BALL AND CHAIN

It’s been a matter of time management to do more than to sit and read emails or leave a comment. Something I am not good at since I’m trying to make sure that sleep and food remain a priority. Unfortunately, I’m not always successful hence my raccoon eyes, continuing weight loss (from everywhere but my ass), and the ability for my husband to peak my bitch-o-meter in the blink of an eye.

But I need to post something even though I’ve struggled with whether or not to do so. Here’s what I’ve asked myself: is it worse to read about a blogger and her new baby when she goes endlessly on about how the baby’s beyond perfect as she’s pooping diamonds and being sought for a baby food modeling contract and sleeping eight hours every night plus napping for three hours two times a day…; or read about the complaints about becoming a boob buffet and feeling as if her showers last longer than her nights of sleep?

Well since it’s a matter of what state of mind the reader is in, either scenario is annoying. So here’s the deal, I’m going to just be blunt and tell you right now things kind of suck.

I’m so unbelievably tired. So tired that as I zone out while nursing ZGirl, objects swim in front of me like mirages (I just had to ask my husband what does one call it when they’ve been in a desert for so long they start going crazy and seeing things  – that’s how damn tired I am). ZGirl, while a good nurser, is a horrible sleeper. I repeat, horrible. She’s six weeks old and she sleeps less now then she did at two weeks old. During the day, she cat naps for maybe 45 minutes sporadically. I never know if I should try to lay down since within minutes of me doing so, she wakes up.

We have tried to introduce a bottle, the results of which were anything but pleasant. In fact, after one very disastrous attempt, she was so hysterical by the time I took her to try nursing that her breathing was much like a Chihuahua’s would be after running nonstop for twenty minutes in 100 degree heat. And that night? We figure she decided to teach us a lesson as she didn’t sleep for longer than 90 minutes at a stretch…it has been the lowest point so far for me.

Mr. DD, who has been ripped a new asshole so often, it’s a miracle he can sit, is finally getting how shitty I’ve been feeling. He’s the one who put into words how I’ve been feeling about ZGirl’s endless demands: she’s my ball and chain.

I know that there will come a day that all of this will seem so trivial. It’ll probably come when ZGirl first screams at me from the backseat, “You’re not a good Mom!” as XBoy did a couple years ago (at least it no longer breaks my heart). But right now? It’s been hard. Really, really, REALLY hard on me both emotionally and physically, which explains my limited presence both here and at your blogs. I wish I could say it was because she was shitting diamonds, burping up butterflies and conjuring unicorns with each of her little grins.

It’ll get better. It has to. My sanity depends on it.

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33 thoughts on “BALL AND CHAIN”

  1. Sorry it is all being really shitty at the moment. I remember 6 weeks being hell too. I don’t think it helps that the 6 w growth spurt coincides with the time everyone reckons its well past the time you should hve had that baby in a routine and why are you still slobbing around in pjs most of the day, slurring your words through tiredness and with no kind words for anybody? It passes though honest it does. On the other hand (and catching up with old posts as I have been away on the other side of the globe) yey to b/feeeding being such a breeze!

  2. Sorry. Since misery loves company I’ll just say me too. I’m so tired that coherence is a goal I have yet to reach. She has ramped up her nursing to every 2 hours and I am tired, sore, and irritable. We stupidly took a car trip to visit family. A 9 hour trip turned into 13 hours because she kept insisting on nursing. I cried on and off the last 2 hours of the trip. I’m not normally a crier. So tired that I’ve had a low level headache for 4 days. I see things. I read the same page 3 times and then pass out. I nod off trying to entertain my toddler. Rambling now. I’ll stop.

    Hope it improves soon for you!

  3. Ok, I’m twitching my nose, waving my wand and using my fierce Jedi powers to make ZGirl sleep or at least burp some butterfiles.

    Is it working?

    Well, then I guess the only thing I can do is say I’m sorry things are so damn hard right now and I so hope the it-gets-better-part comes along for you real soon.

  4. *hugs* I remember how horrible it was before the girls started sleeping. They were never asleep at the same time, and they were both plagued by colic and reflux. There were times I wondered seriously why I had tried to have kids. No good tips from me, as we just waited it out, but I hope it gets better over there soon!

  5. Wish I was closer and could take over for a bit so you could get some rest.

    In the beginning with both my kids the only nipple that they would take were the orthodontic ones, shaped like the Nuk pacifier. I guess they feel more like the boob then the others, and no way Jose’ on the silicon nipples! Want to see a shit fit, there you go. 😉

    Will she take the pacifier? I know I had to use it with Alex because he would snack all day and night and the doctor said to use it. It took a couple days of him pissing and moaning but then he finally would take it and then eat a decent amount less frequently and started to actually sleep and be put down versus on me or in someone’s arms non-stop.

    Good luck and I hope things improve and you and your ball and chain get a routine down soon. You know I am just full of assvice so if you need me feel free to call. 😉 Nothing big happening at work so the distraction would be appreciated.

  6. lol… i get the feeling… i WAS lucky, and my daughter was a pretty easy baby… but yes, lack of sleep, lack of showering, and food do NOT a happy mommy make… especially when you’re dealing with the physical ordeal of having your body violated from childbirth. (ANY other surgery gives you like, six weeks of recovery time…. yet there is almost NONE for childbirth!! what gives???!!!)

    Hang in there hun!!! As you know, it DOES get easier, although right now it probably feels as if there’s NO end in sight!!!

  7. I’m sending good vibes your way. I remember being there and it is still vividly in the back of my mind as a reason to wait just a little while longer before having another one!! 🙂

    Hoping things get better for you really soon!!

  8. Oh DD. I think if we knew how fucking miserable the newborn stage was we’d never bother. You may not be surprised to learn that I only have a hazy recollection of P’s early weeks, thank god.

    I have no advice, since all babies are (frustratingly) different as you know. When I was really struggling it helped so just know that I had the support of my blogging friends. I thought it was trite and a bit of a cop-out when people said it would pass, but of course it does and you know that too. You know where to find me if you need to vent.

  9. It is a vicious circle…want baby, want to put baby back for a bit, want baby, want to put baby back for a bit. I remember tremendous guilt after wanting a baby for 8 years then thinking he would be solely responsible for my nervous breakdown. I wish I lived close by I would love to give you a break…do you have anyone that could come by a couple times a week for a few hours so you can nap/shower/trim your toenails?

  10. Not being able to get sleep makes a person crazy. Can’t tell you the number of times my husband would bring me a crying PILLOW to feed! He really had a hard time with the lack of sleep. Hang in there. It will get better.

  11. I hope you get a break in the stress soon. I think the early days are an ironic mixture of trying to soak up the bliss we hoped for and just plain trying to survive long enough to enjoy it all.

    Hang in there!

  12. Oh gosh, that sounds really, really hard. I really feel for you. I hope things get better super soon. Hang tough, it has to get better. She’ll sleep sometime. I wish I had advice, but I don’t. Except maybe get a night nurse for a week and get some sleep, if you can afford it. Is there any sensible and available family member to do nights for a weekend? I pray to God there is some relief somewhere for you, with all my heart.

  13. Oh DD, I was so hoping z-girl would be a better sleeper than my daughter but it seems they may be too much alike. I didn’t get anything longer than about 2 hours of sleep at a time until she was almost a year old and often it was less than 2 hours. Last night I actually had 4 and a half hours in a row but she’s a little worse right now than before our holidays.

    My son was a dream compared to L and I did pretty much exactly the same things with both of them so I have finally decided to agree with my doctor who told me “some of us are just not very good sleepers”.

    When L was about 3 months I finally told my husband he would HAVE to let me sleep in one day so that I could actually go through my assortment of “how to get baby to sleep” books. Fat lot of good it did.

    We tried
    white noise (8 different variations on a machine from Hamacher Slemmer or however you spell it – I’m still too tired to look up much)
    no white noise
    gentle background noise
    dead quiet
    bassinet
    crib
    someone sleeping in the room with her
    no one sleeping in the room with her
    cosleeping
    sleeping in the living room (all variations)
    sleeping in the bedroom (all variations)
    nursing to sleep
    no nursing to sleep
    pacifier
    putting down when asleep
    putting down when awake
    feeding before sleep
    no feeding before sleep
    swaddling
    no swaddling
    light blankets
    no blankets
    sleepsac (with jammies, without jammies, both light and then heavy down sac)
    more heat
    less heat
    strict routine and timing of naps
    only putting her down when she seemed exhausted
    letting her “cry it out” – not very successful as she got so upset she’d throw-up easily with the reflux
    never letting her cry it out
    going back every 5 minutes when she was crying
    going back after 5 minutes plus 5*number of times we’d already gone back (confusing with no sleep)
    and everything else we had heard suggested

    I got to the point that any more suggestions would make me so spitting mad that I had to stop myself from doing bodily harm to the person.

    Unfortunately L still isn’t a good sleeper but she is better (thankfully). She still gets way to excited about life in general and just never, NEVER, *NEVER* wants to sleep – who knows what she might miss? And it’s difficult to get really mad at an attitude like that (but sometimes I am silently saying “just sleep damn it, just sleep”)

    If z-girl is still giving you a hard time when she can roll over I do have one suggestion that seemed to help us but it had to do with getting a very solid crib that doesn’t move or make any noise when L rolls around.

    Hang in there DD. I wish I was closer and could take z-girl for a while.

    DinoD

  14. I’m so sorry for your sleep deprivation! It’s hell, I know. My mother tells me to this day (62 years later!) that I cried for the first 6 months — yes, months! — of my life. I understand my mom and dad sort of Tag Teamed me. One of them was always awake. Then, like a switch was thrown, I stopped. She says she thinks I “just outgrew” it. Whatever “it” was.

    I know that doesn’t help, but *time* eventually will.

    Thinking good thoughts for you.

  15. Either it gets better or you just become immune to it… I’m truthfully not sure which occurs, but something changes. I think Moxie said something about a 6 week sleep regression, though I could be wrong. Swaddling may help, white noise may help and I may be an asshole for suggesting these things, but figured I’d through them out there.

    Hang in there and know we’re all here for you and here for suggestions.

  16. Ugh ugh oof! Marvey HATED sleeping H-A-T-E-D it. He’s still not the best sleeper, but he does do some (now at 3).

    Like Becky said above, it does end. even if she’s never a great sleeper, she will eventually sleep. (Or as my MIL said…you’ll learn to sleep through her not sleeping, which although it SOUNDS awful, sorta has a ring of truth to it.)

    Many hugs to you. Too bad our states aren’t closer together. I could swwwooop in for an afternoon and command that you tweet, blog and the SLEEP (cuz I’m not stupid and I know that’s exactly what you’d do 😉 )

  17. Hideous. It’s a hideous feeling. I had the same issues with Alex. Literally, until month 10, I was up between 1-3 hours every night. I was delusional and insane by the end.

    But THERE IS AN END. I promise. It ends.

    Holler if you need a shoulder. I’m here and I understand.

  18. I feel for you DD. It seems like we shouldn’t complain because we worked so hard to have these little creatures.

    I remember our second night in the hospital when G would not stop crying and nothing I did helped. For one brief moment I thought “What the hell did I do? What was I thinking?” Of course I felt like a shit for letting the thought enter my mind.

    It does get better, we all know that, but right now that seems a million years away. You’re not alone.

  19. Oh, DD. I’m sorry.

    I remember those days… S would not sleep unless he was laying on me during the day. Night times he was up nursing several times. There were many times when, I wondered if we had lost our minds having him.

    It will get better. Can’t tell you when.

    Is there someone who can come by and help you?

    Try a baby Bjorn or some other method of wearing her. It did help S some. I could do SOMETHING other than sit on a chair.

    Hugs again.

  20. Oh sweetie, I hear you. None of my kids were good sleepers- still aren’t. With thirteen month old twins, I’m still getting up 2-3 times a night, and that’s a good night. But its way more managable than it was those first few weeks and months. I have no good advice (clearly, since I can’t figure out how to get babies a year older than Z-girl to sleep through the night), but I can offer lots of support and commiseration. Hugs to you…

  21. Remember 6 weeks is a growth spurt so there is much more nursing time. Try introducing the bottle after nursoing on one side. That is what helped me, he wouldn’t take the bottle if he was starving.

    Have you tried a sling for sleeping?
    Have you tried getting her to nap in a stroller?
    Have hope, it gets better.

  22. I’m sorry you’re so sleep deprived. Really, truly – there’s a reason they use it as a form of torture.

    And yeah. It WILL get better. Not sure how much it helps you right now.

    Hang in there, hon.

  23. GAH!! I agree with Silver, it is a good thing they are so cute!!!

    I am sorry you are having such a hard time right now sweetie!! I feel you on the sleep thing, as the Turtle thinks it is totally overrated to!!

    Hang in there, and take your time getting back to BlogLand!!

    Rebel

  24. oh, DD. I am sorry you are feeling so crappy and sleep-deprived. Yes, it will get better, but that’s of no consolation to you now… eventually ZGirl will get out of this phase and move on to something better. Until then, I give you a virtual hug and pray that this is the worst and it’s only up from here.

  25. Have you tried swaddling her, nice and snuggly? Sometimes those pesky youngin’s won’t sleep all loosy-goosy and gotta be swaddled pretty tightly. Is she burping well? Pooping well? Does she sleep in the swing or car seat? Cuz if she does, I’d leave her in there as long as you can! Done it many times with Max, otherwise I’d have gone completely batshit crazy.

    I remember those days very well. I wish I was close by to give you a break! mommies need their naps too! Hang in there, momma, she’ll get better and you’ll feel better soon!

  26. Dear DD, that sounds awful. Awful. At least if she were shitting diamonds, you would have an explanation for the insomnia and crying…

    Hoping it gets better. Sooner than soon.

  27. Good thing they are cute!!

    Wishing you luck getting into a better sleep pattern, the first few months can be difficult.

    Take care and sending sleepy thoughts to Zgirl!

  28. I’m not going to blow stardust here – these times, they are suckitude.

    Um. Different nipple on the bottle? Warmer/cooler temperature? Swaddling? Reflux?

    Booze?

    (for you)

  29. I know you can hang tough. Remember that you’re not alone and many a mom has and is going through the torture of a newborn that does.not.sleep. Just want to let you know I’m thinking about you and praying things will even out soon.

  30. I can offer you no solutions; as you know there are none other than time. But I feel for you and wish I could do more than send my supportive thoughts your way.

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