Pumpkin was this age, we were up 5 times a night and I started The Great Sleep Experiment in desperation. Petunia is only up 2-3 times a night, but because of Pumpkin's late bed time and Petunia's stubborn refusal to settle into a true schedule, I have been unable to get my minimum requirement of 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

I've been grumpy and irritable. I have resented the sleep Hubby was getting. Hubby thought I was slacking off on the chores, and he was probably right- I had hit that stage of sleep deprivation when all I really cared about was finding a way to get more sleep.

The final straw was this Saturday. I was angry that I was making the crock pot dish for dinner, and was crashing around the kitchen. Pumpkin was watching me, and she said "Mommy, why are you so mad?" I stopped, and looked at her, and said "For no good reason. Mommy needs a time out." I went into our guest room/office and just sat for a few minutes. I knew something was going to have to change.

So Sunday night, I pumped before bed. I left a bottle for Hubby and went to bed as early as I could. He slept on the sofa with the monitor until Petunia's second waking, and then came and got me. I felt like a completely different woman yesterday. Last night, I left another bottle. Hubby came in after he gave her the bottle, but I still slept really well. I'm sitting in the living room now, watching Petunia play (she's also taken to waking up for the day at 5 a.m.).  I could still use more sleep, but I no longer crave it like some sort of drug.  Really, the only question is why didn't I do this sooner?


  1. DS has also recently taken to waking at 5 a.m. which is KILLING me. It doesn't help that I haven't experienced the second trimester energy rebound, and still feel sick and exhausted all the time. But, taking a page out of your book, I went to bed at 8 p.m. last night. Feels weird when the sun is still shining and I can hear kids playing in the street, but I was out within about 5 minutes and feel like a new woman today. I definitely need to make sleep a priority.

  2. paola8:52 AM

    Good for you for working things out. I wish I could. We are in the middle of yet another sleep regression with Zoe ( 3.5 years) and she doesn't want to nap, doesn't want to sleep, wakes in continuation (like 4/5 times a night!!). If she were younger I'd go for the tried and true CIO variatin that worked so well when she was 7 months old, but at 3.5? Stickers? bribes? THREATS? Huh, don't make me laugh!!

    Remember Moxie's rectn post about, being on the other side??????

  3. I hope you all get through it soon. Even though it's not as bad as it was with the first, it's still hard to go through especially because you have two kids to juggle with everything else these days. I am struggling with the same. In fact, this probably explains why I'm so grumpy with my hubby lately.

    Isn't that always the question once we finally figure out how to get a chunk of sleep? Why didn't we do this sooner?

    My question lately has been, why did I stay up so late AGAIN? I think I'm still adjusting from Vacation Time. But still, I need to just go to bed earlier.

  4. @Jac - Sorry you aren't getting the second tri rebound! I hope you do get it soon!

    @paola - SO sorry for going through the regression with your girl. Again!

  5. I know this feeling, this desperation for more sleep, this obsession with how much you're getting, counting every minute, adding it up. If she goes to sleep now and doesn't wake till morning I'll get a total of 5 hours. Half an hour later you do the math again. When she wakes up two hours later you do the math and curse. Eff I need more effing sleep!

    I'm so sorry sorry sorry that this is happening to you. Keep trying to get that 4 hours. That seems to be the magic number for me too, and lately I've been getting it fairly regularly. After a few days of getting it, I slowly stopped obsessing so badly over sleep and feel so much better. It sucks when something totally takes control of your life. Do what you gotta do and get that 4 hours!

  6. @Jac- ugh, I remember that feeling well. I hate to say it, but I never really got a true second trimester rebound the second time around. I did stop feeling sick all the time, though. I hope things get better for you soon. In my case, my husband had to really step up and take over the vast majority of the chores so that I could just rest.

    @Paola- I don't even want to think about the possibility of Pumpkin having a sleep regression when she's 3.5. I have NO idea what you do with a kid that old who is waking up in the night. I hope you figure something out soon.

    @caramama- I always stay up too late, too, once the worst of the sleep crisis is past. It is so hard to force yourself to go to bed so early!

  7. My 8 month old girl was up a countless number of times the past 3 nights... teething, trying to walk, who the eff really knows why. We attempted some soft CIO but when she seriously started yelling "mama ma ma ma" her random babbles sounded way too much like "Mama" and I caved and kept going back in to help her to sleep. The only thing that made her sleep was holding her while standing up and rocking. Ugh!! So I totally feel your pain!!

  8. @Cloud - La La La, I can't hear you. Second trimester energy rebound is right around the corner. It HAS to be.

  9. @paola - I'd also love to know what to do with a 3 year old who suddenly wakes in the night. Rosie, who turns three today, woke up last night crying "I want Mommy and Daddy" over and over again. This is the third time in the past week or so. The first two times I thought were just one-off's, but now I'm thinking it might be a pattern that I have no clue how to deal with. She's a stubborn kid, if I let her CIO she'd go for hours.

    If you have any success dealing with it, I'd love to hear it. Just when I get the little one's sleep somewhat under control (1-2 night wakings) I can't bear the thought of my sleep going out the window because of a 3 year old's night wakings on top of it. Ugh.

  10. Paola and Melba,
    I'm another one with 3 year old sleep issues. Mine are twins so maybe that's why it seems particularly hard, but I've been seriously wiped out lately because they are just not sleeping well. My usually rock solid sleeper has been waking up around 1am every night and yelling loudly for his teddy bear or for his blankets to be straightened or whatever. I rush so he doesn't wake his brother. Too late- I go back to sleep and 10 minutes later his brother is whining that he needs snuggles. We're house-sitting right now and Mr Snuggles is in a double bed, so I admit that I've started just sleeping with him if I can't settle him down. And they never sleep past 6am. It's like they're 11 months old again! Well not that bad (at least it's not 5am), but I'm just not used to this anymore.


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