Thursday, August 27, 2009

Anniversary, Apathy, Exhaustion: Catching Up

So I have had a bunch of posts that I've meant to, well, post, but haven't had time. So, in order to catch up, I'm just going to do a bulleted list of stuff, starting with the good and moving to the less good:
  • P and I celebrated our four year anniversary last week (the 20th). Four years is the fruit & flowers (traditional) or appliances (modern) anniversary. So P sent me flowers and gave me a new air conditioner for our room (we had given ours to Harry). I sent him an edible arrangement (with the anniversary sampler added on) and got him a second guitar for Guitar Hero. Very romantic :) On Saturday, my SIL babysat, and P and I enjoyed a fantastic dinner out, then went to see Harry Potter at the IMAX. It was an awesome night -- wonderful meal, great movie, better company. Happy anniversary, P!
  • Harry has begun table food in earnest. We have ordered him food off the kids menu at a couple of restaurants. It has been quite messy but fun. It seems he will eat anything with tomato sauce. And he loves blueberry pancakes.
  • I find myself somewhat busy at work. I've been having a lot of trouble motivating lately (see next bullet), though, which isn't good. I have a lot more to say on this, but it's not really a bullet list kind of thing.
  • Lately (like, since June), I've been feeling, well, not myself. I guess that's the best way to describe it. I've been feeling tired and run down and generally apathetic. I just don't care about much of anything. Most of the time, whatever I'm doing, I'd rather be doing something else. And beyond apathy, I am definitely feeling some degree of antipathy when it comes to work. I have waves of feeling differently, but they are infrequent and unpredictable. And I have been eating too much, in a very mindless way, and not healthy food, which makes me feel more run down and generally bad about myself. I had an appointment with my doctor last week (for a physical) and brought it up with her. She did a bunch of bloodwork to rule out any physical causes, and it all came back normal. Her best guess (and mine, I suppose) is depression. She recommended an anti-depressant. But the last time I tried one (in college), I had a very bad reaction to it (severe anxiety -- severe enough to land me in health services, where they doped me up on a boatload of sedatives). So I'm reluctant.
  • My tiredness/run down-ness is not being helped by the fact that Harry has gone from being a great sleeper to being a mediocre (at best) one. After sleeping through the night since 10 weeks, we have now had several weeks of wake-ups. Some wake-ups are quick, others not so much. And he pulls himself to standing and will wail on and on, so we can't really just let him cry it out, though we may try some modified form of it tonight in the hope of finding something, anything, that might help. For an example of what we've been dealing with, on Tuesday I was working until about 1am. I then couldn't sleep. I finally fell asleep at 2 or so Within 5 minutes, Harry woke up screaming. When I went in there, his elbow was stuck in the bars of the crib (his actual elbow -- his hand and body were still inside, but his elbow was outside). I unstuck it and rubbed his back for a bit. He lifted his head up (which is generally an indication that he's about to sit, then stand), so I picked him up to settle him, but he was like a sack of potatoes. I put him back down a minute later. He moved around a little and fell back to sleep. This was one of the better nights. But I then had trouble getting back to sleep. So last night I decided to go to bed early-ish (10:30 or so), since I'd only slept 3 hours the night before. But Harry didn't like that plan. He woke up at 10:45, screaming. We let it go for a few minutes, but it got worse rather than better. P went in to rock him, but Harry continued to scream/cry for an hour or more, preventing me from sleeping. He finally calmed down, but wasn't sleepy. At 12:15, I took over, and after 15 minutes he was asleep. But he woke up when I tried to leave. By that point I was too tired to deal, so I turned off the monitor so I could sleep and let P take over again. Harry didn't fall asleep until 1:15. During the time he was awake, we tried Motrin and Orajel, in case it was teething. P gave him a bottle, in case it was hunger. He had a few farts, but not enough for me to think it was gas. He's pooped a bunch lately, so it's not constipation (though the poops have been wetter than usual, but not so wet as to make me worry about a bug). P thinks it's developmental, relating to an approaching language development, since he tends to spend his settled-but-not-sleepy time "talking." (He says "duck" and "book" (and other things, but mainly those two) over and over, pointing at any number of things, most of which are neither ducks nor books.) I'm nearing a breaking point.

And that's all I have to say about those things for now. Advice and/or assvice on any of those topics is welcome.


HereWeGoAJen said...

I would put my money on a sleep regression. Which means that it will end on its own. I think we are having a nap regression now. Of course, Elizabeth has never been a good sleeper.

Intrepidgirl said...

Sleep deprivation is definitely causing your sluggishness/depression. And I'm terrified thinking about the-baby-who-stands-and-cries because we haven't gotten there yet. Tough!

I always had a crappy sleeper right from the start. It wasn't until I bought "Solve your child's sleep problem" by Ferber (the so-called CIO guy). If you read the book, he never recommends letting your child just cry. You have to go in there at regular intervals. We followed his progressive waiting approach around 5-6 months and it worked the first night.

My suggestion is get that book. He covers newborn sleep through teenage sleep. It's pretty terrific. I have mine all tabbed up so I can refer to various pages. Good luck to you!

D.C. Tigress said...

Katherine did the same thing around that age - it was awful. We did wind up doing some sleep training when NOTHING we tried seemed to work (I often say I was happy to do co-sleeping, but the co-waking was killing me.) I'm not sure how much that helped honestly - I think it was more outgrowing it - but the week she turned one, she slept through the night, and it got better (with a few bad nights) from there. And once I was sleeping again, I suddenly felt worlds better - it was clearly *the* primary issue for my mental state.

So no real advice - just know that this is really common at right before a year (have heard about it from LOTS of folks). Don't know what causes it, but I do know that it generally passes, and kids go back to sleeping better, eventually.

missedconceptions said...

Are you still BFing? I had a "depressive episode" (medical lingo) for a good 2 months after I weaned. Hormone shifts are a big catalyst for me.

Find a good antidepressant. It will change your life.

niobe said...

On the sleep thing: My guess is that it's probably just (or "just") a phase that he'll grow out of and there's probably not too much you can do about it.

Still, there's a reason why sleep deprivation is considered torture. If it's at all possible, I would consider taking a night off -- meaning that you (not P and not H, but just you) goes for an overnight elsewhere -- at a friend's house or a hotel.

Since a full night off may not be possible if you're breastfeeding, my second suggestion would be to have P take Harry out somewhere on a weekend afternoon for 3 or 4 hours (or however long is reasonable), so you can take a long nap.

Or, depending on your workload, maybe you can skip out of work early one day, go home and get a good long nap while Harry is still at daycare.

On the antidepressant thing -- there are so many different kinds that you might want to give a few other types (other than the one that caused the anxiety reaction, I mean) a try. ADs can make a huge difference and it sometimes takes a little trial and error to find the right one.

Sorry to go on and on, but, hey, you *did* ask for advice....

Nicky said...

I definitely agree with everyone who says that sleep deprivation is probably a huge factor in your mood at the moment. I have also been feeling apathetic about work, life, etc. (you description fits me exactly) but I find that a solid 8 hours helps enormously. So yes, try to take a night off. And by night, I mean go to bed whenever you need to in order to get 10 straight hours of sleep, during which P is under strict orders to do whatever he needs to so that you are NOT disturbed.

If that doesn't help, I'd urge you to not judge all anti-depressants based on what you were given in college. The university mental health services are notoriously bad. Bad bad bad bad bad. I could tell you lots of stories covering lots of people, but it all comes down to just plain bad care. Seriously, talk to your doctor.