Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hour-a-Day April: Days 17 and 18 and a Lack of Sleep

Dorothy popped out of the womb sleeping for five hour stretches. It was surreal and amazing.

When she was a little baby, I could put her down "drowsy but awake" and she would just go to sleep on her own. When Valerie was a baby, I remember thinking that this was a ridiculous myth propagated by baby book authors. But nope, it worked with Dorothy. I could hardly believe it.

And then, like the proverbial frog in a pot of cold water, I got complacent. I don't know what went wrong, but it happened so gradually that I didn't notice. And then one day, I realized that I wasn't getting enough sleep to function anymore. I was grumpy, and I had a short temper, and I realized that, one by one, every one of my sleep tricks had stopped working. I had one trick left up my sleeve: When she was tired, I could put her on my back, in the Ergo or the mei tai, and she would go to sleep, then I could slip her quietly off my back and transfer her to the bed. Then, about a month ago, she started biting my back whenever I tried to do this, and, just like that, my last sleep tool was gone, and I realized that I had nothing left.

I hate talking about sleep. In fact, I blogged here not too long ago about how I think people should butt out and stop asking new moms about sleep. But here's the thing: It had become a major problem for us. My 17-month-old was sleeping worse than a newborn. And I simply couldn't function like that anymore.

We started doing some sleep training. Not cry-it-out, but something in between. When we sleep trained Valerie using this method, she had one rough night, then a few okay nights, then she was sleeping for 12-hour stretches within a week. Dorothy has not been such an easy sell on sleep. Things looked like they were working well at first, then, she seemed to get caught up enough on sleep to become a fighter again, and the nights got worse again. We have an occasional good night, and I'll get optimistic for a day, then the next night, she will be up every hour again. I don't know how she does it, but I certainly can't live on that little sleep.

Anyhow, I never wanted to come on here and talk about our sleep struggles, but this is directly relevant to my lack of daily HADA success this year: I am so insanely tired that I can barely trudge through the daily stuff, let alone the "bonus" stuff. Yesterday was bad. Today isn't looking good either. I went to bed at 8:30, and I got to sleep from 9-12, then I didn't get more than a 45-60 minute stretch for the rest of the night. I think it's going to be another "survival mode" day.

Just to clarify: I am not looking for sleep advice. I am drowning in sleep advice. I can almost guarantee that any attempts to give me sleep advice will just make me more frustrated than I already am. I am simply explaining why I kinda suck at HADA this year.

1 comment:

Marianne said...

No sleep advice, just sympathy. I totally get it. I wish you luck with whatever you try. So many suggestions, and basically the only thing guaranteed to work with every child is ... time. Eventually they'll either sleep better, or be old enough to look after themselves in the middle of the night, lol!

And remember ... any single minute of HADA that gets done is more than you would have achieved without setting the HADA goal this month.

Here's hoping the sleep fairy visits your house soon, and sprinkles lots of sleep-through-the-nighty dust!