how do you deal with the exhaustion??? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 04-28-2010, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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sparked by the sleep issues thread....

my SN girl is 5.5 and i have a HN/SN 12 month old as well. He sleeps SO poorly and that coupled with my serious sleep problems I am getting no sleep anymore. I often will be up until 4-5 am b/c why bother trying to sleep when I will be woken up in minutes after falling to sleep over and over again. that actually makes me MORE tired! My husband will then take over for a few hours while I sleep. (he works from home so our schedule is thankfully flexible right now). Then I get up late (sometimes super late) and the kids are BORED out of their minds and the baby is cranky b/c I haven't seen him all morning.... and I try SO hard to be with it but I am SO tired. SO TIRED! It's like the whole universe has a thing against me sleeping!

I've gotten my daughter (5.5) to sleep better after upping her mag/zinc. But the baby just isn't a good sleeper. I NEED a bedtime routine so I can sleep - or I can't sleep. and for the last yr solid I've been staying up all night with him. my routine is a joke... I try, but every time I develop one he changes his patterns. (not to mention he's SUPER high need all day long which makes me even more tired!)


I try to make up for lack of sleep with plenty of healthy foods and so forth... but I can't seem to make my body need less sleep! I'm stumbled through words. I find it hard to think clearly in the grocery store. I'm scared to drive too long b/c my concentration is terrible. and I am grumpy! I'm trying to be happy go lucky, but I'm so grumpy and touched out. and snappy! I'm embarrassed how often I snap at people. I feel like a walking train wreck!


show me some support mamas. I need encouragement. I need hope that I wont always feel so tired. that I wont always be falling to sleep throw out the day. and that I wont always be so grumpy!!! (I HATE being grumpy!!)

transtichel.gifMom of three - (2.5 yrs, 7yrs, and 11yrs). Birthing Doula, editor, and wife to my soulmate. I've had a c/s, hospital VBAC, UC and not yet decided what I'll do about this next little one

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#2 of 14 Old 04-28-2010, 08:23 PM
 
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I am so sorry.

my "poor sleeper" is 4.5 and finally down to 3 or 4 wakings a night. the first 20+ months of his life it was every 45 minutes none stop.

Do you family bed? It is what saved me ....Theo would wake, nurse, or wake and CRY ... but we were cuddled there togeher so i didn't have to get up unless i had to -- does that make sense? I didn't have to get up to go get him, if he'd nurse back -- easy, nurse adn doze back off -- if he cried or got overly excited, i could sit up, then move to rocker in the room, getting all the way up to walk the halls only if i had to. I got more sleep as i was not hauling myself up and down a hell all the time. Also he did finally get to a point of a lot less crying and a lot more just waking up to nurse 9still every 45 minutes ) and i got even more sleep -- and even without sleep -- more rest.

when was a buit past two we started melation with the support of the dev ped .. and waht a blessing. Bedtime went from 3+ hours average to 30 minutes average. Now tenchinally it does nothing for the 'staying asleep" but we found that enotionally speacking if bedtime was less hard then he slept better over night ...

Hugs momma --

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#3 of 14 Old 04-28-2010, 09:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I try co sleeping but he keeps me awake all night long tossing and turning. I get less sleep that way. so he sleeps in a crib next to our bed, and then I pick him up an nurse him and lay him back down. I thought co-sleeping would help me but it made it harder. Maybe if our bed wasn't so small? I don't know...

I have used melatonin when he has serious trouble falling to sleep. but mostly it's his constant waking. he is SO sensitive to everything. if he gets a new tooth it;s like a month long issue of waking and crankiness. I love jim dearly I'm just so tired.

anyhow I'm not trying to whine (even though I'm not doing a very good job lol) I just want some encouragement or idea to deal with the lack of sleep. being that I personally have trouble sleeping combined with the eractic sleep of two of my kids, I find myself just so overtired all of the time. it's making me depressed - I have trouble feeling happy. does that make sense? like I'm too tired to even be happy about happy things.

anyhow... enough babbling. I think being tired makes me babble more

transtichel.gifMom of three - (2.5 yrs, 7yrs, and 11yrs). Birthing Doula, editor, and wife to my soulmate. I've had a c/s, hospital VBAC, UC and not yet decided what I'll do about this next little one

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#4 of 14 Old 04-28-2010, 10:13 PM
 
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I just want some encouragement or idea to deal with the lack of sleep.
1 minute at a time.

My youngest was a horrible sleeper. She had reflux & at night could NOT sleep laying down. She'd wake up continuously. I found that sleeping with her on me & us sitting up right in the recliner/rocker helped both of us sleep more. If she woke up to nurse I'd pop her on & go right back to sleep. When she was around 1 she was able to sleep at night laying down.

When she was 3months old I started B12 shots. It took 7 months of monthly shots for me to start to notice a difference. I'd then go on a 2 week B12 "high" and then crash for 2 weeks so I started getting it every 2 weeks. She's 8 now & I still get it every 2 weeks. I didn't realize how bad I was feeling until I was feeling good & going on the highs & crashes.
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#5 of 14 Old 04-29-2010, 09:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by HennyPenny View Post
I try co sleeping but he keeps me awake all night long tossing and turning. I get less sleep that way. so he sleeps in a crib next to our bed, and then I pick him up an nurse him and lay him back down. I thought co-sleeping would help me but it made it harder. Maybe if our bed wasn't so small? I don't know...

I have used melatonin when he has serious trouble falling to sleep. but mostly it's his constant waking. he is SO sensitive to everything. if he gets a new tooth it;s like a month long issue of waking and crankiness. I love jim dearly I'm just so tired.

anyhow I'm not trying to whine (even though I'm not doing a very good job lol) I just want some encouragement or idea to deal with the lack of sleep. being that I personally have trouble sleeping combined with the eractic sleep of two of my kids, I find myself just so overtired all of the time. it's making me depressed - I have trouble feeling happy. does that make sense? like I'm too tired to even be happy about happy things.

anyhow... enough babbling. I think being tired makes me babble more
I know you are trying to eat well...

easy to grab snacks -- nuts, cheese, ... and as hard as it is -- eat more -- even a bite each time you go by the fridge. That was my rule. each time i walked by the frige i had to open it and take a bite off my snack plate. Theo woke so much and nursed so much and had to be held all the time ..

more water. I, and this may be me, find and a big long drink of really cold water can really perk me up ...not long term, but 20 minutes or so ... and at the point you are at that is what i would be doing -- what can i do to get by 20 minutes, 30 minutes ...

I one thing i did -- cheecky i guess -- but it helped ME at 2 and 3 adn 4 am walking the floor ......i have a baby, a tiny baby who needs me, there are women out there awake right now without a baby who would kill to be in my shoes, i am blessed to have a tiny baby who needs me so much ... and repeat. Helped me anyway.

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#6 of 14 Old 04-29-2010, 10:11 AM
 
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I so very much know that feeling!! Our younger 2 kids are adopted, the youngest had a really really rough transition. Longterm nightime grieving that involved a 2 hour crying and tantrum fest for months in the middle of the night, every night, plus normal 1 year old frequent waking for a bottle, plus a medical condition that makes night waking and poorer quality sleep more likely (and is not treatable at this point). I also have insomnia and sleep issues, was prone to them already and poorly sleeping kiddos did me in. My bio child, the oldest, also was a frequent waker until 3 with undiagnosed/undertreated reflux and high calorie needs that he made up for with marathon night nursing sessions. Oh, and he has mild CP so needed bathroom assistance at night until he was 5ish--PT at 20m, but couldn't walk well when tired. I had a sleep study done a few years ago on me, prior to the child who sleeps really poorly, and the percentages of this and that level sleep indicated chronic sleep deprivation! I would hate to see the results now!

My best trick was/is Ambien, as I could still function to take care of kids on it at night, but could instantly fall back asleep, and wkae feeling refreshed after 4-5 hr of interrupted sleep, but as you are nursing probably not an option. My next suggestion--have you had the baby checked for medical reasons for the poor/light sleep? Reflux, airway obstruction, etc? Even if not treatable (as my little guys' is not right now) knowing there was a reason made me much less grumpy! I also nap at every possible opportunity. Consider hiring someone to come watch the kids so you can nap well and not have to sleep listening out for them--it was a lifesaver for me, and I went so far as to go to a friends to nap so I couldn't hear kid noise. I have slacked seriously on housework and anything else I am responsible for, and am seriously considering a housekeeper and will cut something else for it. Another thing to check--your vitamin D levels. Mine got dangerously low in the first 6-8m after my youngest came home because I never left the house--too tired, sleep deprived and he was tantrumy-miserable during a lot of daytime, too. After presciption supplement, my energy level and mood improved greatly, even though I wasn't sleeping more. Low D is also linked to insomnia and sleeping problems, so could be affecting your little one if your level are lows (milk levels are low if yours are). Other than tons of empathy and sympathy, that's all I've got. Hope something is helpful/useful for you, or at leas thte commiseration is.
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#7 of 14 Old 04-29-2010, 10:41 AM
 
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You have all of my sympathy and empathy, because I've been there and it sucks!! I used to dread the sun going down, because for some reason everything was worse at night. I would lay there at night praying for the stupid sun to come up. At least in the light of day there were other people, birds chirping, cars on the street...there was signs of humanity!! In the night I was lonely, depressed, even fearful (what was that sound?)

It sounds backwards, but what helped me a LOT was to force myself to get up early, no sleeping in allowed. Even if I didn't get to sleep until the wee hours of the morning. I also started working out, which again seems backwards, but really works. The waking up at a "normal" time and the morning exercising helps to reset your circadian rhythm and get your body back on track.

Get yourself some early morning sun. That's a biggie for your inner clock. So even if all you can manage is a 20 minute walk, DO IT.

Otherwise...I don't know. I still struggle with this a lot. I've never been a good sleeper, before kids even if I woke up only 3 times a night it was a really good night! Now that I know more about sleep I wonder if I have some sort of sleep disorder (and not surprisingly, I had lots of signs of it as a child, including enlarged tonsils, repeated strep throat infections, extended bed wetting, etc)

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#8 of 14 Old 04-29-2010, 12:41 PM
 
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We have nursing hours through our medicaid for our sn daughter. I use them for night nursing, so I can sleep. On the nights we don't have a night nurse, DH and I split the night. I go to bed early and he is "on call" if the kids need anything, during the middle of the night we switch and he sleeps late.

It works better for the kids to see me in the morning, and I can do my bedtime routine earlier. I have even been know to go sleep in a diferent room if I need to. It isn't perfect, but I get at least 4 hours of sleep in a row.

Wife to M , Mommy to DS aka Captain Obvious  (06/06) and DD aka Lissalot  (03/09, anoxic brain injury)
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#9 of 14 Old 04-29-2010, 01:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 2boyzmama View Post
You have all of my sympathy and empathy, because I've been there and it sucks!! I used to dread the sun going down, because for some reason everything was worse at night. I would lay there at night praying for the stupid sun to come up. At least in the light of day there were other people, birds chirping, cars on the street...there was signs of humanity!! In the night I was lonely, depressed, even fearful (what was that sound?)

It sounds backwards, but what helped me a LOT was to force myself to get up early, no sleeping in allowed. Even if I didn't get to sleep until the wee hours of the morning. I also started working out, which again seems backwards, but really works. The waking up at a "normal" time and the morning exercising helps to reset your circadian rhythm and get your body back on track.

Get yourself some early morning sun. That's a biggie for your inner clock. So even if all you can manage is a 20 minute walk, DO IT.

Otherwise...I don't know. I still struggle with this a lot. I've never been a good sleeper, before kids even if I woke up only 3 times a night it was a really good night! Now that I know more about sleep I wonder if I have some sort of sleep disorder (and not surprisingly, I had lots of signs of it as a child, including enlarged tonsils, repeated strep throat infections, extended bed wetting, etc)
When I had, theo, even before, my mom told EVERYTHING IS WORSE AY NIGHT --- she is an RN and sees it all the time, pain is worse at night, confusions is worse at night, life just looks worse.

this is our family rule. DH and i have stopped discussion $ and plans and "worries" and so on in the middle of the night -- doom and gloom abound at night.

It is a chant in out home "it will be better in the morning" we tell each other that, i tell sick kids that, i chat it to myself.

I am so glad mom told me that before i gave birth --- even with out the SN we had a hard time with the birth, and BF and jsut general new baby lack of sleep and so on ...

somehow it does make it better to think "this is not really real, this will be better tomorrow"

When Theo was little and at his worst -- outside was a great help. Getting up, showering adn dressing adn going outside -- even just to the yard for 5 minutes him bundled and in the sling ......now i find that going to the post or anyplace, -- in the morning -- to get us up, cleaned up and moving.

One things that made a real differnce for me -- finding a way to SHOWER each moring. DH was good about letting me do it when he got home at 6 or 7 at night or even 5 .. but i need it to start the day .... so i tried everything i could till i found something Theo would agree to so i could shower each moring, that and clean clothing and WOW even with 2 hours or less sleep i could be human!!!

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#10 of 14 Old 04-30-2010, 01:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you alll so much for the encouragement. it just feels good to hear from other families that understand. I often dont mention things like this to my friends without SN /HN kids b/c they don't understand. I can see the shock and horror on their faces when I mention how many times i got up in the night...and I know those wheels are turning trying to decide if i'm a terrible parent b/c i can't get my baby to sleep, or if my life is just a walking nightmare and they are so glad not to be me. I don't want pity! just some understanding...

It feels good to have a place to say "my son was up 7 times last night" or "I only got 4 hrs of sleep less night and i am pooped!" and not feel judged at all.

I just recently started really posting and reading here regularly. I've visited before, but I'm trying to make it regular home. I realized that I wasn't surrounded myself with sympathetic encourging people enough. and i was geting very depressed and having pity parties b/c my life seems so much harder than most of my friends. when I come here I feel like I belong. and that is a wonderful feeling. I'm so impressed by this forum - you all lift one another up and encourage one another so much! you're just a great group of mamas! I am thankful to have found this place.

transtichel.gifMom of three - (2.5 yrs, 7yrs, and 11yrs). Birthing Doula, editor, and wife to my soulmate. I've had a c/s, hospital VBAC, UC and not yet decided what I'll do about this next little one

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#11 of 14 Old 04-30-2010, 09:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by HennyPenny View Post
thank you alll so much for the encouragement. it just feels good to hear from other families that understand. I often dont mention things like this to my friends without SN /HN kids b/c they don't understand. I can see the shock and horror on their faces when I mention how many times i got up in the night...and I know those wheels are turning trying to decide if i'm a terrible parent b/c i can't get my baby to sleep, or if my life is just a walking nightmare and they are so glad not to be me. I don't want pity! just some understanding...

It feels good to have a place to say "my son was up 7 times last night" or "I only got 4 hrs of sleep less night and i am pooped!" and not feel judged at all.

I just recently started really posting and reading here regularly. I've visited before, but I'm trying to make it regular home. I realized that I wasn't surrounded myself with sympathetic encourging people enough. and i was geting very depressed and having pity parties b/c my life seems so much harder than most of my friends. when I come here I feel like I belong. and that is a wonderful feeling. I'm so impressed by this forum - you all lift one another up and encourage one another so much! you're just a great group of mamas! I am thankful to have found this place.
I tend to be a bit "in your face" when people say "is he sleeping though the night" I'd SMILE really big (fake it till you make it) and say "oh of course not, he is only 7 months old he nures every 45 minute slike any growing little boy" and maintian eye contact. LOL

Now when people ask about it I say "my 2.5 yo STTN. LOL his brother who is 4.5 doesn't even do that" BIG SMILE and lots of eye contact.

I frame it as NORMAL (and for us it is) and that I am HAPPY to be doing all i can for my children (i am).

and I go back to sleep and waking is NORAML: for all babies -- it gets them food, it protects from SIDS and so on ... so while ours are admittedly at one end of normal ... the 3 week old STTN is not really "normal" either -- just no one feels sorry for that family (actually i DO .. that is dangerous and that baby is missing a lot of feeding and that mom a lot of cuddle time).

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#12 of 14 Old 04-30-2010, 07:30 PM
 
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Henny Penny, truly I'm not stalking you (lol) (u helped me so much in the "anxiety thread." I could've penned that last post of yours...

This SN boards has been my saving grace so many times!! I'm tired of being judged & tired of seeing cookie-cutter families look at us askew cuz of all my kids' SN... It's been a hard day today, but, like a pp said, there's a new fresh day tomorrow, so I'm hoping it'll be better.

As for sleep issues, my youngest 3 yo ds (high anxiety, OCD, SPD, bp?) had reflux too & has *never ever* slept through the night. w/the help of probiotics, his reflux has improved immensely. I sleep on his floor in his room due to night terrors & waking frequently. I drink some vitamin water through the day to help fight both the blues & being tired. Try to get outside (as pp said about Vit D levels). Sending a big hug your way xoxo

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#13 of 14 Old 04-30-2010, 11:46 PM
 
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My first son had rough sleep issues. I totally understand not sharing with others how much you're waking because you don't want to deal with the advice and judgement. I remember lying about it -- sort of even to myself, to make it through.

I ended up with really exhausted adrenals, from the sleep loss and other things. I started drinking nettle infusion to support my adrenals, and all of a sudden I could sleep deeply at night, no matter how many times I was woken. What a miracle. I know exactly what you mean about how your body gets jittery and won't let you back to sleep when you're awoken a lot. The nettle infusion took that away -- it let me always get back to sleep, and sleep deeply too. I had to drink at least two cups a day to feel the effect.

I don't know whether it would work for you, but it did for me. The infusion is different than a tea; it's stronger. A cup of the herb to a quart of boiling water, covered and steeped overnight. (I use quart canning jars.) Strain in the morning and drink within 48 hours. Refrigerate after straining.

Hugs, mama.

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The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. - Albert Einstein

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#14 of 14 Old 05-07-2010, 10:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thank everyone for the advice.... We were moving over the last two weeks so I had to step away from the compter for a bit... but we're moved in now (mostly) so I plan on being back here again

Mama Jewel, how are you doing? are the anxiety issues any better?

transtichel.gifMom of three - (2.5 yrs, 7yrs, and 11yrs). Birthing Doula, editor, and wife to my soulmate. I've had a c/s, hospital VBAC, UC and not yet decided what I'll do about this next little one

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