Sleep is a VERY touchy subject among new mothers. It is almost up there with religion and politics as being a topic you should stay clear of…. especially when conversating with someone you remotely like ( if it is one of those “Bitchy Mom’s”, then put them in their place by all means). Now, if you are one of those freakishly lucky biotches I keep mentioning, who ARE actually getting sleep and feel the need to sadistically brag to the zombie mommies about your restful nights, that is on you. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. You may have just sabotaged your only in with the cool crowd.
Clearly, I am not one those lucky ones. Well, from years one through three, I was. Trust me, I heard my fair share of “I hate you” and “you are so lucky” when discussing how my child slept 12 hours at night and 3-4 hours during the day. I chose this topic today because I am now, back in a sleep deprived state. Not only because I have an almost 9 month-old who still wakes at night, but my 3 1/2-year-old wakes up now too. I discussed my daughter’s new-found nightly routine in my family blog post titled, “S#!t’s and Giggles”, a couple of months ago. I suspect that potty-training, and her nap that she so desperately wants to drop, but exhausted mommy who needs the time to herself, and so she can write her blog, makes her still take, are the culprits. With the twice a night bathroom breaks, it makes me wish she would not only wear a damn pull-up, but pee in the damn thing too. Though I was “lucky” with her for two years, I paid my price for it in the beginning. She was, and is, a die-hard paci “gurl”, her pronunciation of “girl”, since the beginning. At the peak of my exhaustion, I was getting up 15 times a night to shove that pacifier back in her mouth. I tried, well my husband tried, to let her cry it out without a pacifier, while I would sit outside with those ear-muff thingys. You know the ones like this
My husband would come outside and give the thumbs up when she stopped crying…it was WAY to painful for me to hear. Now, with “the boy”, not so much. The problem is, I can’t really let him cry or he wakes up his already, wakeful sister. I am a big believer, supporter, cool-aid drinker of Dr. Marc Weissbluth’s “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” book philosophies. If you can stomach the cry-it-out, go for it. It will not leave painful memories for your child, only you. Eventually, for my daughter, she learned to roll-over and get a paci (by now I started leaving 10 in her crib) and put it back in her mouth and fall back asleep. It only took her 10 months, but alas, she was sleeping through the night. I guess that’s why I haven’t taken drastic measures with my son…yet. I keep giving myself, and him, until 10 months. Although, sadly, he does already roll-over, crawl, sit-up, tries to stand, and bites on the railing in his crib, so the paci is not the problem for him. He still requires food. His digestional issues, might make sleeping through the night an unreachable goal…for now. I have some follow-up doctors appointments in the real near future to discuss his nutritional needs. His doctor, as of now, stands firm with that I should still be feeding him in the night.
No matter the reasons, you will, like me, not be getting the sleep you want, or need. Another reason for my bitterness and constant scowl that my husband loves to point out everyday. Eager advice givers early on in your pregnancy will warn you about the exhaustion you will feel from sleep deprivation. They will tell you things like, “enjoy your sleep now”, and you will be secretly, while nodding your head, be wishing them harm for their overplayed unwarranted advice. I don’t know who you think are if those first months are not BRUTAL for you. Unless you have a live-in nanny, or your infant is wearing one of those self-feeding frat-boy hard-hat filled with your unlimited supply of breast milk or overpriced formula, you will be getting up, A LOT in the early days. If not to feed, then to pump those engorged breasts. I, nor anyone, can truly prepare you for the exhaustion you will feel. Just know, it does get better, and just when you think you are one of those freakishly lucky biotches, it gets worse again. In a room filled with 50 parents, when asked to “stand up if you are getting 8 hours of sleep a night”, less than half were standing. That is what no one tells you. It is not just when your baby is in size 2 diapers that you will be sleep deprived. It is until your children move away to college. I bet you “Safety Patrol Mom’s” won’t even find comfort in that, and will just be doomed for a sleepless life forever. Rest up!