Better

(oh god don’t jinx it)

Last week was rough. We started off failing miserably by trying to change our routine right when Lady Jr decided it was time to change things up and it just went down hill from there. She started screaming in the evenings again, which meant I needed to stay up and help by letting her comfort nurse. Which also meant I forewent my guaranteed 3-4 hours of sleep. Which meant I didn’t get any sleep. Which meant by Monday/Tuesday, I was a bit of a wreck.

And then Dr Lady got sick. In my efforts to make sure she got sleep and got better asap, I had the Night From Hell. After five days of really bad sleep and increasing insomnia, Lady Jr decided it was time to scream for four hours. Straight. When she finally went down for the night at 12am, I couldn’t sleep. All I could do was lie on the couch and anxiously wait for her to wake up. For five hours.

I saw the abyss, you guys.

I cried until my eyes hurt. I thought all the dark, awful thoughts I could possibly think. I completely, 100% understood why some women snap and hurt their babies/themselves. I didn’t blame Lady Jr but I felt nothing for her. She smiled – I sobbed.

I never, ever, ever want to do that again. That wasn’t just exhaustion. That was something beyond exhaustion. It was a dark, awful place.

Also please remind me that if a new mom tells me she’s exhausted I should never tell her “well my child is still waking once a night at 9 months!”

Anyway.

Bless my mother for being here and helping out. I was able to hand off the baby and get a few hours of sleep the next day, so I didn’t break. But it wasn’t until I caved and took a benadryl that I was able to fall asleep again. Lady Jr was better the next night – some crying, but soothable – and then the following night Dr Lady was better.

And now last night I got six hours of sleep. Not altogether, of course. But holy shit.

And Lady Jr has been smiling and sleeping and babbling and oh god, I hope we’re on the downhill now.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Better

  1. I’m glad things are a little better right now! Ali was a horrible sleeper, I understand looking into the abyss, I’ve been there too.

  2. Oh my friend. I understand the abyss. I so understand it. I have been there many, many times. There are few things more mentally taxing than a baby who is crying relentlessly…especially when you’re sleep deprived. The one thing that helps me in the midst of those nights (even now!) is knowing that these phases never last long. It’s all cyclical. And usually a result of some sort of growth/development. I just told someone yesterday that I feel like I get dumber every time charlotte gets smarter. ❤️

  3. Amy

    Oh my god I’m so sorry things were so awful for you. I don’t know how you muster the energy to do any caregiving when you are that sleep deprived and cried at, and I totally understand how you got to that dark place. I am sending you all the good vibes that things are indeed getting better again.
    I’ve also been there with a sick partner during the peak baby fussiness and it is so isolating and scary. Feeling all the feels right along with you 🙁
    But again, hope this is it for a while and things keep getting better.

  4. Gina

    I remember this.

    I remember this so well that I shuddered and found myself “uh huh”-ing to your post. (My youngest is five, so you know how deeply I remember this feeling). I’ve looked into that deep dark place and didn’t know if I’d ever see sunlight again. So yes, I feel you and hear you and am hugging you for an awkwardly long time in my mind.

    I’m so glad you have a good support system. I am fortunate that my village is vast and deep and I have called upon them more times than I am comfortable admitting. As time goes on, and I am able, I find myself trying to be what others were for me. If I was in Michigan, I would be there for you. That seems weird to say, seeing as I don’t “know” you, but that irrepressible and undeniable bond that exists between mothers compels me to assure you nonetheless.

  5. I think we’ve all seen the abyss. It definitely does get better. Parenting seems to embody “two steps forward, one step back” or sometimes “two steps forward and a 50 yard sprint backward”

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