Thursday, February 28, 2013

Who Needs Sleep?

Well, you're never gonna get it
Who needs sleep?
Tell me what's that for
Who needs sleep?
Well, you're never gonna get it

Holden will be 6 months old on Sunday. He is not sleeping through the night. He did for a few nights when he was not even 3 months old and much jubilation was to be had. He then got a cold and was congested every night all night for about a week and ever since has only slept through the night once and that was on Christmas Eve due to what I can only imagine was Christmas magic.

Sydney slept through the night like a rock star starting at 10 weeks old. Every night. Twelve hours. With Holden, I'm in new territory. Sydney slept perfectly at this age. I secretly loved it when people would ask how she was sleeping and I could tell them how wonderfully it was going; like I was solely responsible for getting her to sleep so well with my amazing mothering skills.

It is not so with Holden. He wakes up a lot at night. Sometimes once. Sometimes every 3 hours. Jericho and I take turns for the most part. There have been a handful of nights when he's taken Holden downstairs and I'll get a good 5-6 hour sleep in. But we're both pretty spent.

Every morning my contacts feel like masking tape and I have bags under my eyes that need additional postage. I'm hungry all the time. My sister explained to me why this was a cause of my sleep deprivation. I don't get proper rest so I'm depleted of energy so my body compensates by wanting food. Or something. I don't have the focus or drive or mental capacity to handle any real responsibilities. I often can't even fathom preparing dinner every day or when I'm going to shower or unload the dishwasher. When you look at my responsibilities, they aren't that overwhelming, but when you haven't slept a solid night of sleep in more than 8 months, folding laundry feels like solving cold fusion. I can't read. I mean, yes I can read but I've forgotten how to read and comprehend. I belong to 2 book clubs and haven't read the books for either in months. I've tried and failed. It hurts my brain.

We've gone over several reasons why he could still be waking up so much - Eczema, gassy, ear infection, too cold, too hot, not enough food during the day, humidifier, more prayers. We've more or less addressed them all. Once, I even wrapped him up in one of my t-shirts in case my magical mommy smell would make him sleep longer. [Do you operate with the assumption that you have this aura of magical mommy-ness? That you should be able to hug or cuddle or kiss your baby and all the problems in the world should be solved? I do. So the fact that I can't get him to sleep better at night with snuggles and lullabies is a blow to my mommy-ego.]

We now put Holden in the bed with us. Partly because it makes him happier than being in the pack-n-play and he sleeps more soundly [even if it's still short spurts]. Partly because we got tired of getting out of bed to give him his pacifier or rub his back or put lotion on his head every hour. [Lotion on his head because he still scratches at his head all night. Lotions and potions are gooped on him but he still keeps scratching. My 2 o'clock in the morning logic is convinced that he has a brain tumor and is trying to get at it with his tiny fingers.]

I've pulled out all the books in my library that may help with getting Holden to sleep better at night. We haven't read anything yet. When you want to get your baby to sleep through the night, you wanted this knowledge yesterday. I want a tag-line or article or short paragraph. A three hundred page book on the matter? You gotta be joking.

One thing that has helped [a little] is learning he's a very determined stomach sleeper. Won't have it any other way unless he's in your arms. And because he's a stomach sleeper and he's a boy with boy parts and only utilizes the front 1/16 of his diaper, we get frequent pee-outs. And because he's in our bed, the pee-outs sometimes happen where we sleep. When it's the middle of the night and it's the second or third time he's woken up, very little of me actually cares.

What am I missing. What haven't we done? What could possibly help?

I hope this sheds some light on why I haven't replied to your emails very quickly [or at all] or texts or why I stink at blogging right now or why I'm lagging in my church calling or why I haven't lost any baby weight or why I spontaneously start crying or why you don't see me at church as often or why I keep sending my husband to Wendy's for our cheap dinner.

This weekend I'm going on a Girls' Weekend with some friends to the mountains. I of course love these girls and know it will be a blast but the selling point that convinced me I should definitely go was the realization that I would have two consecutive nights of sleeping more than 4 hours at a time. I may even sleep in. I'm so excited I could do a little dance. In fact, I think I will..... Dance over.

These exhausting times are part of the reason why God made our babies so insanely adorable. Sleep is one of those things you don't fully appreciate until you don't have it. Count your blessings my well-rested friends.


  1. Oh man, you poor thing. Ivy was just like that, and still kid of is. She doesn't sleep through the night regularly, and on the rare occasion that she does I have to get up and check on her to make sure she is still alive. My kids have night terrors that wake them up, even little Ivy. Hopefully Holden doesn't follow that trend. Good luck!

  2. I doubt you remember me but I came across your blog a long time ago. I read it now and then. I know what it's like to have no sleep and feel like you are going to go crazy so I thought this might help. We did baby wise with our little guy and it answered all of my questions. Since you want a quick solution I thought this blog post might help

    It's a break down of why a 5-8 month old might not be sleeping through the night. It looks like the reason might be too many naps or not enough food during the day. I don't know your routine but I hope this helps or maybe give you a starting point. I hope you're okay with me reading your blog.

  3. Kelley, oh boy, I'm sorry. I do not function well on lack of sleep so I feel for ya. It's so hard, and all kids are so different you think you have it figured out and then the next one comes along and it's like starting over from scratch again. But just remember this, he will get older and it will get better. Someday. Somehow. It'll happen :). Until then, keep moving and pray lots! Love ya!

  4. Ugh! So, so sorry you're still in this place, when you were wishing, hoping, thinking, praying that it would be gone such a long time ago. We're still in this place of colic with Orion, even though we were also wishing, hoping, thinking, praying that it would be gone such a long time ago. We've also tried everything, such that my diet has on some days consisted of water. Kidding, but it feels like all of the good things are being taken out just in case it helps. Oy. It can't last forever, right? Right?

  5. Sometimes the only thing you can do is chant "it will end at some point" repeatedly and try and distract yourself with a good movie. There's a reason nobody dies of heartbreak when their adorable babies grow up. You trade in all of that lovely squishiness for a solid night's sleep. I've never known anyone to turn down that deal!


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