Sunday, November 30, 2008

Emperors New Groove

The "Emperor" would be my new son. Why, you ask, do I call him the "Emperor"?

Simple: he determines when I eat. When I got to the bathroom. When I make dinner. When I wear a shirt.

And most importantly, when I sleep.

He a ruthless ruler.

He tends to wake up at 9pm and stay awake until around 3am. He is happy ONLY if in my arms, usually at the breast. It's making me wonder why I thought I wanted to breastfeed.

My typical night looks like this: I bring him downstairs and sit in the recliner. He'll fall asleep. Deeply asleep (usually with a full belly). I will go upstairs and lay him in his bassinet and the second my body hits my bed, he wakes up screaming and we start over.

Even if I try to sleep in the recliner he makes sure to cry/fuss about every 15 minutes to keep me from getting any substantive sleep.

Thursday night he actually slept in his bed, quietly, between feedings. I was overjoyed. Clearly he was just teasing me, because the next two nights were WORSE than the nights that preceded Thursday. He wouldn't sleep in his bed AT ALL, or in his swing, which had been our fall-back sleep method up to this point.

In fact, last night I went to bed at 8:30 p.m. to get some sleep prior to his next feeding (while MotH was still up). I slept for 90 minutes. That was it for the rest of the night. At 8am, I got MotH out of bed and slept until 10am.

I do not do well with lack of sleep. I get very sick feeling, not to mention grumpy.

I swear, the child knows exactly when I start to fall asleep and then launches "Operation: Bring Mom to Her Knees from Exhaustion" every night.

I don't know what to do. AM was a night owl, but we thought it was due to being in the NICU where there are no days and nights. NR has been home and I've tried to make it clear that day time is day time (open the blinds to let natural light in, make normal daytime sounds, turn on the tv, etc...) and that night time is for sleeping (dark, quiet, etc...), but I'm not having any luck.

We wake him up, try to keep him up, give him a bath, etc... None of it works. He's tightly swaddled (we've tried no swaddling too) and has white noise. I've even tried bringing him to bed with me (and breastfeeding in bed is a joke). Nope. Mom CANNOT be horizontal. Think I'm kidding? The more I try to recline in the chair, the more he fusses. He's his most content when I'm sitting straight up in the chair (holding him), making it impossible for me to sleep.

He even does it during the day. I try the "sleep when the baby is sleeping"-trick and the minute I lay down, he starts to fuss. He can go HOURS and sleep peacefully, but not if I dare try to rest.

Oh, and breastfeeding. How do you cope with the constant demands of a breastfed infant? He goes through periods of time where he wants to be at the breast for hours (sometimes during the evening, sometimes during the night). Unfortunately, I am having significant pain issues (thrush infection and just overall irritation) and being a human pacifier is only making it worse.

How do you cope? How can you get ANYTHING done when the baby will want to eat in another hour or so? He eats for 30-40 minutes and wants to eat again two hours from when he started. That means I have MAYBE 90 minutes between feedings (hence the reason I got 90 minutes of sleep last night........MotH watched him until the next feeding). Do they ever start eating faster? Do they ever go more then two hours from the start of one feeding to the next?

I'm at my wits end. Yes, I know that "this to shall pass", but when? How come EVERY other mom I know has a baby that lets her sleep at night (including my new nephew)? Not sleep all night, just sleep AT night?

As a side note, I'm still dealing with some PPD only I'm not sure if that's more of a problem because I'm not getting any sleep, or if it would be a problem even with sleep. I tend to believe I'd feel better if I could just get a little more sleep. I sit in my recliner (straight up and down, thankyouverymuch) and cry my way through much of the night, but most of my tears are centered around my intense desire for sleep.

Okay, and I'm also a little bitter when I go in our room and see MotH peacefully snoozing the night away. I know that's not a pretty way to feel, but there it is nonetheless.

Anyway, I know y'all come on this board for more light-hearted fare then this post and eventually I hope I feel light-hearted again.

One more side note: I have a feeling that I'll feel about breastfeeding the way I felt about being pregnant. I loved parts of being pregnant just as there are parts of breastfeeding that I love. However, I couldn't wait for it to be finally be over........then when it was, I missed it. I think that's probably the way breastfeeding will work.

Oh, and if anyone has any pearls of wisdom, I would appreciate them. I start working from home in about three weeks and right now, I don't see how that's possible. When AM was first home, my job was mostly busy work. Now, it requires functioning brain cells. Unfortunately, my brain cells demand sleep in order to function. Good times.


Mr. and Mrs. Nurse Boy said...

So you post and ask for nothing, and you get all sorts of feedback. Then you post and ask for wisdom, and you just get crickets chirping. I think that says something about your audience. I've got nothing about the breast feeding thing. I obviously have not expereince, and my wife only breast fed for two weeks on the first one. I think for the same reasons you have stated. As far as the sleeping thing, the only thing I have is to try to keep him up in the evening. It sounds like you have been trying with the bath thing and all. The wife and I would strip dimples down to nothing but a diaper and stimulate him as much as we could to try to keep him up and flip his schedule. It took about a week, but it finally worked. They come out all backwards because the movement durring the day sort of rocks the kids to sleep in utero. Then they get all hyped up and kicky at night when you are still. I don't know if that was your experience or not. I will pray for your sleep and PPD. Hang in there, there will be moments when it will all be worth it.

Boy Mom said...

Awww, big hugs and sympathy coming your way. I've been where you are 7 times and it's never easy.

Things that have helped me.

B vitamins I take a b complex every day. Helps with depression and stress.

Baby only needs to nurse for 15-20 minutes on each side as long as the milk supply is good. Massaging and stimulating a breast before nursing starts can help speed up the process.

I use a pacifier,I can't handle the human pacifier thing. If it means they don't nurse as well...oh well, my sanity counts for something.

I swaddle my babies then lay them on their side in their car seat to sleep. My bassinet actually allowed me to set the car seat inside it. The upright cuddled position seems to help.

Let everything go except Mommy and baby. If daddy can't comfort baby at night he can fix or buy meals, clean up and help with older siblings.

I turn to a girlfriend, Mom,or sister-in-law who will take my baby to her house so I can sleep uninterrupted for a few hours.

Mostly I try not to resent these few weeks that seem like they'll never end. I find the more stressed out I am the more stressed my baby gets.

Hang in there!

Mr. and Mrs. Nurse Boy said...

OK, so my husband thinks that was the sound of crickets chirping. That was the sound of prayers being sent up for you. As for advice. I don't like to give any. You see, I really don't have any wisdom. It all seems to be a lot of trial and error. And, I think you probably nailed it with the whole sleeping thing. Nothing seems balanced when you aren't sleeping. It is sooo hard to function...well, you know that already. And when it comes to the whole breastfeeding thing, I was a rebel and gave up. I must admit, I really don't have any regrets. (I know...gasp!) I think it is great, but not for everyone. So, I support you either way!
Just know that I am praying!

Chaos-Jamie said...


Six weeks. Seems like everything evens out at six weeks. They get sort of on schedule and nursing isn't such a strange battle. And they figure out how to nurse horizontally.

But they do still hear your eyes close. They all do.

At least all of mine do.

But any time you want a nap, I'm only three minutes away. Sometimes I even do dishes.