Wednesday, January 06, 2010

sleep deprivation

i know i've been whining for ages about being tired, but i'm going to whine one last time. my goal for this week is to get elizabeth sleeping through the night (i was given the confidence to do it by anymommy's recent post). i don't know why i've had such a hard time with elizabeth. with the other three, i did the ferber system without a problem.

well, that's not exactly true. when we started it with ella, i'd have to sit in the far corner of the back yard where i couldn't hear her scream. but once it worked with her, i became a convert and had no problem ferberizing lily and campbell at about 9 months.

elizabeth has been a different story, however. i think it's partly because she was premature, so i feel like i have to baby her a bit more to make up for her rough start. and i think it's partly because she is still so teeny - not even 20 pounds at 15 months. i worry that she can't possibly store up enough food to sleep for 8 or 10 hours straight.

or maybe that's all nonsense, and i'm just a sucker.

for the past few months, i've been waking elizabeth up at 10 and feeding her in the hopes that she would last through until morning. but she usually only slept until 4 when she'd want to eat, and then she'd usually want to eat again at 6 and then wake up for the morning at 7. on the advice of a friend, i cut out the 10 feeding, just to see what would happen. turns out she slept from 6:30 until 4ish without a problem, so she is capable of going for long stretches.

this past week, however, she switched to waking up at 2 and wanting to play. so now i'm getting hard core with her. when she wakes up, i go in and pat her tummy and make sure she has her woobie, and then i leave. the first night, she cried on and off for almost 2 hours. the next night she cried for an hour, and last night for 10 minutes. i'm keeping my fingers crossed that the end is in sight.

the sleep deprivation is really taking its toll on me mentally, physically and emotionally. i'm not handling stress well, and my temper is shorter than it should be.

plus, my short-term memory is shot. new year's eve day we invited some neighbors over for a tamale party. i went to the store and bought all the fixings that go with tamales - avocados, tomatoes, rice, chips, beans, etc. it wasn't until i had paid for the groceries that i realized i'd forgotten one key item - the tamales. i took everything out to the car and went back into the store, sighing the whole way.

later that day, i was standing in the front yard talking to the mother of one of ella's friends and to a good friend who had just taken lily on an adventure. as we finished talking, i called out for lily, telling her that she needed to say good-bye and thank you to our friend. when i didn't see her running around the yard with the other kids, i asked the kids if they knew where she was. everyone gave me a strange look, and our friend said, "lily, where are you?" lily started giggling, and i gasped. i'd been holding her the whole time. i was so out of things that i hadn't even noticed the 50 pound child in my arms.

i was mortified. but it also strengthened my resolve to get elizabeth sleeping better.

keep your fingers crossed that it works.


anymommy said...

Fingers crossed. You have so much experience with this and such good instincts, I know it will be fine.

joanna said...

Fingers crossed here, too. Vacation really set James back. Greg made me promise to just let him cry and work himself back to sleep b/c it seems that he just wants the company. It's been tough, but his cries have gotten shorter (and they're at 10:30/11 p.m. so that's much easier than 2!) It is very recent that he has been able to go to bed awake and w/o crying more often than not. Then we messed him up by taking him on vacation!

calicobebop said...

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you! I know how fatigue can really screw a person up. I literally had auditory hallucinations - I kept hearing all sorts of crazy things. Once Muffin was consistently sleeping through the night they went away. Hopefully your short term memory will make its way back too!

Cookie said...

Had to laugh at you not noticing the 50 pounds in your arms!
Hope you get some sleep soon!

Unknown said...

oy, sleep deprivation sucks. Sounds like you need a vacation. and can I come??

Suna Kendall said...

My last baby was not a sleeper. I did many things just like you described. Actually, he still doesn't sleep well except when he shouldn't be.

Baino said...

Mine were good sleepers, certainly at 15 months but had their moments, especially after being unwell and getting into the habit of a 'comfort' feed at 3am. I did the 'controlled' crying thing. Broke my heart and interrupted my sleep but it did work. Three nights solid of going in, patting, soothing words (never picking up or feeding). My mother used to say "no baby died from crying". If I did things over again, I'd build a soundproof room!

Agent P or MamaJan said...

DuckyBoy still comes into our bed sometimes. He's 7. Oops, guess that's not what you want to hear. I can feel a real difference in how much better I sleep when he doesn't come in; but when he was a baby I refused to believe my husband's exhortations that I was a nut and please couldn't we ferberize. It's part of the reason we only have one kid... but you're a stronger woman than me, you've done it 3x already. Plus you knit and junk. You can do this.

Anonymous said...

Sleep. Oh, precious sleep. I hope hope hope it comes your way soon. It sounds like E is well on the path -- may it continue so!!

Anonymous said...

Sleep. Oh, precious sleep. I hope hope hope it comes your way soon. It sounds like E is well on the path -- may it continue so!!