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I guess I’ll sleep when I’m dead

MM readers, Apologies for being completely MIA here. Aside from reposting work from other sites on this blog, I haven’t actually written on here in forever. Don’t blame me. Blame THIS GUY. I know he’s cute but he’s trouble.

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This baby is so sweet, guys. I love him to the ends of the earth. But at seven months old he’s still pretty much a nightmare sleeper. He’s up several times a night and usually has a hard time going back to sleep. If he sleeps with me, in my arm pit, he wants to suckle all night and I end up awake for hours. If he sleeps in the crib he’s up several times a night. His sister is usually up at least twice or three times for a potty or a snuggle, too. Being awake every single hour is taking it’s toll on me. I want desperately to nurse him till he’s a year old. I actually can’t imagine stopping now that we are seven months in. I think it would be very emotional. But every time I hear about how great someone’s baby sleeps who downs a big bottle before bed, I want to throw in the towel. However, I know I’m not quite ready.

Every night I hope the tide will turn and so far, it hasn’t. I have been telling myself for months now “this too shall pass.” But lately I feel like I’ve been waiting forever. I’ve been trying to hide my exhaustion. Trying to act normal. But at this point, I can barely even muster up the energy to fake it. For example, I’m still bra-less and it’s 3:30 and I smell like baby poop, not sure how. I’m sure it’s on me somewhere. There’s snow on the ground, but still. I also haven’t been showering… that much. Every time my husband goes on a work trip I completely fall apart. I called him sobbing yesterday. Like, hysterical, incoherent, ugly cry, sobbing into the phone. He’d been gone about five hours.

Yesterday I was so fed up, so sad, so defeated. I texted my doula (and friend). Ā I told her I’d been crying all morning. The baby was finally asleep after hours of trying to get him down for a nap. But all I could do was sit and cry. I haven’t wanted to say it out loud, how bad his sleep has been, how hard it’s been on me. I’m so past “mombie.” I’m really feeling the strain of sleeping for less than four hours a night for months (which according to the book my doula/friend brought me, is really, extremely bad for your health). I just wanted to reach out to someone and I’m glad I did. So she came over, tried to help me get the baby to sleep (which of course didn’t work because she’s no longer lactating and the only way Tenny wants to sleep is latched the fuck on). But then she took Piper to play with her girls for the afternoon. I nursed the baby and rested with him. Then eased him into his crib and he stayed there for a short while at least.

Sometimes just having human contact, just having someone say you aren’t crazy, you aren’t doing everything wrong and… I’m sorry you’re going through this just helps so much. I’m also so thankful for the mothers of the world who have bared their souls to me and told me about their struggles, too. When the going gets tough, I need honesty more than anything. Honesty saves me. I think mothers really want honesty. Properly-timed honesty, but still. Thanks to everyone who has given me that over these past seven months. Your struggles don’t make you weak. Your ability to share and be honest and maybe help others makes you brave.

I promise to write more soon. XOXO

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15 thoughts on “I guess I’ll sleep when I’m dead”

  1. You are not crazy! It’s so hard. My littlest was the same way and it almost broke all of us. What helped was transitioning 100% of my oldest’s nighttime parenting to my husband. He literally slept in her bed until our youngest was one…or older…I can’t remember. I realized a few months after our son was born that watching my husband sleep (and listening to him SNORE) through all of my struggles with my son was causing half of my frustration. Getting him out of the room was a real game changer, no joke!

    I also nightweaned my constantly suckling older daughter at one, even though it broke my heart and hers. It’s SOOOO hard to deal with the negative feelings induced by sleep deprivation and nursing frustrations. They were overwhelming for me in the middle of the night and nightweaning (once again helped by transitioning nighttime parenting to my husband) saved me.

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    1. Oh. Just re-read the work trip part. Damn. I take back all of my advice! But know that you are not alone and it really does get better, even though it sucks now…

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      1. No that’s good advice! The trips are only about 6-8 days/month. Feels like a lot right now. But thank u! So nice to hear from someone who has been there.

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  2. This sucks I’m sorry! Joey was like this too…he has always woken up multiple times a night, and still does at 16 months. But staying up for long periods phased in and out…they do statt going back to sleep easier!

    Also, if you’re for resources I really liked the No Cry Sleep Solution book. Not that I’ve implemented enough of the advice in it…but she had suggestions for many different situations, and none of them involved crying it out.

    Good luck! You’re not alone!

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  3. “mombie” Ha! I have never heard that term before but it is so true! My first was a champion sleeper. Slept through the night at 8 weeks. I still got up once a night to pump (like I am right now!) so I was still tired. But that tired isn’t anything compared to the tired I am with my second. J is nowhere near the beautiful sleeper his sister was. Sad face. I look at myself in the mirror and all I see is giant bags under my eyes. I just can’t shake that tired, rundown look. Between that and the fact that it seems my body has completely changed shaped since giving birth five months ago, well, I’m definitely not feeling like myself anymore.

    I hope you get a good nights rest soon! Or win the lottery so you can hire a night nurse. šŸ™‚

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  4. My 2nd one aged us 10years in her 2.5 years on the earth. She is still nursing and is the worse co-sleeper baby in the world. So no suggestions here. I am a sleep walking zombie from 9pm-5am from my bed with my daughter to her brothers bed. I miss yoga and red wine. I miss thinking I was super mom. That all went out the window 2.5 years ago when my little cute, sweet (once in a while), firecracker chompers came into the world. Who I love dearly and fiercely even if I sometimes talk shit behind her back. I just want you to know you are not alone:)

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  5. Hi just found your blog and was in tears over your last 2 posts. Both happy and sad tears. I have a 7 month old and we just went through this. This exact same thing! I wasn’t showering, or getting out of my robe for days. A 5 minute nap in her crib was a success. I called my husband crying or worse angry texting all the time. Mama you aren’t alone. And reading this all made me feel not so alone too. So thank you. Thanks for mustering up the energy to tell the truth.

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    1. Oh goodness! My poor husband has gotten some of THE worst texts from me in the middle of the night! He works the midnight shift which basically leaves me on my own almost entirely. But I don’t know how to deal with the desperate resentment that builds after months of no sleep!
      Baby number one was almost too easy, so I never imagined the horror of such sleep deprivation!
      Thank you for sharing! It is so true, knowing you aren’t alone is huge! Thank you.

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  6. Your son is absolutely beautiful! That said, I feel for you. My littlest son didn’t sleep much for his first 9 months and it was torture. My husband and I joked about walking into his room at night after being awakened by him and feeling like our hair was being blown back by the pure volume and furious energy of his cries. I tried so many things and nothing worked and unfortunately the stress of it all made breastfeeding almost impossible. I remember one time after trying to put him back to bed at 2 am losing my mind and going downstairs to the playroom to punch pillows and muffle my screams of frustration.

    He grew out of it a few months later and now at 9 years old, I marvel at how peacefully he sleeps. I have quite a few photos of him asleep, stretched out with his hands behind his head like he’s relaxing in a hammock. I love that about him.

    I really feel for you and wish you the best.

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    1. punching pillows.. yup. that makes me feel less bad about my frustrations when nothing works!! hopefully we’re on the right track now. glad yours is a good sleeper now!!

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  7. Oh bless you. I have a seven month old and I feel your pain. He is not actually as bad as my first son, who sounds like he and your son were on the same page. I Just remember looking at books thinking that I was just too tired to read them and think the problem through. It was easier to just try to survive any way possible. I weaned him at 16 months but he still got up at night and it was awful getting him back to sleep. Finally at about 20 months we had to do something with another on the way. We used the book “sleeping through the night”(feel free to curse me for recommending another darn book:) ) and it was hard but the book was exactly right and he is a completely different child now that he gets 12 hrs of sleep every night. I’ve been using the book again for my seven month old and he is getting better! Was getting up every 3 hrs but now he’s doing six!!! Hoping you find something that works for you and you can cone back to the land of the sleeping. I have hope I will be there soon lol

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  8. so much made me laugh here…this 2nd one has really thrown me for a loop. the first one, really quite a dream. Easiest ever. But man this second one? 3 hours in a row of sleep at night is glorious. Has def brought out the worst in me…like one time I was screaming at the baby to “GO TO SLEEP!” which doesn’t work btw…and my husband came in all like, “you’re screaming at the baby?!?!” Well wouldn’t you know he did the same way a couple weeks later after he got to get up with him.

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