Things have been somewhat fraught in trailerland for the past two weeks or so. I hesitate to post here about the not-sleeping-much situation that I have with Small Z, as I know quite a few people read this and the thought of them just shaking their heads over how I have decided to parent Small Z just makes me feel a bit sad and weird. However. This is also a record of what is going on in my life as it hammers along, and if I don’t post about things, it is very likely I’ll totally forget they ever happened.
I love that I can look back from late 2002 until now and see things that I’d forgotten. It’s really a way of me keeping a grip on my existence. So yeah. I haven’t slept for more than about two hours straight in about five months. I also will not put Small Z in her own room in a cot, because I think babies should be near their mothers – and also, the amount of times she wakes up? I need her in arms reach. I know that some people might assume that because I think this way, I judge them and how they parent their baby. Not so. This smacks to me (ha!) of all that crap involved in organised religion. The thing I hate about religion is that some people can’t be happy and secure with their own beliefs – they have to push them on to other people.
So while I do think that we are just mammals, and all other mammals sleep with their babies – I would never judge people that don’t do as I do. That doesn’t seem to stop people thinking I should do as THEY do. But that’s a whole other scene, and one that I’d prefer to ignore. Small Z is doing well if she has two two hour blocks of sleep per night – the rest of the time she wakes every hour or hour and a half. I boob her back to sleep (I can see you shaking your heads, btw), and on rare occasions she will settle without it. On each occasion, she’s probably awake for ten to twenty minutes. So I am getting SOME sleep, and it’s not like I’m walking with her in my arms for hours each night as she screams. It’s just that my sleep is VERY fractured…
I am aware that in allowing her to feed so often, she has a sucking to sleep association – you know, the one that babies are born with. I don’t care about her feeding to sleep, and I reject all the negative statements about it. I think that breastfeeding encourages sleepiness (more so if you time it right) and is a great tool. I just hadn’t bargained for this two hourly wake up thing. I think it got helped along by her constantly waking with a wet cloth nappy when she was smaller – I’d have to change her…and then get her back to sleep. And thus I helped build the monster. And now I’m too tired to do anything constructive about it. Stupidly, I have been battling with what I have helped create, when I just should either go with it – or go cold turkey and suffer a week or two of a screaming, confused and unhappy baby.
Recently I have been feeling near the end of the line. I have been frustrated with myself, with Small Z and also with M – who CANNOT stand to hear her cry – so when I have made a few crap attempts not to feed her when she has awoken – I have then had to deal with TWO distressed people – one big, and one small 🙁 I do not lie – I am finding this really, really hard. But then I have a huge venting session, read a bit about other people’s experiences and wonder to myself – am I weird to not want my baby to cry her heart out? I don’t think so. But this leaves me with the impossible situation of requiring MORE SLEEP but in order to get MORE SLEEP Small Z will have to be very unhappy. And that will make me unhappy…or, unhappier.
This has all come to a tipping point at a very inappropriate time. Nine months is known as an age of upheaval – teeth, crawling, walking – it’s a big fat developmental landmark, and babies are well known to have big sleep regressions even if they have previously been ‘good sleepers’. Small Z now has FOUR teeth (ow!) and I think there is another one on its way right now. She is crawling (freakishly, but fast) and has just started pulling herself up to standing. Last night she figured out how to stand up in her cot. This morning she began baby-babbling in a whole new way. So she is really cooking along.
I am loath to implement a big change at this point, because it seems like such bad timing. But if things do not improve, I’m not sure I can keep going. Sometimes I wish to be like M’s neice, who – upon bringing her new, and premature baby home, wrote to him and said she couldn’t wait for her to be a few weeks older so she could start doing controlled crying – and that feeding every three hours was driving her up the wall. But I can’t do it. And this is why I have trouble even writing about it – because it is totally down to me. And if I can’t do what it takes to get myself more sleep, then I should just shut the hell up and reap what I have sown.
Sigh. I am feeling the wide and horrified eyes of my mother and a few other people right now, but at least this all goes some way to explaining why I hardly ever call people back or update this blog at the moment! I’m just talking about the frequent wakings – I didn’t even go into the torment that is the initial getting to sleep. That’s a whole other mournful rant. Comments are closed, because I can’t deal with anyone – combative or empathetic.