Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sleep Deprivation

Sleep Deprivation. This is not a sympathy seeking post. It's just about being honest. I believe the other members of my family have signed a sleep deprivation pact. I'm not sure about the details, but I think the main gist of it is to keep Mommy from sleeping more than three hours at any given time. It's working. I'm exhausted.

When you bring home a newborn... wait, no. When you get pregnant, you stop sleeping straight through your eight or so hours of sleep. During pregnancy, sleep is generally interrupted for quick trips to the bathroom. 'Quick' being emphasized because you can really get so good at getting from your bed to the bathroom and back that you don't actually have to come fully awake. In some ways this prepares you for what's to come.

When you bring home a newborn, you expect to be up at night. You know you have to feed her fairly often and that she'll cry. Maybe a lot. The high from the hospital wears off pretty quickly at home. The first few weeks become a blur. Eventually the baby starts doing a five hour cycle at night and you count your blessings for four hours and ten minutes of uninterrupted sleep.

But then everything starts to stall out. For us, it's happened over the last two weeks. Brenna started it by waking up one morning with fever of 102. Believe me, the thought in everybody's mind was "oink, oink". But we were wrong. The germ she actually brought home is in the family of the common cold-that-never-goes-away-and-lasts-forever-and-drives-everybody-batty. At first we tried isolating Brenna in her room, but that didn't last and soon Daniel was coughing. And then Michael. And then Carrie.

And now me. See how I was the last one to get it? Conspiracy.

Just as we approach week seven with a baby, the week where all hope has been placed that she'll begin to stretch her nights to six or seven hours, everything falls apart. Since last Friday I have not slept more than three hours at any give time, and mostly it's been much less than that. Every day I get up and work out Carrie's schedule so that she and Daniel will nap at the same time. That should be an automatic two hours sleep for me. But every day, one of them refuses to nap. Every evening I work out some deal with Michael, whereby he's the 'adult on duty' and I get to go rest. But rest is all I get - no sleep. My optimism for finding sleep is fading.

This cough I have picks up big time at night. My throat swells and my chest hurts. Mostly it's a non-productive, involuntary cough. The last two nights the pain in my ears has woken me up. It's only a matter of time before a constant headache ensues.

So today I did something I apparently haven't done in seven years. I went to see my primary doctor. I know it's been that long because my records are now being stored off-site. With a check of the ears, throat, and lungs I got diagnosed with bronchitis. Lucky me, WebMd says most people get better in 2-3 weeks. Weeks?!

If I only had a newborn and a cough, I might still be sleeping. But I'm not. And that's because on top of normal baby crying, Carrie decided that Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights, she wasn't going to sleep from 11pm -2:30am. At the same time, Daniel decided that beginning Monday night, he was going to start wetting the bed some where between 3 and 4am. That way, as soon as I got to sleep, I'd be woken back up again. Now what is up with that?

Michael has only had a few more hours sleep than me. He's been kept awake by all this too, not to mention his cough. Sleeping on the couch works for a while, but it's uncomfortable and he's the first to wake up when Daniel heads to the bathroom at the top of the stairs.

This post has become unbearably long and a bit pathetic. Tired people ramble. But I've kept myself awake for Carrie's last feeding so at least this thread served a purpose.

Three Things That Must Happen to Break the Pact:
1. I have to stop coughing. And also take Ibuprofen right before bed so ear pain doesn't wake me up.

2. Carrie needs to sleep until at least 5am.

3. Daniel needs to stop wetting his bed.

4. There is no four. I just didn't stop typing.

Three Things Sleep Deprivation Does To Me:
1. Makes my temper short.

2. Brings out my sarcasm.

3. Helps me write long, boring blog posts.


The Three Amigos said...

Jules, I wish I was closer so I could take Daniel during the day for you! That would at least let you get another nap in! I hope you feel better soon. It was at about this about these circumstances that Tab and Stu decided they were DONE.

MomBrose said...

Praying for peace (and quiet) in your home. And sleep. Lots and lots of sleep. I wish I lived closer to help!

TurtlesButterfly said...

That is a terrible, terrible conspiracy they have worked out. I hope that you are resting peacefully very soon.

Shannon said...

Not pathetic at all. I wonder what people think of me because I am so sleep deprived. I find myself repeating the same stories, asking the same questions and constantly forgetting words in the middle of a conversation. I seem to make babies that have underdeveloped guts (lots of screaming) and no desire to sleep. I'm not sure I've had more than a 3 hour stretch since Nora was born 13 weeks ago. 2 hours is average. Naps are never certain. And the moment she actually is asleep, Sean literally jumps on me and says "now you can play with me!" It's tough. I feel you. That's all. :)

Anna Klemm said...

Haha, not boring! I esp. loved just didn't stop writing :)
So glad you finally did get a good night's sleep!!

C Steele said...

Julie - Greetings from Charlotte, I"m a freind of Tara's - she sent me your post....wonderful. At least you have a wonderful wit about it anyway. I will pray for your whole families' healing and for you to get some rest. I have 13 week old twins and can intercede for you with understanding! God Bless and Heal you all,