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Sleep! That’s Where I’m A Viking!


If I am to categorize everyone in my house (as I have done with my two children), 7 years ago I would have qualified myself as A Sleeper. The running joke in my family was that a bomb could blow up half of my bedroom, and when rescue workers would come to sift through the rubble, they’d find me completely asleep in my bed, furious that they had woken me up. I’d have easily given up food for sleep, had that been necessary (why that would be necessary eludes me, but hey, it sounds good, eh?).

When I had Ben, despite a pregnancy in which all that I could do was sleep, once he was born I completely lost my ability to sleep heavily. He had his days and nights mixed up, so I was up for most of the night with him (Lord, THAT was fun!). Once that was fixed, and he began to sleep (but not behave) like a normal human being, I still unable to fall into that “dead to the world” kind of slumber. Which broke my heart.

When I found out that I was pregnant with Alex, my sleep began to suck. It was a mixture of problems: I spent many nights sprawled on my 70’s bathroom tile floor (a lovely shade of institutional green + sickly yellow, a perfect compliment to HG), I was worried sick that something was going to happen to my ickle fetus, and my extended LOA left our finances a mess. Needless to say, it made sleeping damn near impossible. By the end of my pregnancy, I could wave a bottle of Benedryl around my face and it predictably would laugh out loud, at it’s utter ineffectuallity and my plight. Nothing worked. At all.

When Alex finally arrived, my sleep became disjointed, save from the days that I would take prescription sleeping pills, in which sleep, oh GLORIOUS sleep would take me away from it all (like Calgon, but with a much worse aftertaste). Then my MD told me, OOPS! You’re breastfeeding so you cannot have your precious Mother’s Little Helpers (like that actually helped Sir Alex sleep more. Har-dee-har-har-har), and I was left back at square one. I was no longer pregnant, but STILL could not sleep.

Months have gone hazily by, and I’ve tried various remedies, but nothing (save for the Valium I stole from my mother’s stash) has helped. I simply cannot relax enough to fall asleep. Most of this can neatly rolled up into a sweet ickle ball and blamed squarely on The Baby.

For months and months and months and months, nearly every time I would fall asleep, the baby would wake up and need, well, SOMETHING. Anything. And since Dave works, that something would fall to yours truly to figure out. And solve. He didn’t listen my promises of a Porsche when he turned 16 IF HE WOULD JUST FUCKING GO TO FUCKING SLEEP ALREADY, CHILD. It became a vicious cycle: I wouldn’t sleep because the baby would wake up and then the baby would wake up and I couldn’t sleep.

Oops, did I say months and months and months and months WITHOUT mentioning that this was still occuring? Every night? My bad.

7.5 months on this great planet, and my kid still has yet to become even a moderately successful sleeper. Which effectively means that his mother is a trainwreck. With puffy eyes and bad hair.

Save from taking prescription sleeping pills (which I cannot do. Damn you, breastfeeding!), I am at a loss. I can’t do chamomile tea or warm milk, because without a set bedtime on the part of the baby, it’s not worth it to try and relax. So how do I let this all go and start entering the Land of Nod without being kept up by persistant “I can’t sleep because the baby will get up” worries?

Is it too early for Baby Benedryl?

6 Comments to

“Sleep! That’s Where I’m A Viking!”

  1. On November 12th, 2007 at 1:11 pm Chris Says:

    No, but it might be time to consult a pediatrician.

    And if that doesn’t work, i hear a little whiskey in warm milk does wonders.

  2. On November 12th, 2007 at 2:07 pm becky Says:

    That may be the next stop, duder. It just might be.

  3. On November 12th, 2007 at 5:22 pm Chris Says:

    Like Alex, I never slept through the night. I was up at all hours of the night, and it was so bad that my parents took to putting bottles in my crib just so they could sleep.

    Well, 3 years later, they decided to have another one and a few months into my sister’s life, lo and behold, she started sleeping through the night. My parents panicked and took her to the pediatrician because she was sleeping too much. The doc was like “Uh, that’s what they’re supposed to do. It’s your other one you need to be worried about.”

    To this day, I’m a shitty sleeper. I sleep lightly and I’m up at all hours for no good reason.

  4. On November 12th, 2007 at 7:49 pm becky Says:

    Ben was such a good sleeper that I wasn’t aware that children were made to not be that way. Ah, how naive I once was.

    I tried to talk to my Ped, who just told me that some kids were just made that way, and that he would sleep when they wanted to. It was an ugly bitter pill, that one. I’d been foolishly hoping for some workable solution from him, but alas, I was mistaken.

    Would you like to come and live with us and be a night nanny? If you’re already up….




  5. On November 12th, 2007 at 9:49 pm Dana Says:

    Kate didn’t sleep through the night until somewhere around 7-8 months. This was achieved by about a month of nightly Daddy duty. After a while she decided it wasn’t worth getting up if no one was going to feed her.

    I was still working at the time so felt justified in letting Jon get up for a change. Now that I’m a SAHM though I don’t think he’ll be as willing to take over so I’m planning to just wait it out this time.

    I am hopeful that it won’t be an issue as Meg treated me to her first 8-hour night last night. Now why don’t I feel rested too?

  6. On November 14th, 2007 at 1:22 pm becky Says:

    Dana, I, like you, am staying at home and therefore feel as though it’s unfair to make Dave wake up every night (but man, I’d love to). He does it for me now and again, and still, it’s not enough and I’m exhausted.

    Hopefully, my wonky thyroid will be fixed soon and then I can resume feeling like a person again. Honestly, it feels like the pregnancy exhaustion, but without the pregnancy part.

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