Sleep deprivation at its finest…

I have never (and hope to never again) experienced sleep deprivation quite like this before… I haven’t had a full nights sleep in over 6 months, and probably longer than that as I know I didn’t sleep well through my last trimester of pregnancy with Emmett.  I don’t want to complain, because E is definitely a wonderful, healthy, happy baby; but I also need to document this chapter in our lives.  I told Clint if we ever have a 4th (feeling like an impossible task at present) that we need to figure out the sleep thing much earlier than 5.5 months because I’m totally struggling!

Its nothing new that Emmett isn’t a good sleeper.  He hasn’t ever been a good sleeper.  As a newborn it was fine- pretty typical wake ups and I was fine with it, newborns are supposed to be up multiple times per night, but it will get better…

Then all of a sudden we were at 3 months, and I kept wondering “why isn’t it getting better?!”  By that point August had been sleeping through the night for a few weeks, but I just kept blaming it on the fact that Emmett is smaller than August was… Maybe something’s wrong with my milk supply? Maybe he isn’t napping enough during the day? Oh well- it will get better…

Next we are at 4 months… Well, lets try rice cereal.  Lets start adding some bottles in during the day and try to beef him up and then once he’s a little bit bigger he will sleep through the night.  It will definitely get better…

Fast forward to present day.  Emmett is currently 5.5 months old and is up anywhere from 2-8 times per night.  Sometimes he eats a bottle (usually his biggest bottle of the day-8oz), sometimes he doesn’t.  Sometimes we put his paci back in and he goes right back to sleep, sometimes he doesn’t.  As a last ditch we resort to the swing, and it almost always works, until it doesn’t.  The longest stretch of sleep I’ve had in months is 6 hours, and that has only happened a handful of times.  We’ve stopped nursing completely with the thought that maybe my supply wasn’t good, and taking the guesswork out of the equation would make it less stressful on me (I hope the guilt goes away someday…).  We’ve alternated who gets up with E every other night, to allow a little more rest for Clint and I (although I admittedly resent him a bit on my nights, and rarely sleep well even when Clint is the one up).  I’ve talked ad nauseam about the lack of sleep and problem solved what to do differently to anyone that would listen to me (sorry to anyone I’ve talked to in the last several months).

We’ve “tried everything” and nothing at the same time.  Up to this point we have never stuck with one approach for more than a night or two.  Thats where the sleep deprivation really gets me.  I can’t think clearly (trying to work has become almost comical…), can barely carry on a conversation, and definitely can’t read something and have it make any sense (I had to complete 14 hours of CEUs in the last 2 weeks… interesting).  I’m feeling short tempered with the “big kids” and they are just babies themselves! All around I feel like a fairly miserable human being, and something needs to change… and quickly.

 I thought the hard part of having 3, 3 and under was going to be just having 3 little people to care for, but it would be OK because I’ve done it before, twice.  That’ the funny thing about the 3rd child though… They are completely their own person.  I always compare Emmett to Shae, because they are fairly similar, but they are also so very different.  The hard part of having 3 small children is figuring out Emmett’s wants and needs while continuing to manage Shae and Augusts wants and needs, and maintaining some sense of sanity while doing it… I’ve given up completely on doing it gracefully. Throw in the winter, freezing temps and being stuck inside for days and days and it really gets challenging to keep it all together.

So how do I solve the sleep issue??  I was told by a sorority sister about a method called the “Sleep Easy Solution” and googled it immediately.  Its supposed to be a sleep training method with “least tears” which sounds right up my alley.  I’ve bought into the theory behind it, and I do believe that its OK for babies to cry a bit to figure out how to put themselves back to sleep.  The problem is that I am weak right now in listening to E cry… and he is oh so very strong!  This kid can cry it out with the best of them.  I thought his sister had stamina and determination but she doesn’t hold a candle to Emmett.  We are really in for it with this one.  We are 1 night/day in and I’m not totally discouraged, but I’m also not totally hopeful either.  Time will tell, but for now we are on a strict sleep routine and his feeds are pretty scheduled as well. My goal is to teach him how to put himself back to sleep by self-soothing. With Shae we pretty much always went in to give her a paci and I still think she struggles with self-soothing, hoping to learn and improve as we go!

For now I’m going to keep trying to embrace Emmetts awake times because he truly is one of the happiest babies I’ve ever met!

Blowing bubbles is one of his favorite tricks!
Blowing bubbles is one of his favorite tricks!
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2 thoughts on “Sleep deprivation at its finest…

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