Sanity Saver

While I haven’t given a full-on sleep update lately, you may have picked up on the fact that we’ve been a tired house again lately (always?). Or that I am a tired mama again lately (definitely always on this one). To be honest, I haven’t given a full sleep status because 1) I don’t mean to use this blog to complain all the time, 2) I’ve been too exhausted to get around to it, and 3) writing about it would be admitting just how bad it has been. And it’s not been good.

A few weeks ago, we gave up the beloved Dream Feed because it wasn’t working. That was a good choice. However, it now means that when I go to bed at night, I never know if I’m going to get an hour or two or four or maybe just the whole darn night before Lincoln is up to nurse. While there have been a few nights when he’s gone the distance, there has been very, very little consistency in terms of feeding time on the others. If you’ve ever had sleep issues, you might know how this uncertainty can make it hard for me to go to sleep at night, even when I’m exhausted.

Then you throw in the complicating factors of a week of sick kids plus a random Sunday night when HD decided to get up to use the bathroom at 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. (of which the first woke me up and I was still up for the second one because I couldn’t go back to sleep) and the result is me. One extremely tired mama. As in, a can’t think/talk straight, barely keeping my sh*t together but still can’t fall asleep at night mess. But then I’m responsible for the health and happiness and all the other things for three little people all day long, so I’ve had to keep going which is what I’ve managed to do by the grace of yoga, chocolate, God, and Orange is the New Black on Netflix (not kidding…those are my coping mechanisms).

But Wednesday night was a recent record low. It took me over three hours to go to sleep that night, only to be woken by Lincoln an hour-ish later, and then up for the day for real another four-ish hours after that. It sucked. So while I opted out of other activities Thursday morning, I did bundle the kids up (hello, subzero temps!) to make the dreaded trek to Walmart solo with all three of them just so I could buy a bottle warmer.

While Lincoln is still too little to skip night feedings altogether (especially since he’s not gaining weight right now), he is old/big enough to be doing just one night-time feeding. No one ever said, though, that I had to be the one feeding him. At the suggestion of a few wise mamas, I got the bottle warmer so I could pump before bed and then send the milk and warmer upstairs with Ben so he could handle the middle-of-the-night feeding. & that way, no one – not the baby who wants milk or the preschooler who needs to pee – could bother me. To his credit, my husband wasn’t bothered by this idea (perhaps because he realized, at this point, it was crucial to my survival?).

Last night was our first attempt. I got settled in our guest room downstairs and managed to fall asleep sometime around 10:30. I’m guessing because there is no clock in that room which is a godsend because, again, another trigger for my sleep problems is seeing the damn clock and then calculating how much little sleep I’ll be getting from that exact moment.

So. I slept. It was lovely. I didn’t have to shove a pillow on top of my head (another coping mechanism that has seriously ruined my neck and shoulders, not to mention ruined my sense of trust when it is quiet). I didn’t have to get up to nurse or use the bathroom or anything. I just slept. And when Ben came in at 5:57 with a missing mama LT, I could hardly believe it. What a relief to get some uninterrupted sleep. Apparently there was a 2 a.m. bottle that took a little bit longer than a typical nursing session to get in Lincoln, but it worked and he went back to sleep and all was well. Especially since I got to sleep right through it. I have a feeling he’ll get more used to the bottle and it will go quicker in the future and there will definitely be a future because this mama needs to recover a bit. I’ve got to get my trust back with sleep and that is not going to happen, excuse the pun, overnight.

If you can, send me some sleepy vibes here in the next few nights/weeks. Just maybe don’t wish me good sleep in person any time soon because I’m still so off that those well wishes just add more pressure to my poor, tired brain. See – I told you it’s been bad!


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