So you know how when you’re living though something you are aware that it’s hard but you just keep on keeping on? And then later you realized just how effing HARD it was?
A little over a week ago, I totally hit a wall with one baby Olive and just… couldn’t. I just could not keep doing the nursing all night (more than 10 times in 12 hours, you guys!), just could not handle the crying and clinging all day after a night of no sleep, just could not handle the rest of my LIFE after so many months of jacked sleep.
So- and this is where I’m proud of myself- instead of totally losing my mind (I mean, I only partially lost it) and continuing to spiral, I drew a line in the sand and made a PLAN and STUCK TO IT.
The arrangement of our bedrooms and the fact that my other three kids need to sleep and therefore Miss Shrieks A Lot needed to be muzzled made coming up with the plan a little challenging, especially for someone so severely lacking in sleep. My brains. Were fuzzy. But we did it! Our nighttime plan include David taking Ollie to our attic guest room when she wakes at night and sleeping with her there, away from me. Removing ME was key, you see, as if *I’m* not in the room then she doesn’t insist on nursing.
So she starts in her own bed and then if she wakes and we cannot reasonably get her settled back into her own bed without waking the rest of the children, David takes her and sleeps upstairs. Up-upstairs, at the tippy top of our house. At first, she would still wake up frequently, but only needed to have her paci reinserted to go back to sleep (because I’m not there! so she can’t nurse!). Slowly she started waking up less (and waking up later for that first wake-up). Last night, she woke at midnight, settled back in her bed until 4am when David took her to the attic until 6am.
THIS IS MAJOR MAJOR PROGRESS.
I don’t even know why I have to spell out all the minute details here. Who cares, right? But I think later *I* might be curious as to how we finally broke this horrid cycle. Isn’t it weird how those details that we know so intimately while we are living them seem to vanish from memory? Last night at work someone asked me a question about early infancy and… I drew a blank. Those early-baby days- or at least the specific details of them- are just… GONE.
So you might think that now that I’m getting more sleep than I have in… well, including that horrid pregnancy sleep, almost TWO YEARS, that I must be ON TOP OF THE EM EFFING WORLD, right? ….Well, I am, sort of. But the truth is, until the last couple of days, all that extra sleep made me feel MORE TIRED… as if my body just wanted more more more MORE of it, after going so long without. But I AM starting to feel more rested, more sane, more like myself, and I suspect it’ll continue to do so. A few times I’ve slept so hard that when I woke up I had no idea where I was. The deep sleep is so delicious.
(And thank goodness for kind, supportive, good-natured David. I’m so thankful that he’s willing to give up sleep AND sleeping in his own bed so that we fix this problem. He’s just so NICE about it.)
And back to my original point- now that I’m not directly IN the eye of that storm any longer? I see just how awful it was. I knew it was awful then- I DID- but there’s a survival element that kicks in and makes the severity of it hard to comprehend. Now that the storm has passed though? I can see that WHOA. That was AWFUL.
I think all of this means that I’m giving up my role of one of the Top Five Most Sleep Deprived Women on Twitter… and man, it feels great to move on! And now that I am getting my game back, I hope to get a lot of things (like writing here, taking more photos, etc) back too.
After I return from NOLA, of course.
(I’M LEAVING IN TWO DAYS OMG HOLD MEEEEEE.) (I’M SERIOUSLY SO EXCITED.)