So I thought maybe I would throw that out there...not taking any supplements and checking any other medication. I know high amounts of b vitamins can bother people. My youngest daughter does have serious anaphylactic food Allergies and I do notice she sleeps poorly when exposed to one of her allergens if it is a small amount however she will also break out with excema patc
I used to smoke...I smoked for 20 years I quit right before I got pregnant so only been 5 years not smoking now...wow weird to say that. Anyway...best of luck in quitting. I just got through each day and didn't think about the next day and then it got a little easier over time.
I have nothing exciting or particularly positive to add to this thread. Life is so suffocatingly busy and stressful at the moment, I have barely had time to breathe - let alone think about my own health.
I thought though I would pop in and just quickly mention that over the last month, I have had maybe half a dozen nights where I think I've slept a solid 6 or 6.5 hours. Every other night of the month is more or less the same old, same old - waking after 4 hours, then 2, then 1 etc.
But I live in crazy hope that maybe whatever it is, is somehow burning itself out very, very, very slowly.
I have not managed to get any more help. Have not managed to quit smoking. Having an even more stressful time about money - and our kiddie has chosen now to give up napping (every second day, no nap - for TWO WEEKS)...and has, quite frankly, turned into a little terror just of late. Her timing is absolutely atrocious.
So overwhelmed as usual, with all this....that the insomnia pales into comparison, as a problem to be quickly solved.
A small update. I haven't changed anything about my lifestyle, NOR gone to see another professional, or doctor. But for some reason it seems that my unbroken sleep periods are stretching themselves out a little.
In the last three weeks I have had more 6 hour nights (still waking early though) - and on one night had a record-breaking 7 hours unbroken!! Woooohoooo!!
I can't say I felt any more rested the days following though - I suspect a sleep debt as huge as mine is going to take months of 8-9 hour sleeps to pay off. But at least it's something...and in the right direction. Unfortunately the inbetween nights are still very random, broken, and depressing - but they are slightly fewer now.
I've been wondering what has changed - and looking back at notes I've made about my own sleep, and my daughters...it seems like the 'new' unbroken lengths of mine are corresponding pretty much with her dropping her naps! Argh! Which she has been doing on and off (dropping lots in the last month).
So, my conclusion is that I'm just SO exhausted from dealing with her for the extra time during the day that my body/brain has finally given up a bit. I crave a proper reason...something more medical or scientific. Especially for any other mother's suffering the same way. But for the moment, I'm just trying to go with it...and crossed fingers, it will continue in this vein...and 8 hour sleeps might be somewhere on the horizon. When I started this thread, after years of insomnia - that looked totally impossible - but now I have a little bit of hope.
OK, this seems obviously an adrenal issue. My story's almost the exact same as you, except I am BFing my youngest too, I'm going crazy w/the lack of sleep. For adrenal tests you can order a home saliva cortisol test, it tests your levels a few times in a day. You can also order your own blood tests w/o seeing a doc.
I wake and can't sleep btwn 2 and 4 too. Something about the cortisol/adrenaline/and with me - hypoglycemia.
I agree w/the allergy thing, everyone wants to blame food intolerances for everything, but that would stress me out even more, trying to dig for some food related issue, not worth it. I'd rather concentrate on eating healthy. I try to eat a lot before bed, a very balanced meal. Sometimes I still need a snack during the night. It sucks, hope we find answers soon. I'm sure my problem is adrenal fatigue/low thyroid and upon fixing it everything else will fall together. Recovery is slow though and frustrating. I'll be following, post anything that helps or changes!
*sometimes valerian helps. i forget to take it though, i made a tincture. I think nothing will really help until the underlying problem is solved. If you research AF more it explains the night waking biologically.
Hey there yippiehippie,
Thanks for your thoughts. I think you are right about the underlying issue being the thing that needs sorting. Obviously sheer exhaustion is just not enough for my body/brains bad habit of waking to go away all by itself. I did look into adrenal fatigue, but got a little overwhelmed with the necessary lifestyle changes. Have also taken every 'natural' supplement I can think of...melatonin, cherry juice, honey (for AF, totally did nothing, in fact, sleeping got worse somehow?) and valerian.
My unbroken sleeps have continued to multiply....I know not why exactly (?) - but now I seem to be able to sleep for 6 hours unbroken, maybe 3 or 4 nights out of every week. The other 3-4 nights I'm still waking twice after only 3-4 hours a time (or 1-2 for the last waking).
It still remains frustrating, but I really am just so exhausted constantly I just don't have the energy spare to do anything about it all at the moment. I realise how pathetic this sounds, but we are nearing the end (I hope!) of a completely gruelling house-build. We are still not moved in, but am hoping against hope we can get the last things done in the next two months and actually get in before we all go bonkers. All my spare/awake energy has to go on this right now, and looking after our daughter.
I'm pretty sure that the 'underlying' issue for me is stress. Stress from simply becoming a parent - I'm still in shock I think? though slowly getting used to it...I'm still reeling with the 24/7 aspect of parenting, and especially the insanely early mornings, every single morning forever and ever and ever. It's been pretty tough on me in that sense...and I was hugely unprepared (naive?) My daughter's atrocious sleeping when she was little has set me up in a rather anxiety-laden and fretful mental space, which I'm SURE has something to do with all of it. That, and biology? I still think I'm somewhat stuck in fight/flight mode of breastfeeding, even though we stopped that a long time ago now.
Secondly - stress of the house build and money woes.
So - I'm hoping when we finally get into this blimmin' house - at least one of these stressors will cease to be a factor. Also when my partner and I are able to go back to more 50/50 sharing of childcare...I will also get more time to myself to relax/heal/de-stress on a daily basis.
Am just hanging on for dear life! But am still grateful of two things:
1) That my girl is a good night time sleeper now (knock on wood)
2) That there are some 6-hour nights I'm getting. I still can't feel the difference...until I have three 6-hour nights in a row, then a horrible wonky wakeup night - and the day after the wonky one, I really feel it!
One last little thing (which still points to hormones, and I might have already mentioned...but don't have time to re-read my own thread!) is that just prior to my period is when I have the worst wakeups. It seems quite predictable. Two days before...bad night. Always. Hmm.
When I finally get some time/peace - I will get back on the case of it all. Even though things are slightly better...I still can't survive like this forever. It's still killing me slowly. I know I need at least 8 or more hours ideally, nightly. (I used to, pre-baby, regularly sleep 9-10 hours - I am...or WAS a BIG sleep-monster. 6 or 4 or 3 hours is for the Margaret Thatcher's of the world...not me. Though, I grudgingly accept that as a parent it might now be reduced - but PLEASE, can I at least have 8 if I am in bed early enough to actually get 8 or 9!?)
Good luck with yours!! Let me know if you find our anything interesting!
Grover--if this is still affecting you then, to me, it sounds like you are feeling so overwhelmed from being a mom that it is affecting your sleep. I experienced this at one point in my life and it was caused by overwhelming stress that i didn't know how to handle. I just read another thread in which you posted that your daughter wants your attention nearly all the time and you dont know how to say no. Your comments in this thread and that one show that you have a lack of boundaries with your daughter, which would cause anyone stress. Its okay to say no, its actually healthy, she needs to learn that you are not a machine and you dont live only for her. Its impractical and will only lead to burn out and its also quite near impossible to enjoy the time you spend with her since you lack clear boundaries with her and often play with her out of a sense of obligation. This is what i got from reading your comment, if it doesn't resonate then just ignore what i said. If what i'm saying is helpful then i encourage you to find your real voice and your sense of balance--those two things will help you relate to your daughter in a healthy way, they will also help you sleep better and reduce your stress levels.
Hi there. Appreciate both your comments to me in the two threads. You are absolutely right about the stress, and the stress of being a mother. I suppose, right from the start I have not dealt with it particularly well, and whilst mentally and emotionally I try and stay on top of it (for everyone's sake) - there is a point to be made that it is manifesting itself very physically, with other things - primarily the insomnia (which continues unabated, and is horrible) but also teeth grinding, which, since my dentist told me about it...has also gotten much worse it seems.
We as a family are under a ridiculous amount of stress at the moment. We are trying to finish up building a house to move into. The process has been long, fraught with trouble, and now we are broke, right at the last hurdle. We should have moved in weeks ago, but we are still desperately trying to finish things off which is taking all my and my partner's energy. Truthfully, I just have no room in my psyche to contemplate my own problems....or doing things differently, until we GET INTO our new house. Whereupon some stress will be immediately alleviated as my partner can take on more child care.
Thus, I don't know why I keep posting on the forum in some ways (can't seem to help myself?) - as I'm not in the position to really think, act, or *do* anything about anything right now. I suppose I'm still interested in people's opinions, and can file it away for a few weeks hence, when things are more doable. I hope.
I have always been a bit of an A-type personality, and this combined with the fear I seem to have developed (or, anxiety anyway) of being a good parent to my daughter (my mother deserted me when I was 3....my daughter is nearing 3...and though I don't believe in this as a deep-therapy issue - it does cross my mind occasionally that I must do the very best for her I can...) and external things that are constantly testing me and proving very frustrating....well, I guess I'm not surprised I'm a bit of a mess.
Having a child has turned me into much more of a worrier. I just worry about everything. Her safety, her well-being, her emotions, my ability to raise her well...the list goes on and on. I frighten myself a little by how imbalanced it all is, and how difficult I'm finding it currently to 'relax' about things I can't foresee or change.
The trouble has always been that I have always solved my own problems - fixed myself - healed myself etc. The fact that I haven't got the time and energy to do this (because of the house, but also the energy is used with my daughter each day) is foreign and hard do deal with.
But I do agree with you. I need to find myself again somewhere in this mess (which, on the face of it, is not too bad....my daughter is a very happy child anyway, and healthy) and work slowly towards getting back some peace, physical and emotional.
Just a small note on the LO. I/we do say no to her frequently...and I have methods of gently getting her to tend towards what I need her to do, and most of the time things are fairly good. She is 'spoiled' (couldn't think of a better word) by my attention at the moment, but that is partly happening because a) I have not had work to do (I do have some work on now, home based - though mostly I do try and do it when she is in bed) - and b) because I am caring for her all day whilst my partner works on the house.
But...yes, you are still right - there is room for improvement. It would be nice if she were a little more independent. She is such a strong little kid in so many ways - very challenging...and I do need to learn how to set some more boundaries with her.
If for a moment to even think about it! (she says, spending 15 minutes writing this...)
I also understand what its like to be abandoned and how that affects your feelings about being a mother. My mother never physically abandoned me but she very much did emotionally and that definitely took its toll. I have struggled with feeing good enough when it comes to being a mother and i've recognized how i would often try too hard in order to make up for that sense of lack. I think that was a big reason for why i felt compelled to write to you. You seem to also struggle with feeling "good enough." Maybe re-read what i've written when your life has calmed down a bit if you feel its helpful.
A non-update, update:
We've been through a little roller coaster of a time of late. Our wee girl came down with an unexplained illness (see another thread) - which, though over now (?) has caused chaos for a couple of weeks with her behaviour and sleep.
My sleep is still where it was at - though, it seems when I'm really, really, really exhausted (e.g. was up all one night with her) - I seem to be able to do a 7-hour stretch. But now that that time has passed, I'm back to where I was mostly. Some nights I manage to sleep for a full 6 hours, before waking at 4-5am. Other nights I wake up at 2-3, then again at 5.
We haven't moved into our new house yet. Soon I hope....soon.
And I also am still hoping against hope that it will make a difference to all of us. Alleviate some stress - allow my partner and I to share childcare more...etc.
Will update again after we move.
I found out about this thread over at another thread. I have read some of the first and last message you posted but lately don't have the focus to take on this much detail. As the matter of fact I'm in my third trimester and took some dramamine this evening to help with my own insomnia:-)
I just want to weigh in my experience and hope there is something in it that you haven't tried.
I have a history of anxiety and depression. I was borderline suicidal for several years until I had a diagnosis for Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. Basically this is an increasingly common autoimmune disorder that affects women in our age group quite often. The flip side is Grave's Disease, and each has some common symptoms and each is vastly under-treated. After I got the help I needed with my thyroid (and no, I do not take natural thyroid nor do I think it's the first thing somebody ought to try to self diagnose), my life changed. I have not contemplated suicide since I stabilized on my medication in 2011.
Why did I go for years without a diagnosis? Because many doctors do not know that the standard TSH range that is considered normal has been lowered, and labs report back that a result is normal when in fact it isn't, and only a dillgent doctor will find the error/positive. I suffered for many years as a result, in a fog, thinking it was my bad childhood or bad attitude responsible for how tired I was feeling. I have seen others suffer with thyroid disorders for similar reasons. My TSH range was never way out of range, only slightly so, but the point is that it's common enough that I thought you should know my experience. If you suspect a problem with your thyroid or hormones, an endocrinologist is who you should see.
Anyways, what getting treatment for my thyroid did was uncover an anxiety disorder (mild but still mostly chronic GAD) I had been too depressed to recognize before. I still have fairly difficult sleep problems that got much worse PP, and assumed it must be adrenal fatigue, but it turned out not to be and after I was tested for this and had a discussion with a few different endocrinologists, I have accepted that I must manage my anxiety using the best medicines available. I had to see a psychiatrist, sadly. Ultimately it doesn't matter who I see or how I treat it as long as I do it aggressively. The problem is when you are in the midst of sleep deprivation, aggression is hard to come by.
(This medication searching process keeps getting stalled because I am either breastfeeding, pregnant, or taking care of other people's health instead of my own.)
Insomnia is a medical condition, and the bottom line is that there is no effective home remedy for chronic anxiety OR insomnia of this nature. I also have an extremely sensitive nervous system, which means that any slight change to my hormones takes me 3-5 times longer to adjust to than a normal person. Even though I only have mild GAD, it changes everything and I am too anxious to just start yoga/meditation like articles have told me to. I have to first start off with what works as strong and as fast as possible.
The toll this level of sleep deprivation has taken on my body has aged me very quickly in a few years and now my health needs to be a priority. If I encounter the same insomnia and anxiety problems PP that I did last pregnancy/pp, I am ready and guilt-free about accepting that I will not be breastfeeding, I WILL be taking drugs from a horrid shrink, and I WILL have to trust whatever my doctors say and go through the long arduous process of finding the meds that work through process of elimination. It's a long hellish process with a worthwhile reward at the end...because I get to live and watch my children live.
Insomnia is a very insidious problem that robs your body of its own ability to heal and is all it takes to open the door to several more severe diseases. It's like the gateway disease, basically.
I urge you to not give up your search for an answer and be ready surrender to a medicalized approach thoroughly and completely before you regret you didn't do it sooner. You have much more to gain than to lose from what I've read of your experience. I am very sorry if this sounds preachy or blatantly ignorant of where you are at right now; but I need to get some rest and wish you well in your road to recovery from this problem. I would hate to not share my experience not only for you but for others who will read this thread in similarly desperate situations.
So, the point I'm making is that I struggle with both hormonal and mental health issues that cause anxiety and insomnia, and odds are that one or both of these is the same problem for you. If that's so, your mental fog right now might trick you in to chasing a cycle of possible remedies instead of getting drastic and going the medicalized route, which might be worth a try.
Insomnia is a very insidious problem that robs your body of its own ability to heal and is all it takes to open the door to several more severe diseases. It's like the gateway disease, basically.
I urge you to not give up your search for an answer and be ready surrender to a medicalized approach thoroughly and completely before you regret you didn't do it sooner.
A thousand times, yes, to your whole post. Earlier I sat for probably 45 minutes trying to type a post with nearly identical thoughts. I had to quit before I could post.
Grover, I skimmed maybe 2/3rds of this thread, and my conclusion was similar. You are hobbling around on 2 broken legs. It is not surrendering when you get appropriate medical attention and finally get some sort of life back.
Think of it this way: your life is not your own anymore. Your daughter deserves a whole and healthy mother. You are a lynch pin in your family, and you don't have the luxury of putting yourself last.
Seriously, if you got pneumonia or broke a leg or what have you, construction on the house would have to go to the back burner, right? You and your partner (husband? sorry, can't remember) need to put YOU at the top of your priorities, NOW.
Googling the cause/reasons for this, debating whether it's hormone related or adrenal related or whatever -it's nice but that can wait, it does not matter right now. Forget the chicken vs the egg. Go get yourself feeling better.
I wish you the best.
You feel you can't fix your self. You can if you choose to value yourself beyond coping day to day, trying to make it till sometime *after* you move. Something else will come along and you will put yourself last to attend to it, and months will have passed and you'll still be miserable. Commit to it, go see your doctor. Tell her how miserable you've been and ask for help. Ages ago you wondered if you hadn't communicated to her how bad it is. From what you describe in this thread I can bet you're right.
While you're there talk to her about your effort to quit smoking. There's this medication, Zyban, that's very effectively helps smoking cessation. It's also an effective antidepressant. Think about that, there is a link between depression and not being able to quit smoking.
And really, you know quitting smoking is difficult at the best of times, don 't you?? You're under this tremendous stress and thought you'd just quit? Are you sabotaging your effort? I am scolding you with all affection, btw.
You have mentioned a whole lot of factors: hormones, adrenals, night sweats, your age, your daughters age, the house... You know they're all factors, so don't waste any more time wondering about it.
By the way, YES, the fact that your dd is the same age now that you were when your mom left is affecting you beyond a doubt. Its a normal response. I went through the same thing when my dd turned 13, the age I was when my mom and I had a painful falling out we never recovered from. The experience is much more pronounced in people who were abused as children. Their kids get to the same age they wer when the abuse started nd their anxiety goes through the roof.
You're a smart woman, figure out a way to get yourself to a doctor even though you live far way and don't have the time. And the house isn't finished yet. Quit hobbling around on 2 broken legs.
Hi demeter and journeymom,
I would love to respond to some of your amazing points individually - but I just haven't got time to do the paste-quote thingie right now.
But I did want to say a few of things.
Firstly - thank you so much for the words of encouragement, and advice, and the general kick in the pants. None of it has fallen on deaf ears, and I read, and re-read your posts last night and had a good think about everything.
The broken legs analogy really hit home. This is exactly my life, and exactly why I should be doing more.
I still am in a bind at the moment though, as whilst not 1000% impossible to get me to a doctor, it is very difficult for the next three weeks. But I am going to get this sorted one way or another. I am.
The house is an excuse, but it's a binding one. We have to get in this house in the next month or we will run out of money to eat. (We've already had to borrow off family...gah). My partner has to be there every day to help finish it, thus I simply have to look after the wee one. I also don't have time to do my 'day job' either at the mo, and am bluffing my client by sending them little bits and pieces and hoping I can get more done as soon as we move in. Moving in, is vital to everything.
My health is not secondary - but, it is what it is, and waiting another month does not seem hard in the face of things - I've been living with it for so long anyway.
Though, the mention of smoking (blegh, blegh, hate, hate) was interesting - because quitting is something I really feel I need to do before we move. Sure it's going to add a fair bit of extra stress - but if I (we) can do it, and keep ourselves busy with packing/cleaning etc - then we won't transfer our nasty habit to our brand new life and house. I really don't want to do that. I have been smoking way more than usual too, so am trying to cut back first - but it is making me ill (on top of everything) - I just want to stop. For myself, for my daughter. I worry about it a lot...I need it gone from my life. Partner and I are going to agree on a date...and try and go for it. Though I realise it does seem like sabotage, in the face of everything else. I just hate the idea of smoking anywhere near (we always smoke outside, and my girl has never seen me smoke) our new place. Not many places to hide either.
Yuk. I even hate confessing and talking about it. Yuk.
Which leads me to....
I did get a prescription for Zyban during that first doctor's visit. Of course, as mentioned - Zyban is an antidepressant. Maybe this is my stop-gap solution? Maybe Zyban will get me through the next month? Take it for smoking, but it might ease the anxiety as well...which would be a bonus of course.
My only concern, and it's a BIG one, is that one of the common side-effects of taking Zyban (or Wellbutrin) is INSOMNIA!!! HA! Could it be possible though that I might be okay on it...or will my insomnia reach epic proportions? I just don't know whether to experiment with it, even for quitting. I'm seriously considering it though.
Same goes for all medicines. I'm not anti. And I am definitely coming to the conclusion that I do need some drugs. Either sleeping pills, or an antidepressant. But I will wait until we're in our house. (Especially if I go for the Zyban...one drug at a time is enough I think).
I'm rambling a bit - but what I really wanted to say was thank you (again) - and yes, I am considering medication. Timing of everything is just crap - but I don't intend on hobbling around on my 'broken legs' for another few months.
PS: After a couple of 'good' nights over the weekend, I have had a couple of very bad nights, with multi-awakenings. A reminder that this problem is not going to go away on it's own. Sadly.
PPS: I know it seems odd I can't just take the kid and myself to the doctor whilst I'm looking after her. I should explain - I don't drive. (I used to drive...but have never owned a car - and have become very anxious about driving over the years. Too anxious to attempt the long drive in to the doctor - when I'm 'well' again...I fully intend to get my confidence back, so I'm not so stuck geographically!)
I sympathize, I've been there. It got better when I toned down the anxiety. Still, no way I could drive alone in San Francisco (closest big city). I'd be a shaking, terrified mess. It's bad enough with dh riding shotgun.
How about you call and make an appointment for...3 1/2 weeks from now. 4 weeks, maybe. Make the appointment.
By the way, your regular doctor should be a jumping-off point. Ask her for a referral to a psychiatrist. They're experts helping people climb out of deep pits. My regular physician got me started on one very helpful medication, but when I needed more help she referred me on to a psychiatrist. She was able to get me past the plateau I was stuck on.
It's just another thing to add to the huge list of 'things to do later'. Gah.
I used to ride a motorbike around small bits of the East End of London - but I was young, carefree...and err...crazy back then! Nowadays someone 'boo's' at me suddenly, I practically have an instantaneous stroke. Times...they change. Cough cough.
San Fran. Nice.
I've only visited the States once - and arrived in San Fran to begin my holiday. Unfortunately, arrived on September the 10th, 2001.
Perhaps I've always had bad timing, and never realised it? Heh heh.
To add to my giant list of woes/whinges - I have a new one to add today. My mother-in-law (well, defacto MIL, since we're not married).
She was widowed just after our daughter was born, and took a while to get back on track (fair enough).
But three years later, she visits us - FAR. TOO. OFTEN.
Last time was only 3 weeks ago (suspect she bought the bug that made daughter sick, hmm) - and wants to come again in two weeks for her birthday. When she was here she asked me if that was okay....I said...err...No, not so much. We'll be packing, stressed to the max. Later would be better.
She's done a SNEAKY thing, and written the LO a card, saying how nice it was to see her last time, and she'd see her again on her birthday!
Can I just say........ARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHH.
She's an okay lady, we don't have much in common though - but her presence here is very disturbing. The excuse is always that she'll 'help' but she never does...she gets in the way.
Have told my partner she can't come when we're ONE WEEK out from moving (someone may end up being murdered!) - and he's promised to sort it. But, like so many MIL issues...the argument gets heated with him, and he can't see the harm...so am dreading him caving in. The worst thing will be she can't afford postage for the thousands of not-needed birthday presents, and thus will have to deliver them in person.
MIL just doesn't respect my opinion about visits - and dammit, I'm a grownup, and this is MY house...MY daughter...and MY life too.
Just for the road...can I just shout at her in here instead:
"PLEASE LEAVE US ALONE FOR A LITTLE WHILE. I'M IN NO HEAD-SPACE TO DEAL WITH YOU AS WELL AS ALL OUR OTHER STUFF. WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF A HUGE HOUSE-CRISIS, AND ARE JUST ABOUT TO GET ALL CRAZY WITH MOVING. YOU SAY YOU'LL HELP, BUT YOU WON'T. YOU'LL PROBABLY DELAY US MOVING IF YOU COME!!!! PLEASE COME BACK AFTER WE'VE MOVED AND HAD A BREATHER. PLEASE RESPECT ME WHEN I GIVE YOU MY OPINION AS TO WHEN/HOW ETC. THIS COULD BE THE LAST STRAW FOR ME, WHEN I'M ALREADY *THIS* CLOSE TO COMPLETELY LOSING MY MIND!"
Okay. That feels better.
Wish me luck.
As I repeatedly say to my SO - my family would never do this...they would always respect someone saying it's not a good time...and I could talk about it with them openly, without fear of hurting feelings. Sooo frustrating his family is not like this.
Oh my, she sounds like a doozy. Go ahead and yell some more, too!
Can you give her a different perspective? Candy-coat it. Tell her, what with the house turned upside down and chaotic for this Really Big Move, people working hard, boxes and stuff everywhere, this just wouldn't be a pleasant visit for her. You'd feel so badly that you won't be able to visit with her properly, what a shame it would be to visit during such A Very Hectic Time. And you would be so unhappy if your MIL spent her visit helping you move, grandmas deserve a pleasant visit, that's just not how you like to have visitors. So, "You should come for a visit on [this specific date]." Then the visit will be much more pleasant for everyone.
Or, can you hand off your daughter to her so you can get stuff done? Can she take dd to the park? Take a stroll through the mall?
It's ideal if the partner can take care of business with their own parent, thus keeping the other partner out of it. But that doesn't always work out, and like you said this is your daughter, your house, your life. You get to put down boundaries.
Really, all you should have to do is be polite but firm. "I'm sorry mil, you cannot come visit now. We'll let you know when is best for us." Repeat as necessary. If she pouts, it reflects on her, not you.
By the way, it's not your opinion when she can visit. That gives wiggle room. She's entitled to disagree with you. The date most convenient for you to have visitors is a fact, no arguing with it. ".err...No, not so much" is kinda weak wording. Don't leave any room to get around.
Well...on this latest thorn in my side, my SO came through and put his foot down. MIL not coming now (until end of September - still too soon imho, since we're not moving in until the end of the first week) - but....well...it was a small win.
Things here mental.
Have had a very rough few nights - followed by a good night last night.
We are giving our three week notice at the end of this week, to move out of our rental - so...I can only imagine it's going to get way more crazy for a little while.
On top of it all, the LO has gone back to not napping (sigh) - I think the growth spurt / illness made her sleepy for a while, but now it seems every day she wants out of her cot. Anyone ever tried packing up a house with a toddler around??? It's just IMPOSSIBLE. Takes two. One to entertain her...one to pack and sort whilst she's not looking and able to throw everything all over the place. Gah. And we have so much to do.
Since I'm in the groove of confessing things in this thread - the other stress is financial still. Got tax to pay at the end of the month, and a HUGE plumbers bill, and a HUGE electricians bill...and, err...not enough income for all of it. What to do....? Eeek.
I'm getting paid late September - so I'll just have to wiggle my way out of things until then. Crossed fingers.
We are still attempting our smoking quit. We have just over two weeks to do it - so we're done and dusted a week before we move, so I'm going to start with the Zyban soon. Partner unfortunately is not as on-board as I want...but I'm going to work on him. I know mentally he realises that we have to have the fresh start...but is, like mentioned above, worried about not coping with the stress of everything going on. My answer to that is that the packing/moving will keep us physically busy...hmm...yes...we'll see!!
To add some positivity - what I'm hoping for after this move is (eventually, or soon, I'll take either).
-- More shared care of daughter...freeing both of us up more often to rest, work etc
-- More time to do nice things for her...and get her off to preschool for a looksie, see if she likes it (we were planning on going at least six months ago - she is totally deprived of friends and kiddie company...this is all very overdue)
-- Time to work on my health / sleeping issue.
-- Time to plant a vegetable garden again at our new house (should be doing it right now, for summer veges...but...)
Well, I can't believe it's been so long.....and, nothing much has changed.
Overall, I've had constant insomnia (i.e. not one night where I've slept through) for 2+ years now (am not counting the breastfeeding phase).
I still can't sleep properly.
I still wake up at night. Some nights twice. Some nights 4 or more times. Total sleep often as little as 4 hours. Quality of that sleep though seems abysmal. Feel like I've been hit by a truck every morning. Struggle through the day....am best around midday...then start to fail and flail late afternoon, only to collapse into bed and rinse, repeat etc etc.
I'm still exhausted and on the brink.
I think it's making me depressed, as now I don't even look forward to going to bed to read my book...as I know my night will be ghastly and disturbed and I'll wake up feeling awful.
I've had back and sciatica trouble since August...and this has not helped one iota.
What has changed is dealing with a crazy/feisty 3 year old. (Also not helping stress levels).
Said 3 year old off to preschool (see other thread). Mixed results on this score...but not going there long enough for me to sleep during the day - although I've tried a few times and couldn't get to sleep.
My work is finished for the year....so you'd think I could relax somehow.
But no. Apparently not.
Oh - and ex and current smokers will not be in the least surprised to know that we were unable to quit smoking. So that hideousness is still being dealt with.
Knowing that I just can't go on and on and ON like this (I say that, and yet look how LONG I've been struggling with this...I think I really am partially insane)....I have to make myself do something....
I'm still not sure what though.
I had a specific question about sleeping pills if anyone knows anything.....
Do they help with sleep maintenance insomnia? i.e. I can see how they might help putting you to sleep at the beginning of the night - but I don't have a problem with that (usually).
As to anything else to try...I must review some of the ideas in this thread again. I won't have to be working again until the end of January, so really, now is the time for to get off my **se and try and help myself.
My relationship with my Doctor is much better these days...but I still haven't gone specifically for the insomnia, as I'm pretty sure her only available option is sleeping pills.
I'm scared to take them - not because I might become addicted, or that I might feel groggy or whatever...I'm scared because....
THEY MIGHT NOT WORK. And then what will I do????
It is soooooo hard, when the kid comes first....when the kid is causing so much stress....when I never get a break to even think about anything.
Yup. Am still a mess.
Need to try and do something.
Thanks for reading again (if anyone did! heh heh).
EDIT TO ADD:
In real life I am (used to be) - a very precise/methodical type of person. This makes me realise how unprepared I was and still am for the chaos of child-rearing. In a big way.
I find I obsess about everything to do with my daughter...but mostly her wellbeing, sleep...eating...behaviour (well, everything) - and I just have ZERO energy, and ZERO time in amongst all that stressing to come up with what I need the most for myself, which is a plan.
My plan at the moment is:
1. get help!!
But where? How?
I could break the plan down into:
1. See doctor. (For what purpose though?)
2. Or other medical professional (who? how?)
I have one crazy idea that maybe I could convince someone to let me do a sleep-study at home (with equipment) - and at least I would have some FACTS to take forward to sort out a plan. And maybe sleep-study places would have a MUCH better idea of how to treat my insomnia? Trouble is I can't be away from home for night...so it would have to be home-based....I might try and look into this though.
3. Quit smoking (this is always part of the plan).
Hardly methodical. But that's as far as my mind will go...then I'm called to do bedtime stories, to sort out a tantrum, to manage some catastrophe, to cuddle away tears...to feed...to try and love....to ignore myself again for another day.
Maybe some A-type organisational mama's might be able to relate??
I'm 100% sure you have a thyroid and adrenal issue, they're all linked together, often caused by stress and made worse by it. You can order your own cortisol spit test. I'm sure your levesls are off. Also take your temp upon rising, if it's low it signals thyroid. Another self test, stand in front of a mirror in dark room, then shine light in your eyes. Do they dialate or waver back and forth/dialate for just a second then get bigger? Adrenals. IT's all signals your hormones are off. Your smoking addiction is a huge indicator too. I doubt a sleep study will do much. MANY moms are in this position. I remember you saying it started after your baby. To me it's obviously hormones and only lifestyle changes can help that (diet, herbs, excercise, mental activities etc). See an ND. Acupuncture can help, it did for me a bit. Or an herbalist or homeopath, your MD won't be able to help I highly doubt.
I've had the same issue...have't slept through the night in over 3yrs (my oldest is 3.5 so I guess actually 4yrs), but I also have a one year old and one on the way. So I definitely know the feeling. It's like you're being tortured and drives you crazy. I'm so damn moody and exhausted ALL THE TIME. Leads to depression and all that other crap. I actually envy you - one kid! So lucky IMO. I'm still in mourning I'm pregnant and trying to cope.
Don't do sleeping pills. One thing I've recently tried is Calms it's Hylands brand and I find it at Sprout's, but it's not everywhere, you may have to order it. I do find it helps. Other natural remedies: Valerian is the strongest herbal sedative, passionflower, skullcap, catnip. I find chamomille isn't near strong enough. Marijuana is the best though if you have access, completely safe and natural if you know your source or can get medical. Another homeopathic remedy is coffee crudea (if you wake with a racing mind). Seriously though the Calms has helped the most. Magnesium before bed too. Also once about a year ago I almost slept through the night (had my baby not woken me - he still has not ever slept through the night at 21 mo!) after taking a melatonin pill. You shouldn't take them a lot, but maybe a couple nights as it 'resets' your clock and helps reverse the cortisol issue. Just not good for long term or you'll stop producing your own.
Good luck, I wish I could see an end in site for us, but I know I'll be in this boat for another year at least w/the baby coming and want to cry every time I think about it. I do take naps on weekends...I was never able to nap until this year. If you keep trying you'll be able to. I was just finally wiped out enough maybe.
And I'll say you sound a lot like me. Same personaliy and wonder if I ever should have had kids I'm so crazy now. I even used to smoke (but stopped the day I found out I was preg. w/my first and never started back up. I'm also very determined). Believe me, there's lots of us out there, just count your lucky stars you just have the one ;)
Hi yippiehippie - thanks for your reply.
Any/all thoughts most welcome at this stage of the game.
A couple of questions for you though...
- What is an ND?
- So...the 'cure' for adrenal fatigue, thyroid or cortisol issues is lifestyle changes alone?
- That's such a HUGE life-encompassing (literally) concept....I wouldn't know where to start.
- And, after your lifestyle changes - how would you say the insomnia has improved? (or not)
- How, if at all, are thyroid, adrenal and cortisol related? Are they all stress-related reactions?
When I originally had bloods done, I had my thyroid tested - apparently nothing wrong there.
I did once upon a time try the eye-torch thing, and my pupils did waver around a bit.
I did also try melatonin, and magnesium, valerian, bitter cherry - all to no avail.
I forgot to add above that I'm still grinding my teeth to oblivion at night, and haven't had the wherewithall to get a mouth-guard or anything yet. This also suggests stress I guess.
I think I really do need some kind of diagnosis before I can move forward 'treating' myself...as I've tried so many little things, and been so disappointed. Basically I'm crapshooting in the dark.
But surely a GP (MD?) should be able to help me get to the bottom of it if it's hormonal?? She did do basic hormone tests, but as we know these change at various times of the day...so they were probably redundant.
Maybe a sleep study wouldn't help. But sometimes I feel it's stress/psychological and I need a professional to guide me through some kind of plan of attack. I'm just incapable of making proper decisions. And it could be being caused by a 100 million inter-related things. Makes my mind whirl.
On the topic of parenting. I don't regret my feisty little person - but I am slowly regretting (and stressing) that I'm not the mummy she deserves. I worry a lot that I won't make it through the next ten years....that chronic exhaustion will lead to other chronic health issues (and I used to be very healthy, it's very sad) and I get scared she might even end up motherless!
I don't know how you do it with more than one - I'm half dead with just my LO, and my problem. Good luck to you too.
So sorry this is still going on. :-( ND= naturopathic doctor. And I agree you should see one. Mine was able to help me with my postpartum insomnia and it made a huge difference in my life. You WILL sleep again! Someday you will look back on this experience and be like, "ugh, that was awful!" And it will be behind you. I'm glad you are going to get help!! If there are no NDs in yr area, I would still see a regular doc. Any help is better than no help at this point! I still take Kavinace sometimes to help me sleep. Acupuncture also helps. Good luck!! Keep us posted.
You might be thinking too much. I feely badly for you that you're still struggling so much. Hope you find make some peace. You deserve it
There is no magic bullet obviously.
With my partner I'm going to formulate a plan of action of some kind.
My mission at the mo is just not to give up (like I have been doing) - I'm determined that I must change it. I've said that before...but at some stage I've got to mean it.
I will post again when/if anything is actually happening or I'm trying something at least.
I totally get what you're saying...I could have said some of the exact same thing, our emotional states seem so alike! I'm not sure what tests and what thyroid tests she did but a lot of them aren't very meaningful. I would ask for the free T3 and free T4 tests. NDs will normally know those things, I'm not sure how your current doc is, I just hear they tend to not know a lot about hormonal issues such as these, and definitely not about the natural treatment if that's what you're wanting (I don't do MDs, this is what I've heard tho).
Also joining support groups, if even online, it's great to hear you're not alone...there's a lot on FB and prob yahoo.
Yes, I think you mainly need lifestyle changes. Afterall you seem to realize it's all stress related. I think there's not just mental but physical stress from your body and what it needs. It really is too much to go into, you're right it's overwhelming. It can take years to really get yourself where you need, but the insomnia should get better much sooner, I felt myself sleeping better w/in weeks after realizing I had such issues and really doing something about it. mainly I gave up a lot, let myself rest more than I ever was used to, ate a lot-of foods that I wanted, not just what's supposed to be healthy, stopped vigorous excercise, and took more time to myself. But I got pregs very soon after that and my littlest was still nursing all night (and still wakes all night), so my insomnia is near impossible to heal currently:(
I really think you need someone to help you through. I'm the do-it-yourselfer extreme type so I researched a TON, after trying a couple NDs that weren't on my page. Herbs can be the trick and someone trained will be able to steer you in the right direction if they know what they're doing. Homeopathic remedies can really help w/stress too, or how you handle it anyway. There's just so much involved but I really think an ND, a separate acupunturist (one that's good w/experience, there's a big difference), and an herbalist or homeopath depending on if your ND knows much about them or not. Spend the money now, it is worth it. My midwife offered me a free hypnotherapy session today-I'm super excited! (might help you w/smoking?)
Lets keep each other updated, sharing any progress and let downs helps a bit
I have a plan. Ahem.
It's not a quick plan - kind of a two month plan. And looks something like this....
- Slowly, over the next month - cut down on stimulants (tobacco, coffee, alcohol etc) - especially after lunch. Boost general vitamins, esp C.
- Quit smoking new year. (I know, I know, big fat cliche - but partner and I have discussed at length. Gives us time to prepare way more than previous attempts. Also, our two successful (i.e. lasting a looong time) quits were Jan the 1st ones...so cliche or not, we can do it. And lastly, I've just been given a stressful job to do OVER the xmas period (yay, not), AND my mother-in-law is coming to stay (which I always find stressy) for two weeks before xmas.) Edit to add: Also, (see my other thread) - we've been dealing with some horrendous 'terrible three's' here. It now seems to be easing and I've got all my digits crossed that in a month, we'll be out the other side of that particular dark tunnel, allowing me to focus more on myself.
- After being smoke-free for 3-4 weeks, I will assess my situation and if things remain unchanged at this point I will be seeking help. I've been in touch with two psychologists that specialise in sleep disorders, and also have on my list of potential options: my GP, a naturopath, acupuncture and counselling if needed.
- I'm prepared to try sleep restriction therapy at this point too. I've read so much about it, and it is used as a solution to my particular problems (early waking and random wakeups). And can be very successful. Basically, it involves building up 'sleep debt' and consolidating the sleep you do have so it is unbroken. It is hard work apparently, so with luck, by the time I try it, I'll be better rested, and generally a little healthier so I can handle it.
- Will be visiting dentist after gums heal. May need to bite (excuse the pun) the bullet and get a mouth guard. Bruxism can be the cause of insomnia, and a mouth-guard won't help if it's all stress caused...but I need to protect my teeth if the grinding is going to continue (I hope not though, we'll see).
Meantime, aside from cutting down on unhealthy habits that might be contributing, I'm also keeping a sleep diary. The main purpose of this is to stop myself catastrophising so much about sleep. It's working a bit on that level. Although I have only been doing it for a few days, I can already see three things:
1. On average I am getting 5-6 hours of actual sleep per night. This is not quite as bad as it *feels*. It *feels* like I'm getting 3-4...so it's interesting to see it's a little more. (My long term aim though is to get back to 8 hours at least)
2. When I wake up, I only spend a maximum of 15 minutes awake before nodding off again - thus, whilst the hours asleep are far too minimal, and very broken....seeing on the chart that I'm not tossing and turning all night long, has also helped me not feel so hopeless.
3. I can't seem to fall back to sleep after 4am. (Possibly because I know our daughter will wake up anytime after 5am, gah!) But this supports my idea of doing sleep restriction therapy maybe later, and trying to consolidate my 5-6 hours. I.e. I would start off by turning off my light at 11pm - then after a week of successfully sleeping through, I can go to bed earlier...etc etc.
So that's it.
I will be sure to update along the way...though obviously some time has to pass by according to plan.
I dearly hope that I can change things, and that future posts will be less pathetic, and more positive. Even a little progress would be nice. But a few challenges ahead - so wish me luck!
And good luck to you too yippiehippie - and anyone cruising by this thread that also has sleep problems. They do suck the big kumara (as we say in these parts).
May 2014 be the year of sending insomnia into the vaults of history - a year of health and more peace and relaxation. (I can hardly imagine it, but if I can succeed - I'm sure I'll be a changed woman!)
Edit to add: A very kind clinical psychologist has just emailed me some thoughts - and also some very specific relaxation and stress busting techniques (for free! how nice!). I will add these into my regime.