Shall I give you an example of my sleeping schedule?
**it felt like as soon as I turned to the wall to actually fall into a deep sleep, I'd hear a cry. It was as if he knew and was torturing and teasing me. No Mommy. Come play. Come soothe me. Cuddle me. No sleep for you Mommy.
7:15pm: Rowan is asleep and Mama is out the door for some quick shopping with Lisa
9:00pm: Rowan woke up and Matt quickly and quietly got him back to sleep
12:20am: Rowan wakes up, Mama feeds him and he goes to sleep without a fight
3:00ish: Rowan is awake, he has soaked through his diaper on to the bedding. Mama changes his diaper and clothes while he screams and then rearranges the bedding so it's not wet, but dry and comfortable
4:00ish: Rowan is awake. Mama tries to get him to go back to sleep. She leaves the room several times thinking she's safe to close her eyes only to be woken up again to go back in his room and soothe him. Nothing was working so she burped him, just in case, and fed him again.
4:40ish: Rowan is asleep
5:00ish: Rowan is awake, Mama puts him back to sleep
6:00ish: Rowan is awake, Mama puts him back to sleep
6:50ish: Rowan is awake, Mama brings him to bed and breastfeeds him while trying to catch just a few more Zzzs.
7:15ish: Rowan tried to fall back asleep but starts thrashing and pushing his feet against Mama's legs and tummy.
7:30am: Matt's alarm goes off and everyone's eyes open. Rowan starts cooing like a zombie. We all get out of bed
Now, just looking at the times listed, it might seem like I had a few opportunities to get some sleep in there but it's not like I'm asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow again. Lately, it's taking me a long time to fall back asleep. I think it's the lack of anything really going on in my day to suffice for my mind and body to collapse into a glorious slumber, and the fact that I'm the one who has to listen out for the baby and respond to his cries.
So this morning I googled sleep + torture.
Of course it turned up sleep deprivation and I ticked many of the boxes
- aching muscles
- memory lapses or loss
- increased stress hormone levels, blood pressure (most likely true)
- eye twitching
- temper tantrums (in children, aka in mamas in their heads because they can't really act them out)
- inability to socialize properly.
I feel tired. But not tired at the same time. I definitely have the world's worst memory and usually confused, stressed and irritable. I wake up feeling angry and a bit teary when I think about how little sleep I just had. I'm not happy and I love when Rowan smiles and coos and is cute and cuddly, but it's hard when he does that first thing in the morning. I just want to be grumpy. I want to feel angry and uncomfortable with the fact that I really had no sleep last night.
The few times Matt has made a big effort to get up instead of me has made a HUGE difference the next day. I think I need to suck it up and be consistent with asking Matt for help, shaking him awake in the middle of the night to get up and get Rowan back to sleep. When Matt let me sleep I actually cleaned up during Rowan's first nap. Usually I go back to sleep myself or lay on the couch, unable to function. Even though it feels like I'm being unfair to Matt because he works the next day, I need to be fair to myself which will only benefit everyone.
I know he's little still, but I can't keep this up. I don't expect Rowan to be a perfect baby, sleeping through the night and always waking up with a smile, but I need some relief here. I know he can do it. I have to admit, it's not all bad. We've had HUGE success in getting him out of our bed and into his crib. We still have a morning cuddle and snooze in bed and the occasional afternoon nap, but co-sleeping just didn't work for us. I think we're all much more comfortable in our own sleeping quarters.
So now it's just a matter of remaining consistent, keeping up the 10 minute cry-it-out method to see if he'll fall asleep on his own before I go in. I admit, I'm not doing that in the middle of the night. It's really hard. I just want him to go back to sleep and not wake himself up even more with his cries which means I might have a harder, longer time getting him to fall back asleep, even though I'm dragging out these habits in the long run.
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