Exhausted mommies support thread? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Are you sleep deprived?
Yes, I have been generally sleep deprived for one year or longer 104 58.76%
Yes, I have been generally sleep deprived for less than a year 34 19.21%
No, I am not sleep deprived 11 6.21%
Occasionally I am sleep deprived for short periods of time but generally no 28 15.82%
Voters: 177. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-14-2006, 09:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mbravebird View Post
OK, I just got paranoid that it sounds like I'm advocating CIO -- I'm really not. Our son is very verbal and is able to converse with us about what's going on. Anyway, I'm sure there are a million different ways to approach sleeping, and I guess what I'm advocating is flexibility, responsiveness to one's particular child, and compassion for the needs of everyone. HTH clarify.
Not to worry, I don't think I have seen anyone on this thread advocating CIO!

Crying in arms is not the same as CIO, and that is MDC's position also.
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Old 10-16-2006, 05:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I swear I'm going crazy from the lack of sleep.

I won't go into details but my god I am going nucking futs.

Seriously.

Physically I am a mess, too.

I feel like I have gone wrong somewhere, but where?

I don't know what to do.

She doesn't want to sleep.

Now (for the past 2 nights) she has not gone to sleep for the first time until 10 or later. And then wakes up immediately. And again. And again. No matter what we do or don't do or where she sleeps. I'm so angry (at the situation - not at her of course) that I feel enraged in addition to all the other sucky physical and emotional feelings.

F*cking hate this.

I know this is just the emotion of the situation talking but it makes me want to turn back time and teach her to sleep in a crib from day 1. My mother did this with me and supposedly never had to CIO. I remember thinking that my mom missed out on co-sleeping but she also missed out on

GOING INSANE. :

RUINING HER HEALTH. :

and all the other fun stuff I have experienced.

I feel like I can't share this (too much) w/ family b/c although they won't say "I told you so" they will be thinking it. :

So on top of everything I am alienated somewhat from my family.

Truly, can it get any worse? Had a massive fight w/ DH just now and I really think I have gone crazy. It was totally my fault. I can't write how I acted b/c it was both childish and...scary.

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Old 10-16-2006, 10:29 AM
 
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Sooooo sorry, Nora's Mama. That sounds absolutely ROTTEN.

Your DH has GOT to take on more of the nighttime parenting or you are going to have a nervous breakdown. You need a BREAK!!!!!

We just got NCSS, so we're getting close to the end of our rope too...
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Old 10-16-2006, 12:59 PM
 
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Oh Nora'smom (((HUGS))) I know only too well how you are feeling. I have been there myself.

You need a break. Is there anyway you could get DH to take over for a while so that you can just "be" by yourself? When it gets really bad I need to have DH take DD out of the house. It isn't enough to have them here in another room because if she crys I know it would be a quick fix for me to go nurse her. One thing I do is make a grocery list (the longer the better) and send them out together - then despite everything that needs to get done, and despite all the sleep I need, I sit down and veg out in front of the TV.

I know it isn't much but when there is so little hope for change on the horizon you have to take even the littliest breaks. I've been where you are - and I wish I could offer more help.

Try to take it one moment at a time. The more worked up about it I get, the worse it is for me. Last night I laid in bed with DD for 1.5 hours before she finally finally put her little head down and closed her eyes. On some nights that could have driven me crazy, but last night I just accepted that I'd be in bed for a long time with her, and it was ok. More than ok, I enjoyed it! I wish I could be that accepting about it more often!!

Got to go, I'm working on focussing on giving DD as much physical exercise during the day as I can - maybe that will help? Keep posting, though, so we know how you are doing. And know you aren't alone!!
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Old 10-16-2006, 01:24 PM
 
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I have been sleep-deprived since my first pregnancy 6 years ago! Both of my babies have been terrible sleepers- my 2 3/4 year old would wake up more often than once every hour for his first 2 years of life, if you can imagine that.
Now I'm pregnant with our third, and with our track record. . .
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Old 10-16-2006, 03:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Nora'sMama View Post
I swear I'm going crazy from the lack of sleep.
Think of this thread as a bunch of mamas giving you one big hug!! I was thinking about posting on this thread about last night because it wasn't a good one for us... DD decided to wake up at 3:45 am like it was time to get up in the morning. It took me about three hours to get her and myself back to sleep. She does this every couple weeks (aside from the other non-sleeping issues) and it's really frustrating. How can she think it's time to get up and play when it's totally dark outside??? Just weird.

To top it off, DH is being a bit of a pain. He's complaining about the baby kicking him during the night. If she kicks him once, it seems like he's awake for four hours after that. He obviously has insomnia issues, which I've struggled with too, but it's frustrating because he won't do anything constructive about it. He doesn't come up with solutions other than "move the baby out of the bed." There are other things he can try, like a warm glass of milk, hypnotherapy, or even getting up to watch TV -- he seems to have no problem falling asleep in front of the TV!

This morning I told DH that we need to get another bed so we can sleep in different beds now. With all the other sleep issues, I don't feel like listening to him complain about how he can't sleep because the baby's keeping him up. (He rarely gets up to help me get the baby back to sleep in the middle of the night.) Not hearing him complain about sleep deprivation means a little less crankiness on my part.

Kristin

Mama to Laurel '06 & high needs Will '09
Crunchy in mainstream suburbia | Sleep-deprived WAHM
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Old 10-16-2006, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the support, mamas! *Finally* DD decided to sleep...and slept until 10 this morning ...

DH is actually very involved in the sense that when she just *can't* be put to sleep he will drive her around as long as it takes to get her back to sleep. But when she is wakeful, she doesn't want him and will scream progressively louder until I come in.

I have thought of going to a hotel for a night!! But that seems cruel, she would really be so upset. I'm going to wait a while longer until she can understand a bit more before trying something drastic like that.

Sorry my post last night was so frantic. I truly thought she would *never* get to sleep and stay asleep for more than 10-20 minutes. But, at some point (LATE) she did. And now I feel...not super-rested, but OK.

I will check back in later tonight w/ some thoughts...I am going to buy the NCSS for Toddlers today if I can get to the bookstore, although I lurk on the NCSS thread and it doesn't seem to have worked for most people...
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Old 10-16-2006, 06:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Nora'sMama View Post
I swear I'm going crazy from the lack of sleep.

I won't go into details but my god I am going nucking futs.

Seriously.

Physically I am a mess, too.

I feel like I have gone wrong somewhere, but where?

I don't know what to do.

She doesn't want to sleep.

Now (for the past 2 nights) she has not gone to sleep for the first time until 10 or later. And then wakes up immediately. And again. And again. No matter what we do or don't do or where she sleeps. I'm so angry (at the situation - not at her of course) that I feel enraged in addition to all the other sucky physical and emotional feelings.

F*cking hate this.

I know this is just the emotion of the situation talking but it makes me want to turn back time and teach her to sleep in a crib from day 1. My mother did this with me and supposedly never had to CIO. I remember thinking that my mom missed out on co-sleeping but she also missed out on

GOING INSANE. :

RUINING HER HEALTH. :

and all the other fun stuff I have experienced.

I feel like I can't share this (too much) w/ family b/c although they won't say "I told you so" they will be thinking it. :

So on top of everything I am alienated somewhat from my family.

Truly, can it get any worse? Had a massive fight w/ DH just now and I really think I have gone crazy. It was totally my fault. I can't write how I acted b/c it was both childish and...scary.

Nora's Mom,

I'm so sorry you are so tired and you are right, it's not healthy for you nor your DC. However tired you are, so is she.

I have read just about every sleep book ever written. Seriously, I could barely carry them to the car from the library. I was determined to find out what they all have in common. I've also spent a great deal of time reading sleep studies for children and adults. Here are the things I learned and that helped me get a good night's sleep.

All the books had these two things in common, regardless of their mode of "sleep training".

1. Set bedtimes, naptimes and wake times.
2. Bedtime routine

When a child or person becomes so sleep-deprived they actually are unable to go to sleep. This is why a child fights sleep. A well-rested child will lay down and go to sleep without all the drama. The more sleep-deprived a child is, the harder it is for them to fall asleep. This is why it is imperative to have a consistent routine in order to establish a healthy sleep pattern. The consistency you put in, is the consistency you will get back from your child. Even adult insomniacs are told to go to bed and wake up at the same times.

So the important thing to establishing a routine is to decide what times work best for your family and then you must stick to it. A 17 month old should be sleeping 14-15 hours per day of which they should be getting 11-12 hours per night with about 2-3 hours a day in naps. You should have 12 hours that are "day" and 12 hours that are "night". So if you decide that 7pm is bedtime, then wake time would be 7am. Start your bedtime routine a half an hour to one hour before the goal of sleeping. Whatever you decide will be included in your bedtime routine, you must follow in order, so that your child will know that when this routine starts it is time to go to sleep.

If you keep changing the rules and try one thing and then another and then another and then finally take her and put in the car, then the only thing she is learning is that the rules keep changing.

The other interesting thing I learned, is that some children have a hard time transitioning from deep sleep to active (REM) sleep. Have you ever noticed that she will wake up at about the 40 minute mark? Most children transition from deep to active sleep in 40 minute increments. A lot of times a child will suck in order to move from one form of sleep to another. This is the reason they want to nurse and why some nurse so often at night, and why some children that co-sleep are up so much more than others. If you are right there, and they need that sucking to continue to the next level of sleep, well then you are RIGHT THERE. This may be why some parents and children sleep better apart.

So I would say the things you could start implementing right away would be to work on getting her on a good, solid routine, so that she isn't so sleep-deprived. This may mean a very early bedtime. I have one friend who's child sleeps best if he's in bed by 6pm. He's always woken up at 6am and this is when he needs to go to bed to get 12 hours. Don't be afraid to try a different approach. There is no one way for parenting. Every child is different.

I will say these things worked for my family. We were all sleep deprived and now we're not. It all seemed so contrived and somewhat rigid to me, but it worked. It wasn't easy in the beginning, but now we have a bedtime routine that the whole family enjoys. I no longer dread bedtime. I start each night at 7pm with baths, followed by brushing teeth, followed by reading books, followed by lights out at 8pm. I wish I would have done this when my older children were younger.

Finally, I just want to say that parenting is a journey. We are all on it and it is a learning experience. But you deserve to be happy and well-rested and so does your child. I would love to hear what Dr. Sears has to say, and sure hope you update us.
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Old 10-16-2006, 06:45 PM
 
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Nora'smom, have you had any luck with using white noise to help your daughter stay asleep? My DD used to wake up shortly after starting her daytime naps, and I just happened to stumble across white noise as the solution. Now she often takes her naps in a vibrating chair in the bathroom with the exhaust fan turned on. It's dark, cozy, and the white noise drowns out other noises. When she's willing to nap at all, I can usually get her to sleep for an hour or two in the bathroom.

I plan to get a white noise machine for the bedroom as I transition DD out of our bed. This one seems to be the best:

http://www.toolsforwellness.com/63041.html

HTH!
Kristin

Mama to Laurel '06 & high needs Will '09
Crunchy in mainstream suburbia | Sleep-deprived WAHM
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Old 10-17-2006, 01:04 AM
 
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Oh nora's mom..it sucks!! I totally know how much it sucks. CAn you get DH to commit to a couple nights in a row taking her at night? If he can do 2 or 3 in a row than you can get better sleep. also if it is too much with work like with my DH than could you do amodiefied version...my DH gets DS until 11 pm and until 5 am on the nights before his days off. This gets DS used to DH soothing him and also lets him know he doen't have to nurse every 5 seconds.

The first rule of homeschooling: water the plants! :
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Old 10-17-2006, 02:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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*Edited.

You know what, I can't even talk about this.
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Old 10-17-2006, 02:17 AM
 
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nora's mom, i'm not usually one to give direct advice, but i think it sounds like you really do need to do something to take care of yourself right now. when i was out of my mind with sleep deprivation dh kept urging me to go spend a night in a b&b, just to have one full night's sleep. i refused to do it, thinking it would undo all my AP-ing, but I regret that. when things get that bad there is only one thing that needs to happen and that is you need to get some sleep. you cannot run on empty. you need to meet your needs frist before you can meet hers. this sounds urgent.

when your dh comes home hand her over to him and get in the bathtub/go for a walk/whatever helps you unwind, and make a plan for how to take care of yourself.
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Old 10-17-2006, 03:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, muse, I did so!

I edited my post b/c I am just sick of typing out all the "drama".

suffice it to say that Nora seems to be boycotting sleep.

I have a much more pleasant temper now that DH took her for a "shift"...although she was screaming while he was with her until she calmed down...I was at the point where I was actually too worn down to rush in and "rescue" her. And she did calm down pretty soon.

Auuggh. Am going to be trying a very strict routine that I will have to make myself follow consistently. lotsofkids' post really resonated with me.

As have everyone's.

Thanks so much, you guys. Part of me feels like I shouldn't be sharing how I feel b/c it might make someone reading it think, "oh jeez, I guess I shouldn't co-sleep, look what happened to these sleep-deprived ladies!" But in my saner moments I think that from all of my vast anecdotal Internet experience children are born with 'sleep temperaments'. Yes there is probably always something you can do to improve or worsen your child's sleep. But there are DEFINITELY easy and difficult sleepers. I don't think things would be easier w/ Nora if we did CIO, put her in a crib from day 1, etc. And it's a moot point b/c my tender mama heart wouldn't let me do those things anyway. Although I do think that there are things we could have done when she was small that might have influenced her sleep positively...I think that she would be a difficult sleeper, regardless.

I hope that made some kind of sense. :

DH has taken her out and I am going to spend a few more minutes on MDC winding down and then I am going to go to BED.

Can I just say Hooray for my DH, though. He is so willing to do whatever I ask in regards to this issue.
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Old 10-17-2006, 09:06 AM
 
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I think kids are born with sleep temperaments too. DH doesn't, he still believes that we if we were just doing the RIGHT MAGIC thing then our son would be sleeping well, like other people's babies. I don't think so and I gave up looking for the magic formula several months ago because it was too stressful, too hard to constantly be secondguessing myself and wondering what I am doing wrong, and thinking about how something didn't work but what if I tweak it and so on. No, ds is just the kind of baby who wakes frequently. DH has never done a "turn" with nighttime parenting. He sleeps in the bedroom with us, on his own safety mattress beside our big one because without the extra space he would probably get almost as little sleep as I do, as the baby is a mover and a kicker.....Right now he gets nursed every time he wakes but in about 4 mos or so (I'm pregnant) it's going to be DH's turn to "be" with the baby at night because I think it's the only way to night wean him, and maybe teach him to need less work to fall back asleep. DH has been spared thus far because his job is really demanding and he can barely keep up with his sleep as it is... I stay home so it's less important for me to be mentally there. Which is good because mentally I am not there at all due to the lack of sleep. I think it's best to help the baby find other ways of comfort besides my breast at night so that the newborn will be spared the drama of him being denied. I've said no a couple of times, when I couldn't take it anymore after nurseathons and drama is an understatement.
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Old 10-17-2006, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Meg, I'm so sorry your DH is not able to help you at night.

Drama is right...DD started in with the trying to pinch my boob, latch on/latch off/latch on/pinch pinch pinch routine at some point last night, and I simply "protected" my other boob by putting a hand over it so she couldn't pinch (if I cover it with a shirt she becomes hysterical, but sometimes will forget about pinching if my hand is there). She freaked out. Shrieked as if I were sticking pins into her.

I feel like a horrible mama. If I try to have *any* physical boundaries, it is met with howls of betrayed protest. She becomes hysterical - snot coursing out the nose, etc. - within seconds. It is very very hard for me as an AP mama to "enforce" anything - including not being physically mauled - when that is the reaction. It is so tempting to just let her pinch, but if I do, I am filled with pain (physical) and resentment and it is definitely not a healthy situation. We have been having the pinching battle since she was about a year old and she still does not seem to accept that pinching is unacceptable.

I have never "lost my temper" with Nora directly but last night I came very very close. I so wanted to yell at her. I feel like I need to rewind the parenting tape and start over somewhere, because I am in a very bad place right now.

DH is, too. He is wonderful but he is also stressed out. Similarly to me, he has a lot more patience with Nora than with me. So WE are always snappy at each other and nice and gentle to Nora. But we both are finding it harder and harder to have the appropriately gentle tone at 1/3/5 in the morning when she is screaming because she can't pinch and scratch mama's boobie. :

This is the kind of thing I can't talk to *anyone* IRL about except my friend who is also an MDC mama, and I don't think she has actually gone through what we are going through...it is so good to read this thread and vent and know that I am not alone, but everyone I know IRL would think I was crazy for so many reasons if I told them. Why is she still in my bed? Why is she allowed, at 1.5 years old, to nurse all night long? Why does she touch your other breast while nursing - that's very strange! Why can't you just put her to sleep? Why, why, why? All of my cousins, my parents, everyone in my family had kids in their cribs from day one, never ever dealt with these problems and think ONE HUNDRED PERCENT I have brought them upon myself. I hear their judgmental questioning in my head as I wake up for the 10th time in the night to remove little nails from my nipple.

I actually confessed to my closest cousin, who has a 4 year old, that I was sleep deprived from Nora not sleeping. She was totally puzzled. I asked her what she had done w/ her DS when he didn't sleep. She said he was sleeping 6 hours in a row when he came home from the hospital and never had any sleep problems that she can remember. : So then I felt like a fool for even opening my mouth.

So it's 5 AM and I'm not sleeping and DH is not sleeping and Nora is not sleeping and we are one UNhappy family right now and it's all my fault. I'm filled with anger, at myself.

Sorry for the whine.
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Old 10-17-2006, 12:11 PM
 
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NoraMama,

I really think you are dealing with a child who has trouble getting through the sleep cycles. One other thing all the eight gazillion books suggest is to to get the child interested in a lovey. A special blanket or stuffed animal that they have in bed and use for comfort. I'm thinking YOU are the lovey at this point, and being mauled as one. Also, do you have a crib? Perhaps you could get her to sleep and put her in for a nap and see what happens? If she has a hard-to-transition sleeping personality, she just may sleep better apart from you, because she may learn to transition without your help if she has a little space of her own. (I'm thinking people must have invented cribs for a reason. I might research that. Why DID they make cribs?)
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Old 10-17-2006, 12:26 PM
 
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nora'smama, i think we are dealing with similar creatures! dd screams a blood curdling scream whenever she doesn't get what she wants! and yes it takes it's toll on the parent's relationship.

my dd has a lovely, has slept across the room on her own futon, etc etc, doesn't change a thing. she wakes up 4-8 times a night. and the worst bit right now she has started waking up at 6am every morning, so we can't even catch up at that time of day anymore. i hear her right now, in fact...

but here's something to think about; all those people who say their babies sleep through the night - well, my experience has been that it comes out at some point....for example our friends sleep trained their dd from birth, always had 8 solid hrs a night, and thought we had it all wrong..well she just turned 2 and is waking up every night and the only way they can get her to sleep again is by getting into her bed with her - imagine that! they are having a harder time than us now because they are not used to dealing with this. i also have friends with older kids dealing with sleep issues when they thought they had it all sorted. our experience with ds was that it was tough for 18 months-2 yrs but ever since then, no problem. he is a secure, well attached child.
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Old 10-17-2006, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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NoraMama,

I really think you are dealing with a child who has trouble getting through the sleep cycles. One other thing all the eight gazillion books suggest is to to get the child interested in a lovey. A special blanket or stuffed animal that they have in bed and use for comfort. I'm thinking YOU are the lovey at this point, and being mauled as one. Also, do you have a crib? Perhaps you could get her to sleep and put her in for a nap and see what happens? If she has a hard-to-transition sleeping personality, she just may sleep better apart from you, because she may learn to transition without your help if she has a little space of her own. (I'm thinking people must have invented cribs for a reason. I might research that. Why DID they make cribs?)
I think they made cribs because there was a rash of infanticides in Europe - people would smother their babies and claim they had simply rolled over on them by accident - and requiring babies to sleep separately ended this as an excuse for infanticide.

As far as sleep cycles, I totally agree with you. As far as loveys, we have tried unsuccessfully to introduce one. We've tried different things - a small blanket, a beloved stuffed toy. My dd is very stubborn. I like that trait in her but it means that when she wants something in particular, nothing else will do. A lovey is just no comparison to my boobs, apparently.

We have tried the crib and she just wakes up more frequently. She does nap in her crib a fair amount of the time. But even for naps, she wakes up more quickly in the crib.

The funny thing is she loves her crib and always wants to play in it - I don't let her, because I want her to think it's for sleep. She absolutely refuses to lie down in it, however, though she obviously knows what it's for. If we want her to sleep in the crib (just like if we want her to sleep anywhere) we have to put her in a deep deep sleep first, or else she wakes up instantly.

Muse, it's so good to hear that (almost) everyone has to deal with these things at some point. My parents didn't but that was because we were absolutely not permitted to sleep with them (unless my dad was out of town, then we could take turns sleeping with my mom). And they never laid down with us. But I remember lying alone and afraid in my room, a LOT. I don't want to do that to Nora - I want her to have positive sleep associations.

I think I'm just really disappointed in myself right now. And I feel too tired to implement what I know we NEED, a firm routine to give us all back some feeling of structure and order. Right now it just feels like timeless chaos. She is not sleeping well (or yesterday, at ALL) in the daytime either.

I have thought about it and going to a hotel or something for a night, to get some sleep, would not work. Because my poor dd will be hysterical and the next night I will be back and she will be twice as needy. If I had to be gone every night I'm sure she would get used to it, but I *don't*. We are going to have to figure the sleep thing out as a family - I can't just act like I am separate from DH and DD because I'm the one who's the most sleep-deprived. (I think)

So, I'm trapped. I know we will get through this but I sure hope I can find some equilibrium, some good humor, about the situation. I think my attitude, in the middle of the night, sucks.
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Old 10-17-2006, 01:32 PM
 
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I'm really sorry to hear you're having such a hard time. We were there a while back and it was so hard and distressing. Ds is sleeping really well now (at 23 months) and one of the things that really helped us was a strong sleep schedule. It wasn't a magic bullet, and actually I think he just started sleeping better when he was ready, but his improved sleep also coincided with moving him to a bed in a different room. He was not at all distressed by that change. Now when we do sleep with him, like if we are on vacation or something, none of us get any sleep.

I am not advocating stopping co-sleeping as an answer as I think my son's imrpovement was a combination of a lot of factors, just saying how things went for us.

Also, I have a DH who was committed to helping out at night and DS just wouldn't have any of it. That was so hard. I also know how it is to be too tired to implement change. There comes a point when you just have to.

Good luck! Things will get better.
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Old 10-17-2006, 01:55 PM
 
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hi mamas. i'm about ready to lose it. ds has been up every hour. we start our night time ritual at 8:00; bath, jammies, twilight turtle and nursing to sleep. he has one nap at 1:00-about 3:00 every day. i'm not very good at scheduling myself, but i've been pretty good at keeping him in a routine. despite this, he's still up every hour to nurse. the ncss suggests trying to make him fall asleep without nursing. so, we do what they suggest and take him off the nipple before he falls asleep. he does pretty good with this but then just wakes up again the next hour. to top it off, dh snores loudly, so i'm often unable to fall asleep between feedings. lastnight i made him sleep on the couch and today he's mad at me. i'm delirious and worried that i'll never sleep again. i wake up (i use that term loosely since i don't really sleep) feeling resentful and over touched. help me change my attitude mamas.
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Old 10-17-2006, 03:54 PM
 
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Drama is right...DD started in with the trying to pinch my boob, latch on/latch off/latch on/pinch pinch pinch routine at some point last night, and I simply "protected" my other boob by putting a hand over it so she couldn't pinch (if I cover it with a shirt she becomes hysterical, but sometimes will forget about pinching if my hand is there). She freaked out. Shrieked as if I were sticking pins into her.
Yep, I experience something similar from my DD when I try to curb her nursing after she's been doing it for hours. It can be really frustrating!! I have those days when I briefly say I'm sick of breastfeeding and I don't want to do it anymore. It's an idle threat -- I'm not going to quit anytime soon.

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So WE are always snappy at each other and nice and gentle to Nora. But we both are finding it harder and harder to have the appropriately gentle tone at 1/3/5 in the morning when she is screaming because she can't pinch and scratch mama's boobie. :
I'm right there with ya!! DH and I had a long middle-of-the-night fight a couple of weeks ago because DD wasn't interested in sleeping and DH got up (a rare occasion) to help me get DD back to sleep. DH said something disapproving to me (and did it in a shaming way) and I got so p*ssed off at him!!! I couldn't identify at that moment why I was so mad at him because I was delirious from exhaustion, but I figured it out a couple days later and told him to change the way he communicates with me, especially when I'm that stressed and tired. We had a very heated argument in the dark, which I know wasn't conducive to DD falling asleep.

Kristin

Mama to Laurel '06 & high needs Will '09
Crunchy in mainstream suburbia | Sleep-deprived WAHM
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Old 10-17-2006, 05:37 PM
 
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I am also my babies lovey, and have had trouble introducing a blanket or stuffed animal lovey. She is also strong and determined and knows what she wants, and that is her mommy all night long. Right now my problem isn't getting her to sleep but keeping her asleep. I have to go in and comfort her or nurse her almost every hour before I go to bed and then I end up bringing her in my bed once I go to sleep and she still wakes up almost every hour consistently through the night.

I read to try to wake them up a half hour or so before they usually wake up and nurse then so they dont get "praised with a nursing" for waking up. But she doesnt even want to nurse all the time. It is like she just wakes up to make sure I am still there.
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Old 10-17-2006, 06:33 PM
 
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I haven't posted a lot, but I can totally relate. My 16 month DD has changed our lives as no other child of ours has. With my first 3 (ages 13, 11 and 9) I pretty much night weaned by 4 months-6 months unless they were sick or something, they slept through the night. I co-slept while we were night nursing and they transitioned to the crib. I put them in the crib and they knew what to do. I also had problems with milk supply with all of them and never even made it to a year of breastfeeding despite many efforts to keep up my milk supply.
This time was to be different. I was DETERMINED to do whatever it took to breastfeed. I decided that there would be no night weaning and this time I had the internet so Kellymom was a great resource. She initially had colic and I spent hours daily just trying to get her to sleep. She never slept well. Bad naps and nursed every 2 hours day and night. She's had non-stop congestion for the past year or so and I am sure that has contributed to the bad sleeping. (I am currently trying to do some food elimination to see if I can find the offender to this extremely frustrating congestion/non-stop "colds"). I never intended to co-sleep this long because I just don't sleep well like that, but it is the only way I get any sleep. Many nights it is just a non-stop nurse-a-thon. My back is sore, I am tired of being clawed at all night, and just plain tired. DH is PITIFUL if he loses sleep, not like he is a baby, he just does not function and since he has to drive an hour to work, I want him well rested. PLUS, anytime he has tried to take her she wants to nurse. I have a hard time not sleeping and then getting up to teach Algebra or Life Science (I homeschool). My marriage has taken a hit because we have had little time together and trying to have sex is hard to say the least. I had some AP moms who I was talking to who just seemed like it didn't matter that I can't function and that it strained my marriage or that it was hard to properly school my older children. I felt like that is a TOTAL lack of balance if that is what their parenting was all about. My one DD isn't my only responsibility. I can't take naps most of the time because I am schooling my kids (plus, if she actually naps, I want to accomplish something if I can without her "help"!!!). When she is awake, she clings to me and won't let me accomplish anything and she is awake most of the time I am. If I get up, she won't stay in bed long, she only naps well sometimes and stays up late until I finally get her nursed to sleep (some nights are still a struggle for a couple of hours). Lately, she is resisting falling asleep while nursing and so she walks around crabby because that's the only way she goes to sleep! I have tried loveys, etc. I am it and I am tired. Some days, I am physically ill from exhaustion. I used to get her to sleep and try to lay her in her crib, but I gave up because many times she woke back up and I was back at square one. Sometimes, I wish I never would have backed down on some of those types of things because maybe I would have made progress, but I can only do so much and I only have so much time.
I had hoped that her sleep cycles would get better as she grew, but I see little end in sight. My last hope is that maybe the food elimination I am doing will help, but at this point, I think it is a habit as well. Dr. Jay Gordon's plan just sounds like a way for me to not sleep at all for several nights before getting sick and giving in out of necessity to sleep. Not that it's a bad plan, I just see the depth of the issue DD has.
I, too, feel disappointed. At times when I wanted or started to implement small changes that could have made a difference now, I was so concerned it would hurt my milk supply and so many said to keep up what we were doing I guess that I assumed that at some point, she would improve on her own. Silly me for believing that. So, now, I am not sure what I can do. I think that the behavior is very intrenched and harder to overcome at this stage in the game. I just don't know what to do anymore. I love the idea of having a regular nap time, but DD only goes to sleep while nursing when she is good and ready and that varies within hours each day. We are on a regular schedule for school, and it would be GREAT if I could get her to sleep at the same time each night and regular naps (as I did with my first 3) but I have no idea how to get her to even that point. I keep reading hoping that I will come up with some idea that just may work to get her started in the direction of sleeping at night without a nipple in her mouth, without regular feedings. At this point waking 2 times a night to nurse and going right back to sleep sounds great.
All right, I should actually do something since she is actually napping now, but I just had to join in because I am in the same boat.
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Old 10-18-2006, 03:34 AM
 
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My marriage has taken a hit because we have had little time together and trying to have sex is hard to say the least.
No kidding!!! I didn't think our sex life would be so radically changed with a baby. Some days I really, really miss it because it's just not happening anymore.

Kristin

Mama to Laurel '06 & high needs Will '09
Crunchy in mainstream suburbia | Sleep-deprived WAHM
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Old 10-18-2006, 05:58 AM
 
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Lotsofkids - thanks for your post. It was much of what I've heard/read before but it was so helpful to read it again. I know I need to be on a more regular schedule and DD needs an earlier bedtime maybe? It is hard, though, with DH getting home late-ish and dinner needs to happen etc etc etc. But I think for now my big focus will be an earlier and very regular bedtime.

I'm disappointed to hear that NCSS for Toddlers doesn't seem to help people - I posted on that thread asking about it. When I'm lying in bed next to a crawling chatty baby who should be sleeping I think to myself "I will buy that book tomorrow!" How disappointing that it may not hold the relief I'm looking for.

A few thoughts for this thread (since it is 3:30am and why on earth would I be in bed right now??) ...

- At times I have been *very* frustrated with the fact that DH simply doesn't have the equipment to calm DD when she is screaming. At my worst moments I get so frustrated that *I* have to be the one to nurse (to soothe, not necessarily feed). But then I figure DD needs to be able to calm for DH so I try to make sure they get time together when he is the one calming her / coaxing her to sleep, because hopefully she will become more used to it. Is this a pipe dream? Anyone have success with their DH being able to calm a tired baby?

- I don't regret cosleeping at all. I love to wake next to my sweet baby and don't see ending it any time soon. At times I have had her starting the night in the crib because of my own insomnia, and moving her back to our bed the first time she wakes. Mostly this means getting her to sleep in our bed then moving her to the crib once she's fully asleep.

- While I do feel that somewhere I was led astray and that there are things I could have done differently earlier on, I also believe strongly that it is already programmed in a baby to be a sleeper or not. My grandmother has suggested it is hereditary - we all (g-mother, mother, me, and my DD) have had a hard time sleeping. Anyone else see a pattern like this?

- It has been very hard for me that I feel I can't mention the whole sleep issue to most people I know IRL. If I told my mother I'd not only get a shrug and a "you brought this on yourself" but then I'd hear, through other family members, her gossip about how I am trying this weird parenting technique. (Don't even get me started on her issues with nursing past 12 months!) I feel like I have to hide my exhaustion from the other mamas in our playgroup, heck, almost mamas I know, because they are all very mainstream.

- I recently heard about a friend of a friend whose child had terrible sleep issues. She was taken to a specialist who determined that she had different sleep cycles than most people. I hesitate to mention this because I don't know how much of the info I have is correct, but apparantly there are some people who need to sleep on cycles that can be an hour or more off from the regular 24 hour day. So if you are on a 25 hour cycle, imagine how your sleep would be affected if you were trying to fit into a 24 hour cycle. Does anyone know more about this theory? Is it legit? Is there more info out there somewhere? I don't think my DD falls into this category, based on our specific issues, but perhaps it would help other mamas on this thread?

I can hear DD stirring now...
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