Sleep deprivation

Maybe He’s Teething? When Science and Sleep Deprivation Collide

Not to brag, but my husband and I seem to have an uncanny ability to make babies who don’t sleep. We don’t want to make anyone jealous, but our babies are professional not sleepers. We have high hopes that one day, in the throes of a fitful night of no sleep, they will find the cure for cancer, or maybe solve that whole world hunger problem. But for now, they just keep us awake while we rock, shush, sway and wonder WHAT THE F*CK IS GOING ON WITH OUR KIDS SO THAT THEY DON’T SLEEP?! YOU ARE SO TIRED! WHY WON’T YOU GO THE F*CK TO SLEEP?!

Okay, that came out a little on the intense side, but I’m feeling a little intense about how much sleep I’m not getting. I am also feeling a little intense about needing to find a solution pronto so that I stop aging faster than Mother Gothel from Tangled after Eugene gives Rapunzel her snazzy new ‘do.

mother gothel

#SelfieSaturday!

I am not alone in my quest for golden slumber, as my exhausted husband is equally as desperate for some shut eye before he heads back to work next week. And just like when Baby 1.0 was a newborn, even knowing all she needed was time (19 months to be exact), we find ourselves frantically pacing around our living room, a fussy baby in one hand, and a freshly rejected pacifier in the other, wondering what we are doing wrong.

Because we are scientists (okay, I’m not a real scientist, but I once got a 104% on a biology test), we try to talk it out. We try to think through it. We try to be reasonable and rational, and above all else, scientific, because science doesn’t lie like assholes on the internet. And just like any good scientist, we start by asking questions. So many questions. Too many questions. Questions tumble out of our mouths like termites from a broken nest, wriggling around and making everyone edgy. Just this morning, my husband and I found ourselves in an all too familiar question spiral that pretty much went word for word like this:

WHY WON’T HE SLEEP AT NIGHT? Maybe he’s teething? Maybe he’s in a growth spurt? Maybe he’s too cold? Maybe he’s too hot? Maybe we should swaddle him? Maybe we should swaddle him with one arm out? Maybe we shouldn’t swaddle him? Maybe we should change his diaper more often? Maybe we shouldn’t change his diaper so much? Maybe we should hold him more during the day? Maybe we should be putting him down to nap by himself during the day? Maybe I’m feeding him too much? Maybe he’s hungry? Maybe we need to up our white noise game? Maybe it’s too noisy? Maybe I’m trying to put him down too soon in his sleep cycle? Maybe he needs to learn to fall asleep when he’s drowsy but awake? Maybe he has gas? Maybe this is normal? Maybe this isn’t normal? Maybe we should rearrange our room because maybe he will sleep better in that corner? Maybe we should Google it?

And I’m not even kidding, folks. This is *actually* how our conversation went. Sleep deprivation has turned us into crazy people.

Now a good scientist would pick one question, run an experiment to test the variable, and draw a conclusion that addressed their hypothesis. A good scientist would read the research, and trust that our baby, just like every other baby out there, will eventually learn to sleep. A good scientist would be patient, knowing results take time.

scientist

My scientific credibilities are about on par with what Bill Murray brings to the table.

But a good scientist, I am not.

I am a very tired, very irrational, very moody, very tired regular person who is very tired, and very desperate to find any kind of help that will give me even the tiniest chunk of sleep. So if you’ll excuse me, I am off to rearrange my room, order the latest swaddle sack off Amazon, feed the baby for 15-20 minutes on each side, burp him, rock him, assess his temperature, possibly change a diaper, turn on an appropriate amount of white noise, and attempt to put him down approximately 5 minutes after he enters deep sleep, which should be evident by slow breathing and floppy limbs…unless of course I decide to go the whole “drowsy but awake” route.

Yeah. Wish me luck.

Image credits: Mother Gothel, Bill Murray, cover image

Advertisements

Days Like This

Oh sweet baby Jesus. I forgot how hard this is.

Anyone who has had a baby will be quick to tell you how hard it is in the beginning, but much like the pains of labor fade (and they do, trust me, you DO NOT remember how shitty that part is), you don’t actually remember how hard it is until you’re in the thick of it.

But I’m here now, and I’m going to tell you, it is hard.

Your body hurts in ways you didn’t even know it could. Your brain is absolute mush. You are more tired than you’ve ever been. And on top of it, you are basically trying to solve a human Rubik’s cube with a very loud alarm that tells you over and over you are doing it wrong.

Even if you’ve already done this before, it’s all new again. Everything is different. Things that worked for your other babies doesn’t work. Or you’ve just forgotten (damn you Moby for making me relearn how to do fabric origami with a 15 foot piece of cloth on no sleep!). Or maybe some things are even easier. But regardless, everything is different.

Well everything except one thing: This is hard.

But here’s the thing. Some days the hard will be too much, or at least it will feel like too much. Some days the tears will outnumber the smiles. Some days all you will do is sit in dirty pajamas and nurse, shush and rock your way from sunrise to sunset, while your messy house, greasy hair, and smelly breath taunt you.

Other days, though, you will get up and get out and feel alive again.

Now there’s no balance to these days, and it may feel like the scales are heavily tipped in the wrong direction. But eventually it will even out, and even further down the line, the scales will tip the other way.

So from one mama in the trenches to any one else out there, sitting in dirty pajamas dreaming of a shower, a cinnamon roll, and about 97 hours of consecutive sleep, I am here to remind you that we will get through this part, too.

And in the mean time, I will be available for Twitter chat or Facebook messenger tonight, and every night for the foreseeable future from the hours of 10:30pm to 1am, when I hand our newest Rubik’s cube over to his daddy with strict instructions to not wake me unless the house is on fire.

IMG_1038

 

 

 

 

The Musings of a Madwoman at 3am

3am: Pssst. Psssst. PSSSSSST!

Me: Yeah? What? Why did you wake me up?

3am: Because I’m lonely. Turns out 1 isn’t the loneliest number.

Me: Boo hoo. I’m going back to bed.

3am: That’s hilarious. No you’re not.

Me: Yes I am. I’m the captain of this ship. I do yoga. I will yoga myself back to sleep.

3am: Well that’s just stupid. You’re terrible at yoga. And you’d be a terrible captain. Your crew would mutiny. You’d walk the plank. You can’t swim. You’d probably get eaten by a sea turtle.

Me: A sea turtle. Right. Goodnight.

3am: Your financial future is unstable.

Me: Well that’s just rude.

3am: And you have a bag of rotting mushroom liquefying in your vegetable drawer.

Me: Yes. Yes I do.

3am: Don’t you want to take care of that before the baby gets here?

Me: The mushrooms? Yes. It is a little embarrassing.

3am: No. Your future. You should figure out a way to solve all of your financial shortcomings before the baby gets here.

Me: But that’s in like, 10 days?

3am: Exactly. So let’s think. And just to be clear, by think I mean worry. Let’s just lay here and worry until my shift is over.

Me: I hate you with the fiery passion of a thousand suns.

3am: You should channel that fire into worry. There are so many things we can worry about! Like the rusty undercarriage of your car! And bills! And Donald Trump! And breastfeeding! And how fat your armpits are!

Me: My armpits are rather sizable. And The Donald is pretty concerning…

3am: Flint. Syria. Declining manatee populations. The number of fruit flies in your kitchen. Your inability to remember passwords. Your mother’s Christmas present that’s still sitting on the desk waiting to be mailed. Also your cat is so fat she looks like a baby panda who is about 12 hours away from a juvenile diabetes diagnosis.

Me: SHE’S ON A DIET.

3am: When was the last time you did the Macarena?

Me: The what?

3am: You know, that crazy song from the nineties… HEEEEY Macarena! Aaay!

Me: The Macarena. Of course.

3am: I just ask because whenever I’m feeling down I sing it and it perks me right up. HEEEEY Macarena! Aaay!

Me: I’m not down. I’m tired. And I hate that song.

3am: HEEEEY Macarena! Aaay!

Me: Aren’t there other lyrics?

3am: HEEEEY Macarena! Aaah! HEEEEY Macarena! Aaah! HEEEEY Macarena! Aaay!

Me: Oh look at the time, it’s almost 4! So much for worrying the night away.

3am: I was just playing. Everything will probably work out fine. Maybe. HEEEEY Macarena! Aaay!

Me: Jesus. Stop that.

3am: Macarena Macarena Macarena…

Me: Go away.

3am: One last thing.

Me: If you say Macarena…

3am: Having a baby is going to suck. I mean have you thought about the logistics of this? The baby is so big! You are so small. Hahahaha, oh man, this is great. There’s no way this is going to work. Do you remember how miserable you were last time? 41 hours of labor. The time we spent together then sure was entertaining, you know, for me. You looked like you were drowning on dry land. Or like you were having an allergic reaction to shellfish, while simultaneously being possessed by the spirit of an angry breakdancer. I can’t wait to do it all again. And so soon! Oooh, I gotta jet. 4 is here. HEEEEY Macarena! Aaay!

Me: Wow.

4am: Oooh I love the Macarena! Also it smells like rotting mushrooms in here.

 

 

 

 

Coughing Up Your New Favorite Swear Word

Ah 3am, my fickle little friend, I wish I could say it’s good to see you.

I’ve been spending a lot of time with 3am recently, and while there is a certain beauty to the world at an hour where the only sounds are those of drunken college kids parading down the street singing the Canadian national anthem, it’s really a time I’d prefer to know on a less intimate basis. Lately, 3am has been even worse, as my friendly neighbors to the North are being drowned out by an even more unfavorable sound: Coughing. (more…)

Do You Wanna Take An Ambien?

Funny things happen to a brain around 3am, especially when your kid has been on a Frozen kick, and you’ve been listening to the songs on repeat for 2 straight months. Any adult who has lived through an Arandelle addiction can attest to how the songs go from pretty to psychosis-inducing at an alarmingly rapid rate. Since convincing our kids to listen to anything else is the definition of impossible, as the song Do You Wanna Build A Snowman asks, what are we going to do? Write a parody, naturally. (more…)

The Best Sleep Advice Nobody Will Give You

This week I came across the nine dumbest words to ever be strung together in the history of written language. Shockingly the source wasn’t the latest bout of verbal diarrhea from Donald Trump’s Twitter feed, nor was it anything to do with bacon causing cancer. Instead the offending ennead (crossword puzzles, for the win!) came from an article about babies and sleep making the social media rounds. Upon reading the offending nine words, my first reaction was to laugh, which I did heartily. But then the reality set in: Those nine words are toxic, and as funny as they are to me now, had I read them in the midst of my own sleep issues with Baby 1.0, they would have sent me into a tailspin of dread and despair. And what nine words could possibly have that kind of power?

“Every baby is capable of sleeping through the night.” 

(more…)