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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I'm Like the Bride of Frankenstein

Yesterday afternoon, the fun began...

First I felt little hands patting my back, as if to say "I want to play pat-a-cake."  Then two toddler fists grabbed fist fulls of hair and yanked.  Hard.  A diapered tushie clamored onto my neck.  A book was shoved into my face.  A certain someone shoved her most annoying sound toy in my face before literally and figuratively pushing assorted buttons.

And still I lay there, under a blanket with my eyes shut.

Trying to sleep.

You see, y'all, I am almost at the end of my rope.  Squirt doesn't sleep.  She hardly sleeps at night, and she is starting to give up her nap in the middle of the day.  To be honest, nap time is what kept me sane these past six months.  We tried everything during the early months with Squirt, and by October we'd figured out a routine which finally (mostly) worked for all of us.  Squirt started sleeping fairly well just before Halloween.

But then we traveled the week of Thanksgiving.

We expected some set-backs as a result of that trip, but we didn't anticipate that Squirt would end up hospitalized less than two weeks after we returned from Spokane.  The sleep issues returned with a vengeance then, and oh, y'all, I am just so... darn... tired.

I haven't blogged much since we arrived home with Squirt because I spend pretty much every free moment trying to nap, ingest copious amounts of caffeine or simply staring into space with a glazed "I'm absolutely exhausted" look on my face.  Two days ago Squirt napped for exactly one hour and seven minutes.  Yes, y'all, I timed her.  That night she finally fell asleep at 9:45, then woke up at midnight, and again at 3:11 AM.  She slept in until eight, but that doesn't help me much since the Tongginator rises at six, and pokes me promptly at seven every blessed morning.  Yesterday afternoon Squirt stretched her nap to a whopping one hour and sixteen minutes.  I barely had time to put my feet up and settle in for a "darn it, I would have gotten a 20 minute cat nap if she's just slept for thirty more minutes" moment.

I don't talk about it much - and definitely not in real life - because everyone (and I do mean everyone) has sleep advice.  I don't care what your suggestion is, believe me, we've tried it.  Squirt just naturally doesn't need a ton of sleep.  Plus she's emotionally and physically fragile, so her nighttime requirements are many.  And I am a momma who needs sleep.  Seriously, y'all, I know everyone needs sleep, but do you know someone who is simply impossible to be around when they are short a few zzz's?  That's me.  My sister can function fairly well for at least four days with little to no sleep, whereas I?

I turn into the Bride of Frankenstein in less than two days.

Only my hair is probably more scary.

I didn't write about our Christmas all that much because I felt too embarrassed to share that I broke down on Christmas Day.  My husband and I ceded to extended family expectations, overdid it, and I completely melted down just before dinner.  I sat there in my sister's kitchen, wiping away tears, and I didn't even know where those tears were coming from.  I didn't feel sad.  I didn't feel angry.  I just couldn't stop the tears from falling.  I felt the same way yesterday afternoon, as I lay on the floor of our most childproofed room, trying to doze while Squirt clamored all over me.  Because the husband's been out of town this week, and I am flying solo.  With no sleep.

I hate to complain because Squirt truly is such an easy child, especially considering we've only been together six months.  She doesn't spit; she doesn't glare; she doesn't hit or kick or pinch or bite; she doesn't do the retaliatory pee thing; she doesn't scream for hours on end.

But she also doesn't sleep.

And I am oh, so tired.


Andrea said...

I know your tiredness. That was our first year home with L2. Any chance she could play in her crib or a playpen with toys while you get some shut eye? I put in ear plugs and did that a few times for my sanity. Praying you can find a sliver of rest soon TM!

Anonymous said...

I know you said that your husband is out of town, and that you don't want advice... grin.

With the baby we are fostering, hubby and I have started taking turns being the one to get up in the night. We alternate nights. That way we can know that at least every other night we will get sleep. I get so excited when it is my sleep night!

I feel so much for you. I also am a person who needs sleep or I just lose it. However you can, insist on getting it, as I believe it is one of the best buffers between parents with newbies and depression. Hugs!

3cmum said...

Okay no advice about squirt on sleeping (been there, doesn't work also) but for you instead.

The next weekend when hubs is home. GO TO BED AT 6pm. That way you get 9 hours before she wakes at 3am. Seriously if the big girl and little one will go to sleep with a sitter or a family member there, get them to come in for two nights in succession while you catch up on the shut eye. Seriously 2 days with a good sleep and you can go for a week.

I've a 5 year age gap between my girls, a similar squirt on the sleeping front and it was the only way I coped. I paid for a sitter for me to sleep. Sad but true.

Graintad said...

Oh, you have my sympathies!
Our boy has always been a good sleeper, so I won't pretend to know how you feel, but I feel for you!
Hopefully your husband will come home soon and you have some help...

Sherri said...

I feel your pain.

Two of my six children were opposed to sleeping. My second child and my fifth child. Yes, I did go on to have more kids...

Falling apart in your sister's kitchen is okay. That's what sisters are for. If I were going to fall apart somewhere, my sister's kitchen would be at the top of my list of places to be.

It's always harder when you're flying solo. I remember those days, too...

So yeah, no advice here. I do like the advice someone gave you to go to bed early when the hubs is home and get a good long stretch of sleep. :) Hang in there.

Amy said...

Our son did that with us the month of November (he'd been home a little over 6 months at that point). He just flat-out refused to sleep. We would go through all the motions of our nighttime routine (we put the kiddos down @ 7:30-8) & he would respond as normal. BUT he woke up consistently for a month at 3 am, completely ready to be up for the day. And around the same time, he also decided naps were stupid, and we were lucky to get 45 minutes out of him. We also tried everything we could think of, even calling the pediatrician at one point (who had NO advice other than "be consistent"). Consistency was/is our world. We do the same thing at the same time every. single. day.

By Thanksgiving day, both my dh & I had meltdowns. (It's really bad when you both lose it at the same time) We were so sleep-deprived we were talking about divorce. It was ridiculous. It ruined our family's Thanksgiving (dh refused to go to my family's house... I was in tears all night & the next day). It was very likely the worst time of our relationship (we've been together 12 years).

A few days after Thanksgiving, our son got a cold. Now, I'm not condoning drugs, but in order to help him feel a little better, we did give him some homeopathic meds. It was glorious. He slept. He slept the entire night- from 7:30 - 7!!! We only gave him the meds for 2 nights. But something flipped around in his head & he's been sleeping pretty consistently since. Sleep deprivation will do some very weird, usually bad things to your thinking. Geez- we were talking about divorce! Ridiculous! That's why they use it in torturing people!!

Good luck with Squirt. I really feel your pain. (So sorry I wrote so much! I'm just so familiar with this since it just happened to us)

Christina said...

Oh man, I know how a woman needs her sleep - especially to deal with children! And I'm only a teacher :P

I hope things become more consistent in a way that allows you some quality rest. If I lived close (I'm in OH), I'd offer to watch the kids while you sleep.

Thinking of you guys!

Aus said...

Morning TM - know your pain - two of our three adopted have sleep issues - one still does, freqently unable to sleep at all without touching at least one of us!

Advice about sleep - none - except to say that it WILL eventually settle down...

Advice for you? You are already doing one - the secured and child proof room with you at least cat napping while she plays. How do you feel about videos? I'm thinking like The Wizard of Oz or something like that while you try to nap?

The other thought - and one that Marie and I still use because one still doesn't sleep well - sleep in shifts. I've even changed my hours so I'm home in time for Marie to take and afternoon nap - no shame or issues about it! On the weekends (friday and saturday nights) I take 'night shift' while she sleeps for two nights in a row, she carries the weekday nights so I can work. I know your hubs has occasional travel and might not be able to be that accomidating - but I bet he'd do weekends for you!

One final thought - when Squirt naps - you do - right away and "everything else you are doing before you lay down because it will just take a second and really needs to be done anyways" doesn't get done. the world won't end and you'll be awake later to do it then! ;) Mindset change is hard - but might be required - cuase when mom ain't happy the world sucks!! If you need "permission" to do that - consider it granted!

Just thoughts - and prayers - and hugs...

aus and co.

Reena said...

Gotta love the sleep advise. One more short term refresher-- arrange for someone else to take care of squirt for the night-- Tonggue Dad or something and go check into a hotel for one night's good sleep.


LucisMomma said...

Hugs!! Major, major hugs.

We have one that does not sleep well. Our China baby is now 7 and still requires mom to be "right there" for sleep. She usually wakes in the night, still! We brought her home at age 10 months exactly.

I am exhausted most of the time.

She is a velcro child most of the day, too--and touch! oh, she is needing so much touch and I am a sensory self like you are. We have two older boys (19 and 15) and homeschool. Some days I tell everyone to just BACK OFF, I can't take it anymore! And DH still thinks the best thing to do for me is to try to massage my neck, which just sends me into the stratosphere.

I just wish she'd accept Daddy as an acceptable substitute for Mommy sometimes.

I'm sorry I'm not any help, but I did want you to know you have plenty of bleary-eyed company. I do understand!

Jamey... said...

Let me help you!! Andrew has Mondays off so I could come over on a Monday (sans my kids) and be helpful!

lmgnyc said...

TM, I feel so badly for you. I wish I lived closer and could help you too. I so remember that bone crushing tiredness. Oh my gosh, I don't know how you are doing it.
hugs hon. wish I could help.

Beach Mama said...

I know all about sleep-deprivation! I can't really offer you any "solutions" other than patience and perserverance. My oldest daughter was 10 months old when we brought her home. She didn't sleep at night and only took two, 30-minute naps a day. I ended up trying to sleep with her and at some point she started "sleeping" as long as she could touch me at all times. It was a vigilant "sleep" as if I moved or got up, she woke up. At the age of 6, she began sleeping through the night. I still have to lay down with her to go to sleep. I've convinced myself that sleep is over-rated:).

Mahmee said...

Oh man, I remember this stuff well. It used to get so bad that I'd call Sparkly's dad at work to tell him something and start sobbing uncontrollably and have to end the call. Like you I cannot function without sleep. For me it's more of a Godzilla-flailing arms kind of thing but, I feel your pain. There came a point where I had to take sleeping pills and let her Dad be the one to get up at night. Is there any way someone can stay there for a night while you sleep in a Motel? Sounds drastic I know but, drastic times call for drastic measures. If someone offers you help, take it and run.

Cedar said...

Oh. Sleep. I have no advice, but I have LOTS of sympathy and I will be praying for you. My non-napper/sleeper is 3...so it has been awhile since I've felt true exhaustion, but I still have some days when I get really good at using the Wii controller to go to the next Dinosaur Train episode in my sleep. (This did not work when she was under two because she did not sit still enough for T.V. and I would have tried it no matter the pediatric society's recommendation!)

M3 said...

No advice here (and I wouldn't throw it out there even if I did have it), just huge hugs.

the meaklims said...

Lots and lots of sympathy from a Mama that also NEEDS her sleep.

Thinking about you, especially flying solo.


Weissfamily said...

We had sleep problems with our daughter too. She was only taking 2 - 1/2 hr naps during the day and only about 10 hrs. with wake ups during the night. I figured that by 2 yr. old, she won't be napping at all! BUT, her sleep has improved. She now needs a 1-2 hr. nap and sleeps about 10 hrs. without as many wakes up. Hopefully Squirt will come around and her sleep will improve.

Sharie said...

Let me just say - I feel ya MAMA! 'the kid' was the worst sleeper for the first 6 months home! The WORST - it wasn't her fault. She was traumatized, she had night terrors - horrible LONG night terrors - it would get better, then it would get bad again.
I was so exhausted I actually TOTALLY forgot a shower my sisters had for me. I can't remember a thing about it, nothing - although I'm sure it was lovely and I know it was huge because I found the list of gifts this weekend.
We moved 4 months after getting home and I thought it would get worse, but it actually got better - I think because our rooms were further apart and I didn't hear her as much - yes I'll admit I actually think I slept through her screaming. Not a surprise because not only do I need a lot of sleep, but I sleep HEAVY!

Don't feel bad about melting down...I have stories that would make you feel way better - if you need to talk - just holler...
Finally there is a reason they use sleep deprivation as torture...and that's all I'm gonna say about that.

Anonymous said...

Oh I feel your pain! I know, I get irrationally angry when sleep deprived too! Ugh. Hang in there!
the mama who at one point had 3 under 2... the twins used to tag team so at least one of them got their sleep while the other one kept me on the brink of despair

Lisa said...

Oh that sucks. I'm sorry. Our youngest doesn't sleep but at least he's 9.

Briana's Mom said...

I can completely sympathize with you on the needing sleep thing. Just ask my hubby. I don't do well when I am functioning on little sleep.

I was always so lucky with Briana because she was a deep sleeper as a baby and she still is. Once she is out, she's out. But she is an energizer bunny during the day and gave up her naps when she turned three. If she didn't sleep, I would die. :) So nighttime can't come soon enough on some days. Heh.

I hope you get some sleep very soon! Sleep deprivation stinks.

Kelley said...

I would never presume to give you any sleep advice...other than to just find something...ANYTHING...that will work to keep you sane, and give you some much-needed breaks. I have lived it too. We have almost been home 18 months with our little one, which is how old she was when we adopted her. I am JUST NOW starting to feel somewhat sane again, and the sleep issues are starting (for now) to be better (imagine me pounding on wood right now as I type this). It won't last forever, and you'll make it...hang in there, Momma!!!

autumnesf said...

I don't do well on limited sleep either. Feel for you. It gives me the shivers to even think about it.

5 hour energy actually does work for me for about two hours. Is it something you can try? It doesn't give u the jitters.

Mia's Mommy said...

No advice. I'm still learning, too. Just big hugs and lots of understanding. I've been there, too. Although ...thank the Lord... Mia sleeps pretty good about 95% of the time. But the 5% that she doesn't I'm a bleary eyed, barely hanging on mess. Hope it gets better for you much sooner than later.