Saturday, September 27, 2008


The sleep deprivation is insane.

The developmental therapist who came to see Robbie on Monday asked if he's awake for 10 or 15 minutes at a time. This was at about noon.

I flatly replied "He fell asleep just before you got here. He'd been up since 12:30am."
Her eyes nearly bugged out of her head.

Seriously, the kid doesn't sleep.

He's not necessarily crying a lot- though he does have those periods, too. But he wants to be held and talked to and played with and patted and handed his pacifier 800 times in a row. As long as you're willing to do those things, he's a very happy baby. But if you're not- he cries. And cries. And cries.

Now, but all rights- he has it coming. He got jipped out of 3 months of uterine bliss.

But seriously, cut a mom a break.

Two hours of sleep yesterday, an hour this morning and an hour this afternoon.

I swear to you, the only time he sleeps is when someone visits so that I CAN'T go lay down.

The home nurse called about 11:30 to ask if she could come. I told her to come on- it's not like he's sleeping anyway. Five minutes after I hung up- he was out cold.

He slept until she got here and woke him to weigh him and such (5 lb 6 oz, for the record.)

She asked if I was sleeping and I scoffed.

Then, because she's apparently an angel walking on earth, she asked if she could come back after work and just look after him a while so I could rest. And that she'd bring food.

And I let her because I have no pride. Seriously- a nurse asked me if she could let me relax a bit? HELL. YEAH.

David wasn't expected home until 10 or 11 pm. I was on my own with practically no sleep. Music to my ears.

Right after she left, my dad came over. He offered to hold Robbie while I took a shower. I hadn't showered since Wednesday. I debated long and hard about whether to nap or shower but it was nearly time for Robbie to eat again, so I figured I'd fit in what I had time for- a shower. God, it felt good.

Eventually Robbie slept an hour. I joined him. He woke up hungry, of course and as I got up to make his bottle, my angel nurse arrived.

She brought a spinach salad and pomegranite-blueberry juice and a promise to work with us on breastfeeding.

she helped me get him on with the nipple shield- he nursed for 20 minutes which is about 4x as long as I've been able to get him to go in the last few weeks. My milk supply is shit. Or rather, my ability to get the milk from my boobs to a bottle is shit. I feel engorged, but the pump just isn't cutting it. And of course, my time to pump is very limited. I'm doing the best I can. If he would nurse, it would save me an immense amount of time and I think there would be plenty for him to eat.

Then I ate and drank and pumped without having to get up 23 times to pat/paci/sing to Robbie.

She was here for about 2 hours when my husband got home.

I wanted to send him back away because she's more helpful than he is. But she left.

No time for a nap.

I asked David to wash bottles while I fed Robbie and pumped. Two hours later, still nothing washed. It was close to time to pump again and I was out of clean pump equipment so instead of sleeping- Robbie was actually asleep- I washed bottles and plotted painful deaths for David.

He has to work tomorrow, too, so I'm on my own again.

I seriously don't know how single moms do it. And you moms of twins out there? God bless you.

I literally cried this morning and begged him to please, please, please go to sleep.
I love that he's so neurologically sound as to be awake and alert this much, but seriously..he's really a newborn. He's supposed to sleep like 16 hours a day. He MIGHT have slept 6 today, total. That's 20 minute naps, an hour here, an hour there. Long enough for me to put him to bed, MAYBE pump, and he's up again.

Tomorrow he might sleep all day. Every couple of days he has one of those. And I take full advantage, believe me. He's got to be due, right?

Maybe he's on some weird 72 hour day rhythm.
I don't know.

I've been trying to do the see-the-sun-in-the-morning/darkness-at-night thing. He doesn't seem to notice.

I suppose that's Karma. David and I are both night owls and I know I was NOT a good sleeper as a kid. I fought it with all my might.

My dad just keeps laughing at me.

Okay, enough of my whining. It's time to feed the kiddo. Then he's going to sleep. RIGHT?


P.S. In an amusing turn of events, it turns out that my husband's cat is troubled by Robbie's crying. Three times in the last day when he's been crying, she's come to bite me on the foot/leg. I'm not sure what's she's trying to communicate- maybe it's "Shut that thing up!" or "What's wrong with it!?" but I think it's some sort of concern. Earlier he was laying in our bed crying while I got a diaper and warmed a bottle. She hopped up and sniffed at him, the kneaded the place next to him for a while. I think she might have been trying to soothe him.

Cats are weird.


april said...

You need to teach the cat to bite David when the baby cries. You're a better wife than I am. That crap wouldnt fly at my house. He'd help or he'd be out!

Anonymous said...

David needs to help more.

Newt said...

Oh you poor thing! A shower shouldn't be such a precious luxury.

I hope this is only a very short phase in Robbie's little life. And I hope you get some more help--either from David or someone else. Things can't go on this way forever--you'll collapse!


Two Hands said...

Now, I know it's kind of a different kettle of fish with a preemie, but when I wanted to have a shower, I'd take my baby with me, buckled into her infant car seat/carrier thingie into the bathroom. I'd peek out of the shower every few minutes to make sure she was okay. I don't know if that would help.
I wish, I soooo wish I could come down and help you. I would gladly pat/cuddle/play with/talk to Robbie, especially if I knew you were getting some much-needed shut eye in the process.
I'm with the other posters. Tell David to get with the program or get out. Sounds harsh, but sleep deprivation is no laughing matter.

Mrs. Spit said...

Oh sweetie. . . .

I'm sorry. This sounds so hard, and you are such a tough and loving mummy, and you are doing such a wonderful job. I wish I could be there to help me.

Could you look into hiring a nursing student for 10 hours, so that she could take care of him, and you could sleep? I know a normal babysitter might be a challenge?

And God bless that nurse that came back.

S said...

I hate no sleep! Just remember, this too will pass. Believe it or not, one day you will reflect and feel a little giggly about the whole thing. (Of course, that will be in a couple of years after a good 8 hour sleep and a hot shower!!!)

Kristin (kekis) said...

WOW. How can he survive on such little sleep when and adult (his Mom!) can't? I'm sure it's tough on David working for twelve hours, but you're working for twenty-four. Sounds like it's time to have a sit down conversation with Daddy. Does he have any kind of paternity leave, and if he does, has it already been used?

I hope things improve somehow soon.

Lorraine said...

Oh, honey. I have so been there, and it was awful. The no-sleep baby and the no-help husband are an awful combination.

My daughter had an undiagnosed medical problem that was probably at the root of her sleeplessness - my guess is that she had learned to be soothed by me and needed to make sure I was there so she wouldn't have to deal with the pain all by herself. I know that seems like it's reading a lot into things, but after doing a lot of sleep training it turns out that learned needs have a lot to do with it.

Robbie has had a rough time of it, and I'm sure he learned that it was better with someone there. With the sleep training, you have to slowly transition the baby into being comfortable with other circumstances. For instance, you're still right there but he is in a bouncy chair, then each day you go a bit farther away but still talk, then you are there but engage in another activity like folding laundry...

It took me three months to go through that process - it's not easy, but it did work.

Sorry if I'm spouting too much technique, but I can still remember that bone-deep exhaustion and the lonliness that comes with having to do it yourself. I wish I could just come over and give you a break!

Amy said...

Oh man, this makes me want to cry just reading it--I would be the crankiest woman on earth with that little sleep. I REALLY pray that (a) David helps more and (b) Robbie sleeps more, so Supermom can get some rest!!

Amy said...

And yeah ... I really don't understand the people who say, "Oh, I'm so jealous; I've always wanted twins!" I will let them come take care of my two for a day--and a night!--and see if they still think that. ;)

AngelsAmid said...

:( I'm so sorry he didn't wash them for you... hang in there. *hugs*