Great Sleep? Try again...

Posted by Lindsey Costard on Thursday, February 14, 2013.
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First of all, against my best efforts to NOT turn this into a mom blog, it seems as though we're going in that direction... although I will continue to throw dashes of non-baby related material, it's kind of LITERALLY my whole entire life right now.

Sleep.

Ahh sweet sleep.

#1 thing I was not prepared for to the full degree I needed to be. Lack of sleep.

I compare my cute little sweetie pie baby to an angry terrorist who has taken me hostage and tortures me with lack of sleep until I break. Anyone who has a new baby can relate. Kudos to all the working parents out there too because...YOU DON'T SLEEP. Yeah, yeah, everyone says that but how little do you actually sleep?

Pre-baby we've all had those long, essay writing/exam studying/partying for a few days nights. But after about, let's say, 3 days you usually get to sleep a BIG ol' sleep. Not with the baby! Those sleepless nights (where you are waking up EVERY 1-3 hours to feed and change the crying baby) drag on for monnnnnths.

You literally feel like you are being tortured. Ro and I made a mutual decision that all things said during the middle of the night must be forgotten in the morning as they are all screamed said out of pure exhaustion and, frankly, delusion. 

Then, just when you think things are looking up (as we did - started sleeping stretches of 5 or 6 hours!) everything goes back to the beginning for no apparent reason. It took us 2 hours to put Stella to sleep last night! We did the whole bath/massage/book/snack routine and by 9:42pm she was happily fluttering her eyelids as I rocked and shushed her to Slubersville.

But the second I put her down she opened her big, dumb, beautiful eyes... which was funny because I could see her opening her eyes as big as they would go, moving her head around in the dark like a little bird. Then the crying started. So I picked her up and walked around with her some more... still loving and patient! But again, the minute I put her down (and she was totally sleeping) her eyelids flash open.

Fast forward two hours.  Not so loving any patient anymore. Angry and frustrated. We have been taking turns trying to settle her down and finally succeed. It's almost a fight of us against her and it's 50/50 on who will win.

Now, I'm reading this book called The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep which I think is confusing me. There are so many rules about how to train your baby to sleep. The single concept I find the most frustrating is that if your baby is very fussy and hard to put to sleep it could be because: a) bedtime is too early; b) bedtime is too late; c)something is bothering her; d)something else that you need to figure out.

Uh... last I checked I was a mother and not a baby psychic. How am I supposed to know what her 'natural' bedtime is??? And clearly something is bothering her... why the hell do you think I bought this book?? I need answers!

But I suppose that's one of the biggest parenting secrets... there are no answers. It took us two hours to put Stella to sleep last night and then she woke up about 3 hours later and wouldn't fall back asleep until I finally brought her into bed with me and let her suckle all night on my (now horribly sore) nipples. True story. Who knows what bug crawled into bed with her last night... My only hope is that it stays the hell out tonight!


I'll Rest When I'm Dead

Posted by Lindsey Costard on Friday, February 8, 2013. Filed under: ,
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I'm impressed with my newly acquired ability to super multi-task like a mutant. Right. I was always pretty good at this skill, but now I am like a crazy person, combating 2, 3, 4, 5 tasks at the very same time.

Yesterday, while trying to put Stella to bed (it only took 4 hours, I might add), I think I hit my pivotal moment, when my mom came down asking if I wanted some help, and found me shushing and bouncing a swaddled Stella, with a soother in my mouth AND pulling her swaddle blanket tight with my teeth like a wild animal (also I was desperately trying to watch a little Glee!) It was a sight. I had a moment of clarity that I was crazy and should just relax a little. But then Stella screamed louder than a vacuum in my ear and I realized THAT was the crazy thought.

That's the thing with the babies... you start to realize that as soon as you have a window of opportunity (ie. Stella sleeps for a minute) you need to get as many tasks done as humanly possible, because god forbid she has a bad day and she is scared awake after a minute by her own flapping hand hitting her in the face. A good day is when my tight straight jacket swaddle keeps her hands tight down for at least 45 minutes.

**Side Note: How do babies sleep the way they do?? They are a mess of flailing limbs, especially during their REM phases of sleep. Right now, Stella is sleeping beside me, but she is kicking me and hitting me (and herself) and writhing around and grunting... I am trying to write as fast as possible because I know, any minute now, she's going to punch herself awake. **

So, now I've become this super task-oriented person, running around the second Stella sleeps to do any number of tasks that are impossible to do while she's awake. Laundry, folding laundry, putting dishes away, eating lunch, taking a shower, brushing my teeth, HAVING A DRINK OF WATER... God forbid I leave her side for a nanosecond to re-hydrate my body! She pulls out the big guns when I do, her nuclear weapon of sound.

Yesterday, something happened and Stella slept for two and a half hours. In fact, I kept going down to check on her for breathing because this was just not normal. Reassured by her breathing and seeing that she was still tied up swaddled, I decided NOT to do anything and to actually sit down and watch a lot of episodes of Girls (ps awesome awesome show).

I watched 7 episodes. Gasp. (PS. Please ignore how horribly lazy that sounds)

Laziness aside, it was glorious to just sit down and rest for a minute. I knew somewhere in the future I would have to pay for it but wasn't too interested at that moment. It was sweet to just eat a huge bag of chips without worrying about dropping crumbs all over Stella (probably waking her up from the crumb shower).

She slept so long, in fact, that Ro came home and WE woke HER up. Karma's a bitch, isn't it, Baby!

But, why would I even think that? Obviously, I am karma's bitch. And I was appropriately served when hours later, at bed time, I was frantically shushing, bouncing (trying to honestly control myself not to squeeze her out of frustration), pulling that swaddle tight with my teeth for the fourth straight hour. Message received. I will never rest again.