She is completely crazed

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How does she do it? And why?
Eliza went to sleep at about 8:45. It took me over an hour to get her to do so even though she’d not napped since 3 p.m. By the time I went to bed at 11:00 she’d been up at least three times. I thought I was doing so well, going to bed at a time that’s pretty early for me. But she woke up as soon as I got comfortable and would not stay asleep in her crib. I would get her back to sleep with the pacifier but she’d wake up within ten or fifteen minutes. This went on till well after midnight, when I brought her into my bed. My memory is hazy after that but I think she slept a whopping hour-and-a-half and then woke up at 3:00.
It’s now 4:48 and she’s been awake ever since.
It’s not just dozing off and then waking, either. It’s complete and total wakefulness; “talking” and playing with her hands and rolling around as though it’s noon and not 4 a.m. Sometimes she will grasp my arm or hand and look like she’s trying to nod off but that lasts about two minutes and then she perks up again.
There is NO way to account for this. Things, ALL things, are exactly as they were last week when she was sleeping three hours at a time and only taking fifteen minutes to put to bed.
I am just so sick of this. I don’t know how long I can continue to function. There is nothing I can do about it, either. I mean, just look at her pattern from last night. Going to bed earlier wouldn’t even help me because she’s up every thirty damned minutes.
I just want someone to tell me how it’s medically possible for a five-month-old to get by on what probably equals five or six hours of sleep a night. She’s going to have big, purple shadows under her eyes later on this morning and probably end up taking a three-hour nap, which is what she did yesterday. So if she’s so tired then why the hell can’t she sleep at night?? I simply do not understand what causes her to stay awake for hours in the middle of the night or why she can’t manage more than an hour’s sleep at a time. She MUST be tired. I think it’s safe to say she’s not some kind of superhuman who just doesn’t need to sleep. So there is something that is making her behave like this. What is it, and why can’t I figure it out?
I wish sleep wasn’t so important. I feel like the world’s biggest whiner for harping on and on about the subject. But consider that many not-so-nice military organizations have used sleep-deprivation as a means of torture and a way to “break” captives, and also consider that studies show that sleep-deprived people are as dangerous on the highway as drunk drivers. Our culture in this country looks down on the need for sleep as a weakness but the fact is it’s a basic human necessity for sanity and health. That’s why it’s such a big deal. I’m not some spoiled, pampered princess who had a baby and is complaining about not getting nine solid hours. I am getting maybe five hours of sleep a night, if I’m lucky, and that is punctuated by wakings as often as every thirty minutes. NOT good. Right now I can barely type without reversing letters and skipping words and such. I only came out to the living room because I had no idea what else to do. Eliza wasn’t crying; she was lying there playing with a blanket, so I left. It’s now gone quiet in there so maybe she’s gone back to sleep. I guess I should head back in. I’ve got a whole two hours before I have to be up to get the kids ready for school.
Insert clever parting statement here.

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About msmaryb

I'm a native Californian who lives in Oklahoma. I'm a full-time student, pursuing a Bachelors in Anthropology, following which I hope to attain a Masters in Archaeology. I have three kids, one husband, no pets, and a lot of friends - most of whom live inside my computer. I love to read, write, watch tv (shut up, we can't all be brain surgeons), shop, and travel. I'm trying to set foot in all 50 states before I die. I have 38, so far. I love the Beatles and Maroon 5, and if you think those two things are incongruous, well, they are. But that's me. When I love something, I love it 100%. I don't do anything halfway. I want to know everything there is to know, so I'm trying to cram as much into my brain as I can in the short amount of time I'm allotted in this dimension.

5 responses »

  1. I am so feeling for you and totally agree that our culture looks down on those who admit their tired and need more sleep.
    Does she refuse to stay in her crib when she’s awake at night?? If not is it possible to let her stay in her crib and ‘talk’ herself back to sleep?? I’m throwing this out even though I have a feeling you’ve been down this road already and it didn’t work. Is there anything that could entertain her in her crib when she’s awake?? My nephew loved his Fisher Price aquarium thing that clipped onto the side but I don’t know if she’d go for that. Just trying to think of anything that would let her be awake in the middle of the night if she insists but let you sleep knowing she’s in a safe place. Stay strong girl.

  2. Just a word to say I’ve been there and I feel your pain! Right on about the driving risk too – I drove to work one morning at about 5AM when she was 8 mos. old and remember being in the left lane, dozing for a moment and waking in the breakdown lane headed for the woods. Scared the crap outta me and I didn’t drive to work again for a loooong time – I got off very lucky that morning.
    Do you have cable TV? PBS Sprout airs The Goodnight Show all night long. Many nights I took my fussy wakeful baby out to the couch, turned on Sprout and slept while she watched/dozed. Say what you will about the evils of TV for babies, but it bought me many an hour of desperately-needed nighttime sleep. It’s mostly commercial free, and the only commercials they air (very infrequently) are for boring grown-up stuff like cleaning products and cheesy music compilation CD’s.

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