Attachment Parenting

I really almost lost my cool last night.

I used to be on here a lot complaining about Henry's bad sleep, but I've pretty much been MIA lately, but it's hard to get on here with an extremely active (and fast) little guy! I've also been lucky enough to have found a mom's group IRL that is wonderful and I have contact with daily.

Anyway....for those of you who have no idea of our story....Henry has been waking up every 2 hours (about that) since he was born. We have tried every suggestion under the sun with the exception of CIO. We've had one 3 hour stretch and one 4 hour stretch ONCE each.

The past week he has been waking every 40-60 minutes and taking 10-20 minutes to fall back asleep.  Last night when he woke up for the second time (went to sleep at midnight, and was awake twice by 1:30) I started screaming. My whole body started shaking and tensed up, I felt like I was going to physically throw Henry at the wall. I quickly handed him to my husband (who is not an active participant in the night time wakings due to multiple factors) and got back into bed to cry to myself about what just happened.

I'm not looking to be flamed here (which I think rarely happens on this board anyway- one of the reasons it's the board I call 'home'). And yes, I understand the severity of the issue. I just needed to come clean with some "friends". I don't want to share with my IRL friends, but ignoring it makes it feel like it didn't happen. (And yes, I will be sharing it with a health care professional as well, so please don't tell me I'm BSC and need help!)

Now I STILL have a baby who doesn't sleep and I feel like a horrible mother. G-R-E-A-T!

 

 

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Re: I really almost lost my cool last night.

  • you are NOT a horrible mother! you've been struggling with sleep for a looooong time, i think i would have broken down a long time ago. i'm glad you are seeking help and i hope things get better soon! (this board is great for venting, isn't it?! we've got some very supportive ladies here.)
  • I can't say I've "been there" but just wanted to say you ARE a great mom for knowing your limits and handing the baby off.  I hope you find someone who's able to help you and your family!

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  • First, you would be a horrible mother if you would have physically harmed him.  But you didn't.  You handed him off to a pair of loving arms and you separated yourself from him.  That shows that you care about him deeply and you are NOT a horrible mother.

    Repeat, you are NOT a horrible mother.

    Secondly, the only reason I survived the 4-10 month period with both kids and my sanity intact is because of the support of my husband with nightwakings.  Period.  Both kids had different issues and habits, but both kids did a lot of waking overnight in the 6 month period especially and both of them spent a lot of time in our bed.

    Thirdly, with both kids I have cried/yelled into my pillow and punched my pillow because I was so sad/angry/miserable about being woken up "again".  Sleep deprivation is a horrible thing and it can make the most wonderful, loving and patient parent want to run away from their child and their overnight needs.

    Lastly, waking every 40-60 minutes sounds like the 8/9 month sleep regression to me.  You've got to have help.  Somehow.  I don't remember the specifics of your situation, but here are a few ideas and maybe one of them works.  At least to get you through the next few weeks or months, with the idea that lots of kids start sleeping better (not all night, but longer stretches) at 10/11 months.

    - Have your husband take care of Henry from after work until 10pm while you sleep.  This gives you some rest before the overnight nightmare begins and he doesn't have to help you overnight.  Or hire a babysitter/get another relative to do this in the evenings.

    - Have your husband or another caregiver/relative help overnight.  Don't know where everyone sleeps or what your situation is.  But a solution as simple as sending in someone other than mom to try to settle LO first might help.

    - Have your husband or another caregiver/babysitter take care of Henry for 4-6 hours on a weekend afternoon so you can nap.  Preferably have them leave the house while you nap.

    - Do ANYTHING you can to get 4-6 unniterrupted hours of sleep for yourself at least once a week, if not several times a week.

    Huge hugs!

    Heather Margaret --- Feb '07 and Todd Eldon --- April '09
    image
  • I am so sorry you are going through all of this! You are not a horrible mother- you just need a break! Maybe DH could take over one day coming up so you can have a couple of hours for yourself. I hope you find some peace (and sleep) soon!
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  • ::hugs:: you did exactly what needed to be done. you handed your son over to another adult who he was safe with. no flaming here.

    i've been there. DD slept in 2 hour periods till she was 6 months old. DH went back to work at 2 weeks... i literally thought i was loosing my mind. i would start to become depressed every time the sun would go down, i just couldn't take the night wakings any more. 

    i couldn't imagine making it another 2 months past (since your DS is 8m). you sound like an amazing mother and wonderful parent for taking the full responsibility for the baby every single night. you did the right thing by waking your DH and involving him. 

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  • Oh honey, dont beat yourself up! Sleep deprivation is HARD...I mean HAAARRDD. Doing with no help is even harder! You absolutely did the right thing by handing him over and having a moment. I hope that something gives for you soon! I mean if things are really crappy, the only other way to go is up! Positive thoughts for you!! 
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  • That is really hard.    It sounds like you are both getting horrible sleep, which is bad for both of you.  Is there a reason you are so against CIO at 8 months?
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  • erbearerbear member

    Please. You are a normal mom. There is a reason why sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture.

    I remember that feeling all.time.time when Kate was younger (around 6-8 months). I can distinctly remember thinking that I understood how people could shake their babies. 

    What finally helped us was 1) telling my husband.  He started doing more night wake-ups, especially if she wouldn't go down again right away after nursing. He was working, but too bad...his kid too 2) we did Ferber around 8 months.  I was against it to begin with but I finally realized that this was not creating a healthy environment for either of us. It was 2 nights of mild crying for us, and she's slept 12 hours a night since.  It's not for everyone, but for us, something had to be done and I feel like waking up every 20-40 minutes was not healthy for anyone.

    Good luck. Hang in there! It does get better!!

    "Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies. God damn it, you've got to be kind." - Kurt Vonnegut
  • imageMrsAmers:

    First, you would be a horrible mother if you would have physically harmed him.  But you didn't.  You handed him off to a pair of loving arms and you separated yourself from him.  That shows that you care about him deeply and you are NOT a horrible mother.

    Repeat, you are NOT a horrible mother.

    Secondly, the only reason I survived the 4-10 month period with both kids and my sanity intact is because of the support of my husband with nightwakings.  Period.  Both kids had different issues and habits, but both kids did a lot of waking overnight in the 6 month period especially and both of them spent a lot of time in our bed.

    Thirdly, with both kids I have cried/yelled into my pillow and punched my pillow because I was so sad/angry/miserable about being woken up "again".  Sleep deprivation is a horrible thing and it can make the most wonderful, loving and patient parent want to run away from their child and their overnight needs.

    Lastly, waking every 40-60 minutes sounds like the 8/9 month sleep regression to me.  You've got to have help.  Somehow.  I don't remember the specifics of your situation, but here are a few ideas and maybe one of them works.  At least to get you through the next few weeks or months, with the idea that lots of kids start sleeping better (not all night, but longer stretches) at 10/11 months.

    - Have your husband take care of Henry from after work until 10pm while you sleep.  This gives you some rest before the overnight nightmare begins and he doesn't have to help you overnight.  Or hire a babysitter/get another relative to do this in the evenings.

    - Have your husband or another caregiver/relative help overnight.  Don't know where everyone sleeps or what your situation is.  But a solution as simple as sending in someone other than mom to try to settle LO first might help.

    - Have your husband or another caregiver/babysitter take care of Henry for 4-6 hours on a weekend afternoon so you can nap.  Preferably have them leave the house while you nap.

    - Do ANYTHING you can to get 4-6 unniterrupted hours of sleep for yourself at least once a week, if not several times a week.

    Huge hugs!

    I could've written this word for word, right down with the punching of my pillow/mattress!  HUGS TO YOU, I've been in your shoes.  It is so so so so hard and I remember many a "guilty" morning.  In the middle of the night when you've been woken up after the 5th time, there is just no rational thought process.  I second everyone's advice to get a good chunk of uninterrupted sleep at least once a week.  My therapist actually recommended that!!  I made an agreement with DH that on Saturday mornings I could take a good long nap...as long as I could make it to Saturday I knew I had that going for me.  Going to bed very early (like after I managed to get DD to bed) also guaranteed me a small good chunk of REM sleep.  My DD did most of her wakings from 1am-5am so if I could sleep 9-1 I at least got some good sleep that night.

    It's ok, you are not a horrible mother, and I hated this saying at the time, but really it will get better.  Maybe not immediately, but it won't last forever.  I was in such a dark dark place that I swore we'd never have any more kids because I couldn't go through that again.  DD started for the most part STTN when she turned 2 and I was then ready to think about having another.  It's amazing how your mindset changes when you start getting some rest!

  • Everyone has a breaking point, its how you handle getting to that point that matters and you did the right thing by handing him to your husband. You are NOT a horrible mother and you did nothing wrong. 

    I am so sorry you are having such a difficult time with sleep. I hope that things turn around very soon for your family.

    (((HUGS))) 

  • bb80bb80 member

    i think most of us have been there before.  During the first two weeks, i had a moment when i yelled "just shut up already!" not AT her, but in reference to her (in the other room)

    you are not a horrible mom and you did the right thing!  hang in there

  • I'm so sorry you are going through this! We had a really long stretch of terrible sleep too, and I definitely still get very frustrated when we have long stretches of bad sleep. I think many people have been in your same position.

    Do you get to nap during the day? What finally saved my sanity after months of not sleeping was going on vacation and taking a nap with DS every afternoon.

    It sounds like you definitely need a break. I hope you can find some help. DH has never been particularly helpful at night - but DS just won't let him. If I give DS to DH, he just cries even more, which doesn't help me at all.

    (((hugs)))

  • I was right where you are a few times over the last year. It's a dark place. Sleep deprivation is a form of torture for a reason.  I shouted at Ari one night, then immediately broke down in hysterics b/c I felt so horrible. That's when we pushed to see the sleep specialist. DH & I were fighting all the time & I was having a complete break down over sleep at least 2x per week.

    Hugs mama. You're amazing. Repeat that to yourself 100 times & go take a nap. 

     

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  • QuazelQuazel member
    You are not a horrible mother.  Quite the opposite, in fact!  You broke down, we all do, but you did so in a healthy, safe way.  Being tired is incredibly hard.  I understand why it is used as a form of torture.   It is time to work something out with your DH.  I am so sorry you are going through this and feeling down on yourself.  You are doing a great job and WILL get through this!
  • all the PPs covered all the thoughts i had, tip-wise. still, i wanted to say it again: you are a GOOD mother. you did what you needed to do to take care of your LO and yourself in that moment.

    i know the guilty feelings don't go away just like that, but you have our permission to let them go :) come and vent whenever you need to, and you will get through this.

    i hope you and your DH can come up with a plan that lets you get some sleep, even if it weekend or early evening naps.

  • Don't beat yourself up! You did exactly what you should have done. Sleep eprivation is torture, it's sooooo hard! I can't believe you've gone so long on this kind of nightly schedule. I'm not for CIO but I probably would have done it in your case. When DS2 was born I would go to bed at 7:30 w DS1 so I had a few hours of solid sleep, that really helped! 
  • I can actually say I've been there. Unfortunately I was home alone and had no one to hand DS off to, so I put him in his crib and jumped into the shower. He was screaming, but it was better for him to scream than for me to hold him in the state I was in. It took maybe 5 minutes for me to calm down. Talking about it really helped me understand what was going on, and I feel like I'm a better mom now because of it. 
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  • EmmieBEmmieB member

    I have shouted at my son. As soon as I realize that I have slipped past patience, I remove myself. Even if it means letting him cry in a safe place for a few minutes. Stress + inconsolable baby + sleep deprivation = discovery of places within ourselves that we really wish didn't exist.

    You are not a horrible mother. You are a human being.

    I'm going to recommend a couple of books. They're not self-help, necessarily, but I found them when I had been having a particularly rough few weeks and they "saved" me: My Monastery is a Minivan and Momfulness - both by Denise Roy. Trust me. In fact - get everyone in your IRL mommy group to read and discuss.

    Lots of hugs. Good luck!

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  • I've been there.  It's rough and I'm so sorry. You are a great mama!

    What helped me/us tremendously - co-sleeping.  Once we moved her back into our bed from the crib - we all slept SO much better.  If that's an option for you, I highly recommend it.

  • I just wanted to reiterate what the PP's have already said: You are a great momma! You did exactly the right thing, handing your LO off to someone else who loves them.

    I also wanted to encourage giving co-sleeping a try. Being able to nurse while sleeping has been a lifesaver for me. Plus DD sleeps longer next to her momma.

    If you have friends and family in the area with some free time, try having someone come over once of twice a week so you can get at least a little sleep. Once you've gotten sleep, life is much more manageable.

  • {{hugs}}  I've been there too.  That's a ton to handle on your own.  Know you are NOT a bad mother and do whatever you can to get your DH more involved overnight.  I hope things get better quickly.
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  • Been there and done that.  And I too have a DH who really cannot do the night time assists during the work week.  So this is what we came up with.

    1) DH took Monkey Friday nights.  PERIOD.  I got one full night. 

    2) I allowd the house to fall into a pigsty for 2 months, because when she slept, so did I.  And until Monkey was born, I was never able to nap.  Now I can drop of w/in 3 min, no matter how much caffine I have in my system.

    3) Either hire a housekeeper (every other week) or an out of the house babysitter (once a week for 4+ hours).  This way you can get the stuff you need done DONE and throw a two hour nap in there.

    4) Look at YOUR diet.  I am betting that you are not eating or drinking healthily.  I know I wasn't.  Once I forced myself to eat properly and drink more water (turns out I was dehydrated), it was easier to deal and nap.

    5) Take 4 hours on Sunday for YOU time.  Get out of the house, away from the baby.  Go shopping, get your nails done, eat a long liesurely lunch, take in a movie, read a book at Barnes and Noble.  Do whatever you need to do to breath.

    And finally, have you talked to your Pedi about this.  I mean really discussed this and forced a sleep study.  This sleep pattern does not sound healthy for a baby.  I would start pushing this issue. 

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