No Rest for the Wicked (or Me)

Thursday, December 31st, 2009 • 4 Comments on No Rest for the Wicked (or Me)

I want to blog, but I find myself staring at a blank screen with not a single coherent thought in my head.  All I can think about is sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep

Patrick is, in fact, sleeping and I should probably try to lay down and sleep a bit, too. But I know he will be awake again in less than 2 hours, probably less than an hour, and that just isn’t enough time for my insomnia to let me fall asleep. Plus, I’m downstairs on the couch and he’s in his little rocker next to me and that’s all fine and well for his napping, but I have a hard time sleeping on the couch and prefer to be in bed.  But going to bed entails turning off the lights and television, covering the bird’s cage, letting the dog out, carrying Patrick upstairs to his crib so I can hear him when he wakes up, taking my laptop, cell phone, a glass of water for me and a bottle for Patrick upstairs, brushing my teeth, washing my face and taking my meds. And probably doing two or three other things along the way. All of which will take close to an hour, at which time Patrick will be awake again. So sleep is but a wishful dream on the horizon because I’m too damned tired at this moment to do everything I need to do to actually go to sleep.

I’m not alone, though.  Mary Anne blogged about being tired this morning.  She has a new baby and a toddler, so I weep for her.  Of course, she also has a partner and child care, so perhaps she should weep for me.  I suspect we are both too tired to waste tears for each other when we can simply weep for ourselves.  But I’ll quote this part in place of offering anything creative or new or interesting of my own.  Because, dear readers, I’m simply too tired to be original:

People keep asking me how I’m doing, especially this week as I see lots of old friends in concentrated doses. And I say terrible and they laugh uncomfortably and I say no really the last six months have been pretty much sheer hell and they say but at least your children are adorable and I admit that this is true but how is that relevant? Cute and hell are not measured on the same axis. My children, you are overflowing with cuteness, your adorability quotient is sky-high, especially when dressed in the little butterfly and alligator outfits that aunty and grandma got you for Christmas but that has absolutely nothing to do with the hellishness. Which also has nothing to do with your personalities, I must note, which are, as children’s personalities go, pretty good. (Oh look, my commas have come back, how I love, them.) It is really all about the sleep, or lack, thereof. Comma, stop.

I know new parents are supposed to complain about lack of sleep and we are all supposed to nod and smile and change the subject because that is the social contract but this is truly maddening. I read an article although probably it was just a summary of an article now that I think about it because I can’t remember the last time I had the time to just read an article for fun but anyway I read an article about how new parents and interns on call had similar sleep patterns—being woken up at unpredictable intervals far too often and for far too long. The article said the human brain was not well suited to handle that kind of unpredictability and given that maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to put patients’ lives and fragile babies into the hands of those who are being slowly driven mad by the interrupted and inadequate sleep. Which all makes total sense to me but doesn’t appear to be stopping this from happening.

Now I will begin the slow process of making my way to bed—hopefully by midnight or 1 AM, depending on how long it takes for sweet, drowsy Patrick to eat when he wakes again shortly—for my two (maybe two and a half) hours of sleep before he wakes yet again.  Tomorrow when someone asks me how I’m doing I will say I’m tired (I don’t say terrible because I figure it could always be worse) as I have said every day since he was born (and before, since pregnancy was also exhausting, but in an entirely different way) and I will try very hard not to think about how much actual sleep I got because that only makes me more tired. And I will be grateful that Patrick is a good, sweet, cute, easy baby, even if I’m so tired that I sometimes forget his name.

Posted by Kristina in Baby, Pregnancy and Baby
  • Eva says:

    It sucks. It will suck for sometime yet. And, for your sanity, you need to let go of being creative and finding balance right now, there is none. For the time just rest so you can sleep.

    When my preemie twins were three months old I found myself pregnant again. Baby born was 10 days short of me having three babies in one year. Dh was building a company and gone 18 hours a day and my mother had her own career. MIL moved three hours away. It was me, myself and I with 6 children, three of them babies. It was bad-sheer hell, but I’m not going to compare it to you becasue at least Dh and I got to touch toes at night. I will tell you what I learned. Just surviving is a win. Screw the laundry, the dishes, the floor, what have you. Just get done what needs to be done. The rest will come, I promise you, but in a few months. By May it will be a lot better. But right now you need sleep. Don’t get out of bed. Really. I spent a few days like that. (I nursed the twins every hour which meant I was a cow on the bed 24/7) I mastered the five minute shower with them in bouncy chairs on the bathroom floor and back to the bed I went. They were in the bassinet at the side of my bed and I camped there for days at a time. Did the other kids suffer? Not so much, they were with me a lot. We read, watched TV, ate in my bed. But I was able to sleep and by the next year things were much better. Get a stack of books, the puter, the remote, diapers, wipes and make a ton of bottles so you can have one in the warmer waiting for you when you need and just camp. Cry if you have to, it sometimes is what does the trick to get you to sleep.

    My heart goes out to you.

  • Jo says:

    Ahh, I’ve been there. I fell asleep on the motorway once. I think I woke up instantly, but still, the whole head-jerking up thing was there.

    I would really recommend an osteopath, after the induction. Their little head bones get all out of place and make their heads sore, after the pounding they get against the cervix. My osteopath said it’s like dropping them on their heads…

    I also recommend co sleeping – at least have him right beside the beed. Makes for way easier feeding and less waking too. For the start, at least.

  • Kristina says:

    Thanks so much for your kind words. It means a lot to hear what others have gone through.

    Eva, I can’t even imagine your situation.  Twins?  Three babies?  Six children?  Seriously, you are my idol.

    Jo—As always, your feedback is invaluable. I can’t co-sleep because I’m such a light sleeper and he’s both noisy and squirmy, so I end up not sleeping at all.  His room isn’t far from mine, though.

  • Kristina says:

    Oh, Jo—Patrick never dropped and engaged, which is why I ended up with a Cesarean. Do you think he should still see an osteopath?

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