Exhausted mommies support thread? - 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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#1 of 85 Old 10-08-2006, 01:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know there are many of us out here...

DD is almost 17 months old and the sleep thing is just not happening. We have to drive her or stroll her to sleep for every nap and for bedtime. If we don't she will stay up indefinitely, becoming crankier by the minute. She literally has never ever in her life laid down and gone to sleep. Sometimes she can be rocked to sleep. Rarely nursed to sleep. She needs Big Time parenting to sleep.

BUT that's no big deal...if she would just *stay* asleep. <sigh>

On another board someone was complaining about their 8-month-old who still wakes twice in the night. I was like, I hate you. For 17 months (plus 9 months of pregnancy when I *thought* I wasn't sleeping well, little did I know) I have been becoming progressively more sleep deprived.

I am hitting a wall. This week DD had a fever and diarrhea so things were worse than usual, but they are always pretty bad although occasionally there's a night where I *kinda* feel rested in the morning so I convince myself better times are a-comin'. But they don't.

I am literally falling apart in some ways. I am so tired I can barely function. My place is a mess and I DON'T CARE. I am losing interest in doing anything besides sitting at the computer. But I have been clinically depressed before and this ain't it. This is SLEEP DEPRIVATION.

I don't think I've had a good night's sleep in well over 2 years. My sleep is constantly interrupted and never comes in chunks of more than 1.5-2 hours.

Anyway, I don't think things will be changing any time soon. But I am getting to the point where I resent DH because he gets to sleep on the couch. I am MAD at DD when she wakes in the night. I am NOT the mommy I want to be during the day. I am miserable.

Just want some commiseration. I feel like I've fallen into the Pit of No Sleep.

Anyone else??
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#2 of 85 Old 10-08-2006, 02:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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No other exhausted mommies tonight? Well, hopefully you are all sleeping.

It's gotten so bad here I am afraid to go to bed 'cause I know I'll just be waking up in 15-40 minutes.
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#3 of 85 Old 10-08-2006, 03:05 AM
 
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Mommy to two boys, ages 4 and 6.

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#4 of 85 Old 10-08-2006, 03:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the hugs, tatermom!

I am feeling kinda betrayed by Dr. Sears (who is actually going to be Nora's ped soon, yay) because his book was the one that made me smugly believe that if I just co-slept and nursed on demand I would get good sleep, with my DD cuddled up content beside me...hmmmmm...

I know it's true for a lot of people (it must be) but it hasn't been true here. There have been better times, though. I need to remember that I am going through a bad patch. When I go through a bad patch w/ sleep I tend to forget that it ever was better. And then when it gets better I tend to forget it ever was THIS bad.

I see from the poll that I am not alone although no one else wants to post...good grief, do the !Kung San go around sleep deprived for years at a time? What are we co-sleeping Westerners doing wrong? :
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#5 of 85 Old 10-08-2006, 04:02 AM
 
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ours situation is not as bad as yours but I am exhausted, all the time.

DD was a wonderful sleeper up til 8 months. then she'd wake 2-3x per week and want to eat and then go right back...no biggie. this evolved slowly into waking every night, then multiple times per night, and now it's just....

I also have to EP, so even if she sleeps a good chunk like 10-2, I'll be up until 1 to pump, then basically as soon as I lay my head down she wakes up. Last night she was up from 2-4. So I went to bed for the first time at 4 am.

she's miserable when she's awake in the middle of the night, just crying like it's the end of the world. I'm not the mama I want to be at those hours either. sometimes it's like, I have ideas of what to do to get her back to sleep, but I"m too tired to try them so I just lay there holding her while she cries. then in the morning I absolutely CANNOT get up and I lay there handing her one toy after another to play with in bed until her whining becomes persistent.

this week I've tried limiting her to one nap but it's usually impossible. when she's tired she's tired and she was asleep in the mei tai at Whole Foods the entire time, no matter what I did. I knew I'd be screwed tonight and I'm just waiting to hear "waaaahhhh!!!"' why bother going to sleep? it will just be that much harder when she wakes up.

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#6 of 85 Old 10-08-2006, 04:02 AM
 
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I'm definitely with you. My ds is 11 mos old and I'm lucky if I get more than a 2 hr stretch at night. He has always had to be parented to sleep - we put him in the sling and bounce him on the exercise ball. He, too, has never ever fallen asleep on his own. He stopped nursing to sleep when he was about 5 mos old so now we have our bouncing ritual for every nap and every night. I'm getting a little worried, though, because eventually (soon!) he's going to be to big for the craddle hold in the sling; then I don't know what we'll do. I feel like he's slowly weaning me off of sleep. :

Anyway,
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#7 of 85 Old 10-08-2006, 03:45 PM
 
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Nora's Mama ((((HUGS))))

My dd wakes twice each night, but I am feeling the cumulative effects of night time nursing and I'm an older mama too, so I feel really, really, tired. Just tired. I think your questions about Westerns and co-sleeping and the "myth" of better sleep for all are good ones, but I don't think you'll get much response here on MDC. Maybe you can ask Dr. Sears when you see him (if you can remember to ) and get back to us!

Me : living with and loving papa and the kids: Dd1 8/97 , dd2 8/04 and my sweet baby ds 5/09 : :
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#8 of 85 Old 10-08-2006, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ktmama View Post
Nora's Mama ((((HUGS))))

My dd wakes twice each night, but I am feeling the cumulative effects of night time nursing and I'm an older mama too, so I feel really, really, tired. Just tired. I think your questions about Westerns and co-sleeping and the "myth" of better sleep for all are good ones, but I don't think you'll get much response here on MDC. Maybe you can ask Dr. Sears when you see him (if you can remember to ) and get back to us!

Oh, I certainly will! I am curious to see if his views are more nuanced in person. I also might be seeing one of his sons (he has 3 in practice with him) and it's possible their views are slightly different, although I think they are all big proponents of AP, how can they not be when dad coined the term?

Thanks for the replies everyone - from the poll it certainly seems that being sleep deprived is more common than not! to everyone.

oh, and Nora woke at 5 AM this morning - BUT her dad took her out and let me sleep!! I had 4 hours of delicious sleep and although I still feel tired I am feeling a little more human than I did last night. I mean, it has gotten to the point where I am really not functioning well. So a 4-hour "nap" really helps!!
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#9 of 85 Old 10-08-2006, 03:58 PM
 
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I'm so glad I saw this thread. I feel like it's talking about so much of what I've been feeling. ITA with the Dr. Sears thing. If co-sleeping really lets you get more sleep, how come I get woken up 10 times on a typical night while my crib-sleeping friends complain about being woken up twice. I also wonder about how women in cultures where co-sleeping is the norm do it. And in a lot of those cultures they have to work so hard during the day too how do they do it with so little sleep?

I hate going to bed and I just wish morning would hurry up and come every night because I hate sleeping in 30 minute chunks so much. I also get so ticked at my son at night. Sometimes at 2 am I feel like, "why did I even want kids?" which is a horrible way to feel. I feel like I can handle most anything during the day, but at night I'm a wreck.
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#10 of 85 Old 10-08-2006, 04:19 PM
 
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hmmmm, feels like I've found my home. My dd is 2.5 and has never slept through the night. On a good night, she wakes up four or more times a night. We do have some nights where she wakes up every 15-20 minutes. Those are the times I just want to jump out a window. And now we have nightmares or night terrors or something where every other night or so she wakes up screaming mindlessly and fights anything that touches her, and she'll just scream hysterically for 30 minutes to an hour or two. Sometimes she has two or three of these a night. She's often been very difficult to get to sleep, and hasn't ever just fallen asleep either. And I'm 7.5 months pregnant, so I'm tired anyway.

But you know, it doesn't bother me as much anymore. I mean I would be thrilled if she slept all night, don't get me wrong. But I'm not as desperately frustrated with it as I was when she was younger. I think I hit my most stressed out with sleep around 18-24 months. Probably closer to 18 months though. Then I finally stopped expecting her to ever sleep well, and surprisingly that helped me a lot. I'm still tired, and I still get frustrated, but it's no longer a constant state of extremem frustration. I know that doesn't help you much, but I did want to let you know that even if the problem doesn't go away, the desperation can. (okay, the desperation goes away as long as I don't think about being pregnant and having to deal with this with the next one... the next one's going to sleep well, right? )

Much love and hugs, sleep problems suck. I hope your dc starts sleeping better, but if she doesn't, I'll be here for you.
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#11 of 85 Old 10-08-2006, 09:28 PM
 
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Count me in. It's bedtime right now, and I am dreading the night to come. It's just gotten worse with time, not better. I worry about my daughter - she seems sleep-deprived, too.

Thanks for starting this thread! I may post more later when I'm awake in the middle of the night, trying not to cry.

Oh, re: the !Kung women - I'm convinced that they have multiple adults who sleep with the babies, taking turns so that no one person is completely saddled with lack of sleep on a consistent basis. I read that somewhere. Or maybe there's something about their lifestyle, diet or psychological make-up that is really different from ours, and they produce babies who sleep better. Who knows. I'd like to find out, though.

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#12 of 85 Old 10-10-2006, 12:13 AM
 
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i was sleep deprived for 21 months, which is when i found out i was pg with dd and nightweaned ds. dd is 3 months old, and.....i am NOT sleep deprived!!! i didnt even think that was possible!! on a normal night she only waked once in the middle of the night, then around 6, and then will often sleep until 8 or 9. of course i am up with ds by then, but still. i know it could change at any time, but let me tell you i am enjoying it!!

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#13 of 85 Old 10-10-2006, 11:27 AM
 
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Nora's mama my son is 12 months but your description of yourself sounds JUST like what I'd say about me. I just don't give a $hit about anything and it's because i;m too tired to.
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#14 of 85 Old 10-10-2006, 02:46 PM
 
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My fiance and I joke that Abby(2.5 yrs) is possessed from 10pm-8am. She will wake screaming bloody murder. She is absolutely inconsolable at that point and fights and struggles if you hold her, but demands to be held, screams for milk, but won't drink, etc. etc. It is a real test of our patience! We usually trade off so that we don't lose it, but man is it something else! The other night she looked at me and screamed in a low raspy voice, "MAMA!!" It felt like Satan was coming at me! Sometimes I can rock and hold her (even while shrieking and thrashing about) and talk her down to where she can lay down and snuggle up, but that is a rare occasion. But I am glad to hear other parents have the midnight screaming/test of parental perseverance too.
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#15 of 85 Old 10-10-2006, 05:50 PM
 
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Hello sisters in sleeplessness. My ds is 15 months and doesn't sleep through the night. He will sleep for about the first 6 hours (on a good night) and has occasionally slept until about 5 am. Fool that I am I build myself up to thinking that he is turning a corner and then it gets worse like last night when he woke every hour then won't nap during the day. Makes me feel like a big fat failure.

We've tried co-sleeping but it really didn't work for us and I'm afraid the Sears book just made me feel even more like a failure as it all sounded so sweet and wonderful and just didn't work! I think I have tried every method there is and it never makes a long term difference. Norasmum, if you get some advice please pass it on as I am losing the plot. Today my vision started swimming in and out and I was feeling soooo short tempered and fed up. I have no idea how I am going to cope when I go back to work, in fact I'm dreading it and also thinking that I can't ever have any more children :

Oh well, to you all . I hope that we all get a snooze soonxxx
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#16 of 85 Old 10-10-2006, 05:52 PM
 
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Gotta join ! My dh is 15 mos and wakes up 4-5 times a night. I am tired all the time. I have the occasional good night when he wakes up only 2 times but those are rare. I don't even know what it's like to feel 'awake' and have energy ! Hugs to you all .
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#17 of 85 Old 10-10-2006, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So last night was significantly better than it has been...thanks to ibuprophen. : Obviously, not a long-term solution.

I am just so tapped out right now because Nora is needier during the day too, thanks to teething/separation/anxiety/something unknown.

My thoughts are so jumbled I don't have a clear plan right now for what to do. I told DH last night that *he* was going to take the nighttime shift. But the first time she woke up (I was asleep on the couch) he went to her and she screamed bloody murder until I came in. Apparently only mama will do, at night. I don't know how to change this but I really wish I could.
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#18 of 85 Old 10-10-2006, 10:53 PM
 
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Sleep deprivation is really catching up with me after almost a year. Ds is such a bad sleeper and has been since birth. We've coslept and done the crib and both have their down sides. Right now we're cosleeping because the wakings are so frequent and since he has been able to get to sitting position from lying down he does this every 30-90 min and won't ly down again without my intervention (nursing or bouncy ball). And if I don't intervene instantly he wakes up fully and is awake for hours! So that's why he's in bed with me so I can respond right away. But I can't move an inch without waking him he sleeps so lightly. I feel like I can't win with him - nothing seems to improve his sleep. What's worse is my first - 10 years ago - was a fabulous sleeper - 12 hour uninterrupted nights by 3 months and I find myself dreaming about those days and wondering if will I will ever sleep like that again. No time soon I think.
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#19 of 85 Old 10-11-2006, 06:17 AM
 
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I rarely feel sleep deprived, even though ds (6 mo) wakes me up at least 4 times a night... often much more. I am lucky that he usually goes back to sleep fairly quickly though, and that he can latch on just about by himself.

I am aware that i have only been doing this for a short time, and it may catch up on me! Am also very aware that things may get much worse when he is mobile/separation anxiety/teething etc, so I count my blessings that I feel ok now.

Hugs for all you sleep-deprived mommas.
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#20 of 85 Old 10-11-2006, 06:29 AM
 
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Well, its after 3am here and 2yr old dd just fell asleep:yawning: Yup i'd say i'm sleep deprived. She has never slept a full 8 hrs, i think the longest she has slept is maybe 5 straight hrs and thats been just recently. Everyone says its cuz we co sleep, maybe, maybe not
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#21 of 85 Old 10-11-2006, 06:31 AM
 
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why does the little clock thing on my other post say 1:29am when its actually after 3am here? just curious
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#22 of 85 Old 10-11-2006, 07:03 AM
 
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I am sooo with you. My ds goes to bed at around 8.00 and usually stays in bed until 5.00, BUT he he is an hourly waker, sometimes more often and if I don't nurse him, he freaks out. Sometimes nursing won't do and I have to rock him.
Worse comes to worse, we just traveled to Europe and I am in jetlag hell and all by myself. It is so bad, last night I lied next to ds and cried, something I usually don't do.: I was ready to rebook my ticket and go back today. Right now he is asleep and I am in a weird way awake, so no sleepies for me...
I have the same problem as the op, why does all my friend's crib sleeping babies wake up no more than 2 times a night and can you get in trouble if you kick another mom in the shins if she whines that her 8 months old still wakes up once a night??
Wish you all a lot of sleeping vibes. It always feels good not to be alone.

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#23 of 85 Old 10-11-2006, 09:46 AM
 
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been sleep deprived until recently. over 5 years if you wanna get specific. first child was up every 2 hours max from birth till we nightweaned at close to 3. had second child when first turned 3 and she has been up 1.5 hours to 2 hours every night until we nightweaned just recently.

now she goes down at 8 and sleeps solid some nights until 4. i can't drink coffee or she'll be up again more frequently. also, our bedtime for her used to be closer to 10 or 10:30 and i think by that point she was just so overtired. she isn't napping now either. she wakes up sometime between 5 and 6 and i nurse her. she falls back to sleep for a whiile and the nursing continues until she forces me to get up around 7:30. it is still much better than up every 1.5 hrs.
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#24 of 85 Old 10-11-2006, 12:19 PM
 
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I've found my people.
Our foster daughter is leaving us at the end of the month after a year with us. She's 16 months old.
The one good thing about her leaving is that we'll get some SLEEEEEEEP.

She came to us at 6 months (but was 3 months preemie, so she was 3 mos adjusted age). She had NO self-soothing skills and wouldn't sleep for more than 20 minutes in her carseat/crib/hammock. If we slung her, and vigorously parented her to sleep and kept her asleep, she would usually take at least one 1.5-2 hour nap. It would take 1-2 hours to get her to stay fall and stay asleep at night (so basically our whole evening from 8-10pm would be putting her to sleep, going back in and putting her back to sleep, etc.) And she still would wake up every 1.5-2 hours for a bottle.

She actually qualified for Early Intervention mainly because she was 10 months old and never slept even close to 4 hours at a time overnight (2.5 was her max at that time)! Also, we still had to swaddle her for sleep or she'd smack herself awake. She did best swaddled until she was around 1 year old.

After starting occupational therapy, it got a lot better. She started falling asleep easier and staying asleep when we put her in the hammock.

Now she falls asleep really easily. Will take 2 naps a day for 45mins-2 hrs. Sometimes needs to be helped back to sleep during a nap, but usually not.
Overnight she wakes up for 1 or 2 bottles (from 8pm to 8am) and occasionally needs an additional cuddle or 2. Except for right now, cuz she's having horrible allergies and can't breathe well, so she's waking up every hour or so....

If we were keeping her for longer, we'd be on the road to her sleeping through the night. But, fortunately, her dad will have to teach her that.

Anyway, I'm so sleep deprived, I can't stop babbling!
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#25 of 85 Old 10-11-2006, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by karin95 View Post
She actually qualified for Early Intervention mainly because she was 10 months old and never slept even close to 4 hours at a time overnight (2.5 was her max at that time)!
Um, does that mean my DD would have actually qualified for therapy because she didn't sleep 4 hours at a stretch at 10 months?? Whoa! What do they do in OT that helped your little one to sleep?

I never thought that Nora might have an actual treatable *problem*...I just thought that this is how some babies are. I don't remember exactly how long her longest stretch was at 10 months but I'm sure it wasn't more than 2.5 hours. Not without nursing.
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#26 of 85 Old 10-11-2006, 02:23 PM
 
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Umm, so what are we doing wrong here?

My twins are almost 3 yo and I have not slept through the night since they were born (actually, since before they were born.) My dd slept through the night once, about 2 weeks ago. Ds has come as close as only one nightwaking. Of course, they've never done it on the same night :

So, yes, I've been extraordinarily sleep deprived for at least 3 years. I'm sure I could qualify as a subject for a military study or something.
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#27 of 85 Old 10-11-2006, 06:24 PM
 
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I could have written your post! Oh I feel for you, I really really do. The only differences are 1. my DD is only 15 months old but 2. I had crippling insomnia for the first 9 months of her life.

Ugh!

I wish I could offer some real, helpful advice that would actually result in some rest. But clearly I am not in a position to offer it. DD has never ever fallen asleep without being held or snuggled (the car ride being the exception). When friends tell me their DC just randomly fell asleep in the middle of playing with their toys I could cry with envy. Somedays I handle it better than others. Some days I'm so exhausted I can't even drum up tears of frustration.

Like you, I feel I am not being the mother I want to / could be. I'm not the wife I want for my DH and I am not the person I want to be for me. This exhaustion is like a straitjacket cutting short any emotion or abilities. And yes, I have envy for DH that he gets a good solid nights sleep on a regular basis. Last night DD nursed several hours straight then woke screaming at 3am (with the night terrors?), we got up, read books, etc, then got back in bed and nursed the rest of the night, waking on and off. This morning DH said he didn't even notice that we were up.

So, thank you for this post. I wish we all could find ways to get the rest we need.
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#28 of 85 Old 10-11-2006, 08:17 PM
 
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i am with you mamas with no sleep (although after reading people's post i am not in as bad of a situation) has anyone tried NOT to co-sleep.

i know i dont want to but sometimes i wonder if our family would sleep better if we did not co-sleep. i know its the better way, but is there a time when other mothers have decided to try separate sleeping and it worked.

i knew a mama who co-slept for 6 months and then put her girl in a crib and that night was the first night they all slept.

my DD at times feels like she is on the nipple all night or she is whining for it and it drives me crazy. it is so hard to deal rationally or compassionately when you are tired.

if anyone has good ideas please post.

love to you all!!!!!!!!!
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#29 of 85 Old 10-11-2006, 08:19 PM
 
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I haven't had an uninterrupted night sleep in four and half years. I'm not joking. Not ONE uninteruppted night. I thought my son was the worst sleeper EVER until I had my daughter. At least he was reasonable and would nurse all night in bed NEXT to me but my daughter refuses and I mean refuses to sleep next to me but still wants me to nurse her all night long. : I am hoping to get some sleep in 2008.
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#30 of 85 Old 10-11-2006, 11:37 PM
 
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Wow, I can really relate with all you mamas. We co-sleep but my dd, 14 months, sleeps in her crib for naps for safety reasons and because I cant get her to go to sleep any more by nursing her on my bed. She nurses and then crawls off the bed. I tried repeatedly putting her back on the bed and telling her night night but that didnt work so this is what I do. Get into the crib, read a story, nurse, and then lay there while she sits there and fidgets sometimes for an hour straight and then eventually lays down and falls asleep, then I sneak out of the crib. She sleeps 1-1.5 hours and then wakes, I get back in the crib, nurse, she falls asleep, I sneak out again. 1-2 hours later she wakes again, I put her in my bed, she nurses and we sleep. All night she continues to try to nurse every couple hours and I have started to hold her close with my shirt down and let her cry for a couple minutes, sometimes she persists and sometimes she starts sucking her thumb and then goes back to sleep. Of course once I get her to sleep at night I stay up so I can feel like a normal person but should really be sleeping. I even tried taking her to the chiro to see if an adjustment would help, he didnt touch her because he said that she looked great but that I needed some work! : No kidding. He suggested homeopathic chamomile which I tried with no luck, though I think it gave her a sugar high. Hylands teething tablets do work sometimes when teething is really bad but that is short lived.

I started reading the book the No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. It has helped me realize how important a regular schedule and a nighttime routine are among other things but I think I am so sleep deprived that I havent put enough effort in to implementinf a lot of her strategies. She did a study with 60 women like ourselves who implemented her ideas and in ten days she said 42% of the babies slept through the night and by day 60, 92% slept through the night. She also has a book specifically for toddlers. Maybe we should have a book club thread and see what things work best for people.

Well good luck ladies for some sleep tonight.
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