Her Bad Mother

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Look At Me Not Sleeping

Update below.

I haven't slept in four nights.

Which, you know, isn't totally bad, considering that until about four weeks ago, I'd gone nearly five months averaging only three or four hours sleep a night, every night. New mothers don't sleep. That's just a fact.

But when you've passed that 'fourth trimester' grace period - wherein, it seems, Nature gives you a pass on needing sleep and proper nutrition and enables you to function like a superhero, leaping over the newborn weeks in a single bound, fueled by the nitro-force of a wicked hormone buzz - when you hit the wall, somewhere around week 13, the lack of sleep catches up with you and no amount of cinnamon rolls and double-shot espressos will set you to right. So you set about pursing sleep with a vengeance (so appropriate, that idiom - you chase sleep hoping to tackle it and wrestle it and punish it for so cruelly withholding its gifts) and when you finally get some (oh yeah) through some combination of spousal support and anti-anxiety medication you cling to it desperately, desperately, determined to never let it slip your grasp again.

And then when it does slip your grasp, you go to pieces.

Four nights it's been; four nights of wrestling a vibrating baby who is development-spurting at the speed of light and spending his nights rolling and crawling oh god help me around his crib - or, when the victory squawking has become too much, in our bed - in pursuit of some invisible gold ring that I assume hovers magically just beyond his reach. Four nights of spending hours trying to get him to just be still, to just chill out, to save the gymnastics and the glee-clubbing until the morning, please oh god please, only to have him settle into something approximating a sleepy calm at the precise moment that the preschooler wakes up coughing and hollering about her nose hurting.

I'm so tired that I can't see straight. And I just can't see any solution. Crying it out doesn't work because he seems to have an infinite capacity for wakefulness and so can outcry, outsquawk, outholler, outlast us with little effort. Bringing him into bed with us doesn't work because although he's more likely to take a few sleep breaks from his gymnastics practice when he can crawl up tight against my breast, he never actually stills, and so even though he snoozes while he's cuddled up against me he also kicks me in the ribs and/or punches me in the head every few minutes and that's, you know, not conducive to sleep.

The husband does all of the actual getting up, the hovering over the crib, the delivery of child to my side when it seems there's nothing left to do, but still: I can hear it all, I can feel it all, and not even the Ativan helps when your body is shouting at you to tend to your baby. So what's next? Do I just check into a hotel for a night or two - seriously, we talked about that last night - to catch up on sleep? Or do I just ride it out? How long can I go without sleep? How crazy will I get?

Mama said knock her out.

(And, and... how long can I go on just barely coping? I have an out-of-control inbox - I am seriously weeks behind in responding to e-mails - and an ever-lengthening to-do list and - worst - a backlog of things that I need/want to write about - my frustrations searching for my long-lost brother, my ongoing struggle to figure out how not to be dominated completely by my nearly three-year old daughter, some thoughts on raising children under the condition of post-modern capitalism, an anecdote or two about politesse as it pertains to penises, etc, etc. My brain is backlogged and cramped and sore and all this sleeplessness is making it worse. Is it possible for one's brain to simply explode?)

Seriously. If my husband were to bring up the issue of vasectomies right this minute? I'd give him one myself.

Update: Last night (Friday night), he slept over eight hours straight. EIGHT HOURS. No idea why. Things we did differently: kept him up a bit more in the day, so that he had two longer naps rather than multiple shorter ones, put darker curtains on his nursery window to block more light, and put him to sleep in a snuggle (modified, arms-free swaddle) blanket. Will repeat these steps today and see if it works again. Whatever it is: AM SO ABSURDLY, MANICALLY GRATEFUL.

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Blogger Sarah Lena said...

So. What my husband finally made me do was turn off the monitor.

I know, I know; it sounds awful and you imagine DHR is around the corner, waiting to seize the child for neglect the minute you click the wheel to "Off", but believe it or not, your baby WILL cry loud enough to hear when he needs you. Without a monitor.

Those little noises that keep us up at night.. the sighing, giggling, rustling, all of it.. are not vital to hear. The baby is fine.

And sleep? Is of paramount importance.


11:58 AM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Sarah Lena - jasper's nursery is directly adjacent to our bedroom. and he's LOUD. so, no monitor to turn off.

even with a pillow over my head - yes, I've been doing that - I can still hear it all loud and clear. even with me down the hall in the guest room - CAN STILL HEAR.

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I vote for hotel because, yes, you can go crazy and though I`ve never actually SEEN a brain explode, I`m pretty sure they can.

My kids are 1.5 and almost 3 and NEITHER of them sleeps through the night! Exhaustion is my middle name. It sucks. If you can afford a hotel, do it, you`ll be a better mom for it.

12:34 PM  
Blogger ewe are here said...

I vote for the hotel, seriously. Or sending Jasper to a trusted friend or relative for a night or two in a row and let them cater to him, or send your husband with him. You HAVE to get some sleep.

I'm sorry it's so hard right now. Babies can be tough.

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How long does he cry for if you let him cry it out? Like the whole night without stopping? Or an hour? Two hours? My instinct says let him cry as long as it takes. (And I had 2 babies who cried for 90 min. the first night they CIO) But if he literally can keep going forever then that won't work.

Have you tried taking Jasper to a chiropractor? If you're not a chiropractor-person then it may seem very dramatic and awful. But a good chiropractor will be extremely gentle (no big snapping or cracking like in adults). We had a wonderful chiro who explained to me that in a very normal birth with no interventions of any kind exerts 75 pounds of pressure on a baby's spine. You had a more traumatic delivery with the speed of it and I would expect that would have been hard on Jasper's spine. He could be experiencing discomfort when he is laid down that he can't tell you about.

Most people think taking an infant to the chiro is unsafe but they are very, very safe and I took my son to the chiro when he was just a couple of days old. But I've had more than one friend who had the baby from hell that never slept at all and after a couple of visits to the chiro they started doing MUCH better. They said it was like a switch had been flipped. I didn't find this made a difference with my colicky baby, but it has done wonders for others. There are no guarantees, but at this point, what does you have to lose? Good luck!

I know this is sooo hard. My first didn't sleep til she was 8 months old. So many long hard nights. I'm sending you all the positive thoughts I can. So very sorry you are dealing with this!

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh GOD, Catherine, I'm just about 9 weeks pregnant with what will hopefully be my second child and STOP IT OMG JUST STOP REMINDING ME OF THE HELL I WILL ENDURE BEFORE LONG.

But seriously, woman, get thee to that hotel, swiftly! And it damn well better have a masseuse on call.

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops. Forgot my URL and way too anal to let that go.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

Take a weekend away. You will like your baby a whole lot more when you can actually see him (and not the needy little monkey that has taken on the form of cuteness)

12:40 PM  
Blogger kaila said...

Go to the hotel, in your jammies even, and get yourself some sleep. However, a couple of days rest will just energize you enough to get all exhausted again when you come home. Good Luck!

12:43 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Take a good hard look at the lighting in your house, both during the day and at night. During the day, even during naps, you want lots of bright light - natural if you can get it. At night, get things as black as possible, even if it means putting tin foil on the nursery windows.

It sounds like the baby still has a screwed up day/night circadian rhythm thing going on.

Couldn't hurt.

Then check yourself into the hotel and sleep for 36 hours.


12:45 PM  
Blogger Karen Bodkin said...

Oh man...he is so much like Thomas. I second the chiropractor - it helped Thomas tremendously...and me too. Just make sure you get a recommendation from someone who actually takes their kids to one.

Can you take a night off? I did that with Thomas around this timeframe - slept at my best friends' house, breasts overflowing by morning, and hubs fed him with bottles. It was such a help just to gain perspective.

Have you thought about putting that boy on Survivor? Me thinks he would take the prize. LOL!

Wish I was closer, sugar. I'd take him for you in a heartbeat. Once our house is built, you're welcome here for a break! That's another couple of months tho.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

another vote for chiro or cranial sacral therapy
and ear plugs
and best wishes for more peaceful nights, soon, soon, soon.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, you poor thing! But what a beautiful baby keeping you up. I like to joke that I haven't slept in almost 3 years, since we co-sleep...but man, I feel for you!

12:52 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I vote for the hotel option. AND for checking out 'Good Night, Sleep Tight - The Sleep Lady's guide to...' (something long but basically blissful sleep for you and your baby!) Seriously, it is an amazing book that totally worked for us when I was in your shoes a while back.

I like it because it is a great compromise between CIO and "sleep" in your bed. And it's really easy to get the info you need immediately even if you're so sleep deprived you can't even see straight. Husbands usually like it too, because it gives them something very clear-cut to do with the baby who won't sleep. It also emphasizes good naps - and at the right times and making sure your child doesn't get overtired and therefore much less likely to sleep (silly babies!)

Anyway, good luck! I hope you check in someone nice tonight and get a good 9-10 hours!

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No sleep really can make you crazy. It did me with my first. The thing with the whole cry it out deal is that you have to stick with it. They're smart little creatures. If he figures out that you are eventually going to come and bring him to bed, he'll never stop. The first night my husband and I did that I basically sat outside E's door and cried right along with her. It took almost 2 hours, but she went to sleep. After that, it was a shorter time every night and soon it was no big deal.

Our pediatrician told us all babies have sleep associations. Just like when we lie down in our beds with our pillows and blankets, we know it's time to sleep, it's the same way with babies, only they sometimes learn to associate sleep with the wrong things (breast, mom's arms, mom's bed) and the earlier you break it the better. It really gets harder the older they get.

I wish I could help you out more. I've been through this and it always helps to share.

Do the hotel thing.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My vote is for the hotel. You need to get some sleep and you aren't getting it at home.

When you get back and you're rested then you can try CIO. It works but only if you aren't exhausted.

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hotel = YES

For me, being anywhere in the house where baby was made me super sensitive to all sounds, real or imaginary. I stayed in a hotel because it was JUST ME, no one to worry about, no one to keep me up talking, and I knew I couldn't actually hear the baby crying.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Avonlea said...

I third/fourth/whatever the hotel. I remember how hard it is when your body is screaming at you to tend to your baby, but ohmigod, you just need some sleep or hallucinations will probably start.

I had to go sleep on the first floor of our two-story house with earplugs in *and* a pillow over my head, so I could let DH take over sometimes. After I went back to work (and DH was staying home with the baby), there was one afternoon that I seriously considered a hotel room for the rest of the afternoon.

1:23 PM  
Blogger Backpacking Dad said...

Sometimes my wife wants to go to rehab. Because the commercials for "Happy Valley" and other places like that just look so nice.

Do they have a rehab nearby?

1:30 PM  
Blogger Backpacking Dad said...

And by "they" I mean "THEM", you know:

The Big Red Ants.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

HOTEL-MOTEL-HOLIDAY INN.....name that tune ; )

CIO worked for us, but not for everyone. Merrick was in our bed for about the first year of his life, anymore and I think I would be divorced!
I was also the mommy crying outside his door, but it did get easier and less time crying after each night.


1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CHECK INTO A HOTEL! Seriously. And if you can find someone you trust, how about having a babysitter or mommy's helper come for a few hours during the day, even if just for a couple days a week? And that's not for you to get caught up on work... that's time for you to get a nap in!

Don't worry about the work backlog either. Everyone will still be there when you get back.

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a first time mum with a 10 week old that wouldn't sleep for weeks, and now sleeps, but in a cruel twist of irony I got whammed with a bout of insomnia I actually went to the hospital yesterday morning I got so hysterical. (3 nights with zero sleep, the week before less than 5-6 hours total) I was reluctant to try something I know my criminal clients are addicted to, but man was it awesome. I found I could still care for him though I was a big foggy and my husband did most of the diaper changing because snaps were beyond my grasp.

Ear plugs were a serious help for naps when there's someone else who can hear the cries along with an Ativan (or half of one) - you might try those.

1:47 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

I recently put my 6 month old in the halo sleep sack which i had not used yet and was just gathering dust. i got a sleep through the night, and 2 2.5 hour naps yesterday that first day. it's got a little swaddle wing-thing built in and the fleece is super soft. i was previously swaddling him with the miracle blanket and putting the sleep sack over that, but this little halo thing this worked like a charm. https://www.halosleep.com/

1:56 PM  
Blogger Leandra said...

You know, some countries use sleep deprivation as a form of torture. Get thee to a hotel, woman! You'll be a new woman.

2:09 PM  
Blogger Irene said...

I can give you nothing but my sympathy, because it is a long time ago since my kids were little. I have no good advise, but worry about you nonetheless. You need about a week off by yourself. Can something like that be arranged without you feeling like a bad mother? I am very serious about this. You need time by yourself and not just to sleep, you need alone time. Please try to work this out somehow. Go stay with a friend or a relative and leave the baby with someone you trust and lots of bottles. No breastfeeding, that's too bad. You have to think about your health first, sweetheart.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hotel. And no guilt for being gone to get sleep. Baby will survive and he needs a mommy who has at least a bare minimum of sleep in her. You are way under and sleep deprivation is baaad stuff.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Mimi said...

Hotel. You need it.

Me, because of the layout of our house, I could go hide in the den--two floors below the nursery, with a tv and pullout couch, and several doors intervening between me and the baby. World of difference.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot tell you how much earplugs have improved my nights. Now, before someone flips out and thinks I'm blissfully ignoring a screaming child, I can still *hear* everything, so if I know if I need to get up and tend to him. However, I was having a major problem of lying wide awake with adrenaline shooting through me at every little squawk and "BEH!" sound -- the earplugs just provide enough of a buffer so I'm not over-reacting to a non-sobbing noise.

Your sniglet sounds a bit more nocturnally athletic than my 9-month-old, though, and for that you have my deepest sympathies. Sleep deprivation both sucks and blows.

2:54 PM  
Blogger justmylife said...

A hotel for a night or two wouldn't be a bad idea. You need sleep. ANd though I don't think one's brain could actually explode from being full, I have no doubt sleep might help.

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I definitely agree to a couple of nights in a hotel. I ended up being bundled off to my parents for a weekend away from my boys when our youngest was about 13 weeks. I just couldn't take anymore.

I went to my doctor's, told them how I was feeling, saying that I thought, no, KNEW I had PND. They agreed, gave me some meds (I had been on previously) and told me I needed to get a break if I could. Even if it was only one day.

Let me tell you - I was asleep as soon as I got to my parents' house and I barely did anything but sleep that whole weekend.

After that, I felt SO much like myself again.

PLEASE take a night in a hotel if you can - I promise it will help.

I know I'm just a random commenter, but if you need someone who's been there (with an almost-3-yr-old as well) then feel free to drop me a line, ok?


4:07 PM  
Blogger worldmomma said...

That photo is so incredibly cute. Hard to believe such a sweet little face can turn into a crying machine, but I'm sure it can.

Have you tried earplugs that you could keep in until the husband brings the baby to you (if necessary). It definitely dulls the pain and might even allow you to sleep through some of it. Is there another place in the house, farther from the baby, where you can sleep, like a couch? Can you ask your husband to not bring the baby to you one night? If he needs feeding, have a bottle ready for hubby to use? Or all three of the above? The hotel sounds great, but only lasts a night or two. It would be helpful to have ways to lessen the difficulties for you within the home as well.

Best of luck in getting through this. Hopefully better sleep nights will be coming soon.

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is what I need to know. 36 weeks along with our first. Really? The 4th trimester isn't so bad? because I'm sleeping lousy now, I can't get comfortable to save my life, which means husband is sleeping lousy.

4:42 PM  
Blogger Badness Jones said...

Hugs. I wish I could offer some advice, but Bad is 23 months old and has slept through the night only once. At least your husband is trying to help. My husband has never once, in the 5+ years since our first child was born, gotten out of bed at night to tend to a hungry, sick or needy child. Sigh, at least he's a great dad in daylight.

4:49 PM  
Blogger Goldfish said...

Do you know how much I look forward to your posts? I know that there is a light (somewhere) at the end of the first-year-or-so-of-breast-feeding-and-not-sleeping-and-not-recognizing-myself tunnel, even if I can't see it right now. It's just really, really nice to know that you are out there. And that we'll make it! (I think....)

4:58 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

My hubs and I have had that same discussion recently. I'm waiting till the financial burdens of the holidays pass, and then I will have a night to myself in a hotel. I hope you get yours sooner and tell us all about it so we can be jealous (and also for me gleefull in anticipation of my own night away!)

5:20 PM  
Blogger Ms. Moon said...

Hotel. Do it.

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was where you ar enow, almost 1.5years ago, but with only one child. GET THE TO A HOTEL, Dear. My husband is the one who "made" me do it. I fought him SO HARD on it, too. and an hour after checking in, I was in tears, missing my baby I just wanted to be with her. I was ready to check out, go home and deal with countless more days of no sleep because I felt bad for leaving. I acutally felt selfish. But I called my husband, and he told me HE needed me to sleep, SHE needed me to sleep. I NEED THE EFFING SLEEP. So, then I popped a pill, put on a bad movie and I slept. For 17 hours stright. then I woke, relived my bladder, ate, and I slept for another 12 hours. I cam home a much better wife, mother and me. do this for yourself and your family - you all need it.


5:45 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

worldmomma - he doesn't actually so much cry as he does holler and hoot non-stop. LOUDLY.

And he won't take a bottle. We're working on it, HARD.

6:20 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Tina - will look into halo sack. We were using a miracle blanket until he outgrew it, like, six weeks ago.

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Can you still swaddle him or has he outgrown it? My husband used to swaddle our little ones into tight little bundles( I could never do it so neatly myself) and they would would quickly drift off.
2. My second slept in her swing for about five months. It was the only thing she would sleep in. Whatever works.
3. Will he take a pacifier? Again, a godsend for us.
4. How much does he weigh? My doctor used to say that 14 pounds was the magic weight when they stop being so fussy.
5. Are you breastfeeding exclusively? Maybe supplement with a bottle of formula at night...this is an old wives tale but it works.
I know what you are going through. My first would not sleep at all and I thought I would lose my mind. With my next two children, I supplemented with one bottle of formula at night and they both slept for five hour stretches.

7:05 PM  
Blogger Christy said...

No advice, just you're not alone. My 5 month old has decided to be even more wakeful than previously. It's just so exciting to roll over and move and talk in the middle of the night. Until recently, half-swaddling her seemed to be working, but she has gotten too strong. I know this passes. I'm on my third baby. But when...? I'm also wondering how long I can go on in survival mode. I am sending you good sleep vibes.

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The one thing NO ONE has suggested is that you need some HELP. I've said it before, but you need some part-time nanny-ish type help. You need to be able to nap during the day, or go back to sleep when whoever is helping you comes to take over the kids. That is what saved me with my kids. It can be a family member, a student, etc. The $$ you would spend on a hotel would be so much better applied to a longer-term solution. What does Svetlana say?

8:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought of you tonight as I was going home from work - they were giving out free samples of some herbal tea at Union Station, with the promise to induce sleep. Heh. Funny. Can I knock my kid over the head with the tea bag? Is that how it works?
Although it's nowhere near the same, I've had a rough week with baby being sick and me having to survive the workday on 3-5 hrs sleep a night. But it would be even harder if I was at home with 2 kids on that little sleep... I feel your pain.

8:55 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Heather/'shwa - I *am* taking Ativan, actually. LE SIGH.

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Catherine, I wish I had some unheard of advice, or magic solution, but alas I'm just keeping you in my thoughts -- sending good wishes for a peaceful night's sleep and some calm.

If I could send the Super Nanny to just take care of things while you rest, I would. I so would.

We're all here for you. We're all sending good juju your way.

9:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hylands teething tabs


I say for baby AND you

sleep like dead kittens... ok that was probably crass.. but I can promise you wont sleep like a baby all restless and such. They are like the time homeopathic nectar of the gods.

10:08 PM  
Blogger Garza Girl said...

I've been where you are. As a single mother of newborn twins, I thought I would literally die of sleep deprivation. I even went through testing for Multiple Sclerosis based on all the physical junk that happens as a result of lack of sleep.

Here, after therapy, and five years of building a fortress of motherhood, is what I've learned:

1. Believe in Benadryl, in its proper dosage. It can get the babies off their new horrific routine of no sleep.

2. Speak outloud and with confidence. Even at that age, they can get the gist. "We are going to have a bath, have a bottle and go to bed." Then do exactly what you say you were going to do.

3. Have a glass of wine, calm down and talk to yourself. They can sooooo ready your sleep deprived anxiety that it ends up feeding into it. Bring the biorhythms all the way down to zen.

4. Get help. Call anyone you trust. Go to bed yourself. My friends will tell you, I don't ask for help, but I learned: "I need you to take my twins for two hours. I MUST sleep."
Beg if you have to, and if not, then pay someone to give you time to sleep.

5. Don't forget your humor.

6. When my babies were about a year old, I asked my doctor for an antidepressant. It was a brilliant move and helped me immensely.

Many hugs and empathy.


10:13 PM  
Blogger A Crafty Mom said...

(((HUGS))) what a nightmare for you.

This must be the week of writing about sleep on blogs, I've read oodles of sleep posts and wrote one myself.

Do try the Halo sleepsack, we swear by it and it really helped us. I wish I had better advice, but at this point you need to do whatever you can to get some rest.

I totally feel you on the bottle thing and I'm there now - my almost-10-month-old won't take one STILL and I'm going batty. We're supposed to nurse our babies because it's a good thing and then we really can't ever get the booby out of their mouths.

10:53 PM  
Blogger LawMommy said...

There came a point, with my son, who is now almost 9 years old, that I felt my fragile hold on sanity slipping away. I started to think it would be nice to be dead because if I was dead, I would be able to sleep.

Yeah. I knew I was in bad shape.

Enter my father, who, in one of his kindest paternal acts, agreed to keep the baby over night, one night a week, for about 3 months.

(He was breastfed, but, I was able to pump so my dad had something to feed him.)

If a parental rescue is not an option, a cheap hotel would be second best.

You have to get some sleep. You will start to hallucinate. You will start to question your own ability to keep breathing. You will start to have insane fixations. And I KNOW, I know so well, how impossible it is to allow yourself to fall asleep when you can hear the baby moving around or making noise.

If you have a way to get away from the baby for one night so you can get some rest, do it.

10:57 PM  
Blogger the girl in the white bathrobe said...

Thank you for this post and thank you to all your commenters!

Tonight we had to go back to CIO -- and while I was sitting on the couch listening to him cry, I saw your tweet, and landed here for the advice I needed!

My boy is 11 months old. At 7 months we did CIO after the non-sleeping, nurse in bed, rocking till our arms fell off, circus of trying to "soothe" an "energetic" boy.

It worked for a while. And then about a month ago, it fell apart. He could stand up in the crib. Shrieking, screaming, heretofore unknown levels. Waking up all hours, staying awake at all hours.

Today, my husband and I called the pediatrician and she prescribed CIO. He screamed, he protested, and 75 minutes later he fell asleep. I think it wasn't longer only because we had sleep trained before.

All that to say, what I already said. Your post helped me.

For what it's worth, I vote for the hotel, and getting a night nurse (I've heard they exist and can put babies on sleep schedules), and day help so you can nap.


11:01 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I, too, vote for the hotel. At least for one night anyway. What about a white noise machine? I have a hard time sleeping and blocking out noises and it seems to work for me because both of my girls go to sleep with radios on different stations and the master bedroom is in between the 2 rooms with dueling stations. Just a thought.

11:11 PM  
Blogger Liz Miller said...

Another vote for the hotel.

11:40 PM  
Blogger Lady M said...


What amazingly cute boy! I'm sure you'd think he was even cuter if he'd close his eyes now and again.

11:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go to a hotel. At least one night, preferably two or three.

It will revitalize you and help you cope and find solutions to his wakefulness.

For your sanity, get some sleep.

12:00 AM  
Blogger Waffle said...

I did the earplugs. They worked, I had to be shaken awake, which was great, after all that primeval 'I must stay alert in case the sabre tooth tigre eats my young' wakefulness.

I do so feel for you. I wish we could all just take it in turns to do a night with your gorgeous baby - that would give you months of sleep! Terrible flaw with this internet community thing eh.

2:52 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

As a mother of three, one disabled, I vote for the hotel. And yes, your brain can explode. Above all, though, IT GETS BETTER.

3:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

god, sounds awful, you poor thing!

do everything you can afford.
night nurses are great (I know a woman with triplets who got one for a week, she says it saved her marriage)
and/or babysitter for your toddler so you can nap during the day
and the hotel so you don't have to listen to any of it!

when i was in depths of sleep deprivation I lost perspective and fretted over my to-do list as well. but I can see now that I should have let the list drop. Sometimes, life wins, we lose, and we have to go with the flow to make it through.

you are doing great to just be posting at all!

6:44 AM  
Blogger April said...

i think the hotel is a very good idea. and the "Mama said knock her out." made me laugh out loud. so cute :-)

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, man. We had a decent sleeper for the first 3 months, and then 4 months hit. And it was hell. We tried everything (except CIO--absolutely NOT an option here). We had sleep charts a la The No-Cry Sleep Solution that we look at now and laugh at. We were so delirious we didn't even realize how absurd the whole thing was. At some point, a few months later, either she slept better or I just adapted. She still is not a good sleeper at 2.5 years, but it's WAY better than when she was a tiny baby and I have been able to function quite happily on broken sleep for a long time now.

I have a feeling you're dealing with a similar situation, and all I can tell you is to ride it out. All the things we tried did nothing but create stress for me and my husband. When I finally took a zen approach and let myself accept that the situation was only temporary and that the next phase would be different I felt a million times better. Between that and finally figuring out how to comfortably nurse while laying down and dozing off, I was human again.

To all the people who say go to a hotel, HOW? I can't imagine how that would have worked for us. The baby nursed many times a night--I have no idea how my husband could have possibly survived a night alone with her or how she could have gotten through the night without a tremendous amount of panic, stress, anger, sadness, etc. It just wouldn't have worked for us.

I'm not going to say "this too shall pass" because I roll my eyes every time I hear someone else say it. But it will change. Nothing is permanent.

10:30 AM  
Blogger MLB said...

Hotel, definitely, but I also second the recommendation for PT help, be it a student or whatever. You need that how ever often you can swing it. You really do. It will make a world of difference. Good luck.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A mom's helper for a couple hours in the afternoon. Usually a highschool student will do this for cheap. Get a couple hours of rest, preferably asleep, but even lying quietly is a start.

Keep baby and toddler active during the day. They need to be tired by evening.

Learn to co-sleep safely at night. When responding to baby keep light off, don't get out of bed unless necessary, very little talking (just low murmuring if needed). Be persistent. He needs to learn that nighttime is sleeping time. In general, babies sleep better with their parents because they (eventually) follow mom's cues. This is also sleep training for you. You will need to learn to sleep with him there. Going to a hotel may work for a couple days, but eventually you're going to come home to the same situation.

I have a really active little boy who needs very little sleep. This is the only thing that eventually worked. It was hard. He still needs very little sleep, but we got onto a schedule that works and he was only in our bed full-time for first year and then over the next two he phased out and now we never see him during the night.

Good luck.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Colleen - Mommy Always Wins said...

'Kay, I can't read through all these comments, so ignore what you're already heard - turn.off.the.computer. If what you need to say is actually important, you'll remember it (without stressing about it) in a few days once you've rested. My youngest baby is nearly two, but I went through a bout of sleeplessness a month or two ago because I was overstressing about my freakin' BLOG and wondering if I were social networking enough. BAH.

I completely believe that babies pick up on our emotions - I wouldn't doubt it if he's feeling your stress, which is causing him not to be able to rest as well. Do what you have to do to get some rest, and maybe when you come back, you'll see baby boy (who's BEAUTIFUL, btw) has calmed down, too.

Just a suggestion. :-)

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

catherine jasper is so precious.i don;t think the hotel would work because seriously would you be able to sleep away from him? you need some help my friend and all of the mums saying to get a night nurse are probably right.get yourself some help so you can sleep.and you made me laugh with the comment about giving mr bad a vasectomy yourself at least you still have some semblance of a sense of humour. hugs

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second Hylands teeting tablets. The main ingredient is chamomile, which is a relaxant/sleep aid. You can buy them at the health food store.

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure you if you saw Motherhood Uncensored's recent post about this webcast for sleep questions (http://www.videonewswire.com/event.asp?id=51632) but thought you might be interested.

2:49 PM  
Blogger Jaelithe said...

Oh, goodness. Hang in there. This is half the reason I haven't had a second child yet. My first was such a terrible sleeper that I don't think I slept for more than three hours at a time for the first year after he was born. I tried everything. Nothing worked with him. I just had to wait it out.

I hope you can get someone to help you. If you could get someone to watch the kids during the day, AWAY from your house, so you could nap, or something . . .

2:51 PM  
Blogger Mr Lady said...

We THREW OUT the monitors, turned on NoFX super loud, and had tons of sex.

It totally worked. We didn't sleep, but we sure did feel better. :)

2:53 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Mr Lady - energy for sex? MWAH HA HA HA HA HA! I'd need sleep for that and, um... there's a bit of a chicken/egg problem there.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Cloudy said...

Yesterday I took off "sick" from work, but dropped the baby off at daycare like usual. I got a whole day to MYSELF! and yes, I did feel like a bad mother, but I got shit done. You have to think of yourself, too.

4:12 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

by the way, i shoehorn his arms in the sack, and stuff his legs in too -- it's too small. i might clip under the arms to make it bigger, or take off the wings and attach it to a bigger sleep sack. i think he likes holding/stroking the fleece as a lovey, and being completely immobile. maybe your guy is ready for a lovey now? sorry about the crawling; i guess he'll be extra verbal.......

4:49 PM  
Blogger Ashley said...

I tried the night vacation away ... I worried all night about how she was doing. Plus, in my case, my boobs hurt like a mo-fo when I woke up. I tried sleeping in our guest room ... I still woke up with my super-mom-with-newborn-hearing. Thanks for that, Mother Nature!

There's no denying it. The first 14 months SUCKS. And then you come out of the haze at 14-18 months and completely forget about it. Which explains why so many siblings are 2-3 years apart.


On the bright side, you WILL forget about this misery within the next year! *BIG HUGS*

7:44 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Totally un-P.C. suggestion, but have you tried Benadryl before bedtime? And I mean for the baby....

8:19 PM  
Blogger Mechelle said...

Have you tried having him evaluated by an occupational therapist for a sensory related issue. I had a similar child (#2 and we still added 3 and 4) and if I had known then what I do now about sensory integration disorder our first 2 years together would have been much less stressful. I would highly recommend you have him evaluated and until then get some sleep however you can.

9:30 PM  
Blogger Momo Fali said...

When you said, "Crying it out doesn't work", I thought you were talking about YOUR tears. That's how much I cry because I'm exhausted. I just assumed you were talking about yourself.

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I vote hotel to regroup; Tylenol for baby post warm bath [big fan of Johnson's Baby Lavendar bath] and warm feed then to bed [I've been known to prewarm the crib with a hot water bottle if the room is chilly] and a full physical for Mom. Have you had your thyroid levels checked? I only could sleep 90 minutes a day with my first kid because my thyroid was flaming out, leaving me in full blow PPD. Blessing on you - this too shall pass and soon enough he'll be a stinky teen. Oh yeah and get a baby sitter for naps or a night nurse for a while. Hugs!!

9:55 PM  
Blogger Mom O Matic said...

Leave for a night if you have to. You don't want to get psychotic. Really!

Then call your Dr. and tell him the Ativan isn't cutting it. And frankly you're too loopy from not sleep to come up with the next step. Cause no sleep does not a good problem solver make.

Your baby will not remember that you had to duck out to a hotel and sleep for 48 hours so you could get yourself back into a problem solving state of mind. Promise!

11:13 PM  
Blogger Mom O Matic said...

And I agree with the comments about the chiro!

11:14 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

With all my heartfelt sympathy, I'm wishing that sweet dreams come soon.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I assume you've already tried this and had it fail, but if not, BUY A BABY SWING. Put him in it for the night. Magic baby sleeping device.

1:19 PM  
Blogger sage said...

Sounds like you're on the right track! My kids are 6 & 4 but I remember those newborn nights. My son has sensory issues so everything was 'hard' until we figured out what worked. We bought the dark shades, finally turned off his night time music, kept his day time naps shorter (i could go on here with a 12 page list). Some nights were so bad, I let him sleep in his car seat (little did I know then he had Acid Reflux, so it really helped him to feel less pain and be able to sleep himself). I bought the baby whisperer books and I think she's great--helps you to figure out what your child is asking from you when they are fussing all over the place like that! I'll tell ya they really aren't doin' it for fun (well, maybe sometimes.. lol).

AND you're wondering what will happen if you don't sleep (and eat and take care of yourself) you'll end up with depression, chronic fatigue, adrenal burn-out and possibly fibromyalgia (well, at least that's what happened to me... ). One day you will go to bed and you WON'T get up.. doesn’t matter if the house is burning down.

Hugs from one Mommy to Another!

2:55 PM  
Blogger Waffle said...

Yay for the eight hours sleep. Maybe he heard the internet willing him to sleep? We can do it again!

3:51 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

jaywalker - if you could arrange that, that'd be nice...

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found with my first daughter when I finally thought I was completely losing my mind, as if she knew, she would throw me a bone, and sleep......blissfully sleep..I ache for you...sleep depravation is absolutely the worst...hang in there...wishing you sweet dreams tonight!

6:13 PM  
Blogger pam said...

I read another sleep deprived mom this week and she finally did the modified snuggle thing and worked like a charm.

9:28 PM  
Blogger SM said...

He took my breath away he was so beautiful - if you lived in FL I'd come right over and hang out until you threw me out just to get my hands on him. Have you ever tried the baby swing? Conner was like that - couldn't sleep with her she was so noisy as a baby (we're co-sleepers) so we alternated between having her sleep on Scott or in the swing in the living room while I caught an hour or so in the bedroom and putting her in the swing in the bedroom right next to the bed. That swing just knocked her out (kind of like a baby ativan). She did settle down finally, though she does talk a bit in her sleep now and then.

12:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i remember as if it were yesterday thinking, "if someone offered me 8 hours of sleep, i would kill someone in exchange." at the time, it didn't even seem weird. i wanted sleep that badly.

9:52 AM  
Blogger O'Neal (The Woman In Charge Around Here) said...

I'm not quite sure exactly if there is name for it, but it is the same theory that occurs when your child is deathly ill, complaining, puking, running a fever for days and you finally break down and decide to take them in to see the Dr and the MOMENT you walk through the office door and they enter into the play waiting room - BAM!They are magically all better! And there you are left mumbling something about fevers and the color of vomit.

I don't think it works if you take them the FIRST day that they're sick, usually only after you have catered, nursed, and worried for a few sleepless days and nights. I'm guessing the same thing happened with Jasper sleeping, talking about child related things usually jinxes whatever it is you were talking about, but I'm glad SOMETHING worked and you got a *little* sleep! I'm also praying he has had a little baby epiphany about Mommy's mood and his being still!

3:13 PM  

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