Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sleep deprivation as sighted on the Internet. Is the condition of not having enough sleep, it can either be chronic (as in my case) or acute.  It adversely affects the brain and cognitive function (great)  complete absence of sleep over long periods is impossible for humans to achieve (unless they suffer from fatal familial insomnia); brief micro sleeps cannot be avoided.  Long term sleep deprivation has caused death in lab animals.   LOL!

I am a big sleeper.   Love sleep, love bed.  Pretty much my whole life I have slept over 8.  Always wanting to stay in bed feeling comfortable.  When I was a teenager sometimes I slept till 2 in the afternoon.  I could hear my stepmother down in the kitchen bitching to my father how all I do is sleep (bitch).  I am not a morning person.  I hate morning especially cold wintery mornings before school.  I could sleep easy till 10.00 am.  I could also sleep for over 10 hours easy, I can also and did frequently before the baby came take long Saturday and Sunday after noon naps.   Oh just thinking about a nice rainy Sunday afternoon curling up with a book and a good movie in that nice 700 thread count Hungarian goose down comforter.

"Oh heaven I'm in heaven, And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak and I seem to find the happiness I seek. when I am all comfy and cozy in bed asleep" (thanks Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers)!

No seriously I am getting off track so as you can see I am not a good candidate for sleep deprivation.

My daughter takes not sleeping to another level.  Most nights lately I will put her down and she will sleep for 1 hour and wake up.   Then I MUST nurse her too sleep.  Then down again and wakey!~ wakey! Then down again sometimes 1.5 hours later and sometimes 2 hours later then sometimes 3 hours later she wakes.  It starts as a little whine and pop my eyes open.  I sleep very lite these days.  Its like a roller coaster ride.   What? Its seem I was just up 5 minutes before I thin to myself as I am getting situated to breast feed yet again.  Its brutal.  During the day pretty much the same thing.  Nothing has got better, its gotten worse.  I scream out "I need sleep this is killing me I have not slept literally in 6 months"!!!!  My eyes are burning, my eyelids are like heavy weights trying to force their way down and the constant headaches the cloudy feeling I walk around with all day.

Sometimes I will reminisce about the time she blissfully slept for 12 hours only waking once.  Then I remember the few nights she slept 6 hours straight and I mistakenly thought finally she is going to sleep through the night only be disappointed when the next night she was up again.

So in the beginning when you bring your lovely angel home from the hospital they tell you to wake the baby up to feed.   They tell you to pick the baby up at every cry.  They tell you to love the baby and hold the baby.  This all makes sense of course.  But are we crating habits that can't be broken and what is the alternative?  I would never not go to my daughters cry.  I have heard of some babies sleeping straight through the night.  Like my sisters childhood friend who is bragging about it right now.  She is not waking her baby up maybe that is better.

Everyone told me when the digestive system matures and when she's around 6 mos she should be sleeping through the night.  Sleeping about 14 hours a day.  Well my daughter it seems does not need sleep.  And its killing me. I have reached my precipice and have officially gone over.  I am sure I have changed my brain function and my brain chemistry.  Heck I may not even be the same person I was 6 months ago.

My pediatrician told me last visit to start a sleep routine when I told her my daughters sleep habits.  She started going on about sleep cycles and then I woke up.  No seriously the Doctor said  I need to let her know its the big sleep.  "Do it now she said when she is 9 months it will be that much harder to train her."  "At 6 months they are still pliable."  So what does the training entail?  When all else fails "cry it out."  Basically get the baby ready for bed put her in the bed then walk out and let her cry or scream or screech till she falls asleep.  Have you tried it?  Its barbaric.  Even if she won't remember will it change her?  Their are proponents for and against the "cry it out" method and I have read both.

My cousin's children didn't cry it out because one daughter was too stubborn and the other one would vomit when left to cry.  So she didn't do it and her kids seem fine.  Its nice to find others that are in the same boat.  My sister let her son "cry it out" and it took 3 nights the fist night her son cried for 1.5 HOURS YIKES.  The second night 45 minutes and down from there.  She said it was hard to not go in a pick him up every ten minutes the first night but they stuck it out and voila sleep trained.  I don't know about you but letting my daughter cry for an 1.5 hours. After all I spent the first 6 months creating a bond of trust, now they want me to break it by confusing and terrifying my daughter letting her cry for over an hour?   I mean I set the precedence now I am going to pull the rug out from under her.  It doesn't seem natural something seems wrong.   Plus my daughter gets scared when I have tried for a few minutes sometimes she gets so scared she thinks I am never coming back.  So what did my pediatrician say to that?  Go in and pat her on the back but don't pick her up.   Guess what?  My daughter gets more hysterical when I do that.

So here I am on top the cold mountain alone.  Compounded by the fact that I breastfeed which means my husband can't feed in the middle of the night and relive me anyway.   And since my  husband is working right now I let him sleep in the other room so he can get some sleep.  Its ruff.  But what am I to do what is the alternative?

Just wait it out I guess if I refuse to use the "cry it out" method and what if it didn't work on her anyway.  Then I have to deal.  Hopefully she will grow/mature her way out of it.  In the mean time I have read that sometimes a baby that doesn't like or want to sleep is gifted.   They are too curious, learning and experiencing life to sleep.  So their maybe a plus side to all this.  That will be another hurdle having a baby smarter than me (wink, wink)  :)  Be careful what you wish for.

                   My daughter who is 15 mos no longer sleeps in her crib she co-sleeps with us.  Which is a whole other topic and new set of problems.


  1. Breast feeding has got to be the HARDEST thing Ive ever endured. My advice- pump! Pump and let your husband feed her a couple times a week. I know the last thing you want to do is pump. I felt like of I was gonna pump I might as well just feed her. But it's a heck of a lot less painful and your husband gets a little bonding time and you get some PRECIOUS sleep. Good luck. Have you tries co-sleeping?

    1. It was the hardest hting I hardest thing I ever did as well. it too almost 10 weeks to get it right with no discomfort, now I could breastfeed upside down, but it was a lot of work.

      I have not tried co-sleeping although that is a possibility at this point since I want sleep so bad. I know it causes other problems later. She was up all night till 3am last night. Also gas plays a part too. I am at my wits end. But do not want to give up breastfeeding especially moving to Brazil. Also its too convenient.

      I am going to need him to watch this baby this weekend so I can sleep :).

  2. Co-Sleep!!! There are so many benefits to it, the most important being the increased sleep that both mom and baby get. I say give it a try and see how it goes- if your baby doesn't go for it or it's not working for you, then no harm done! I personally think that crying it out teaches a baby all the wrong things, but sometimes a mom's sanity is more important. And sleep = sanity, lol. I really feel for you.