Friday, June 25, 2010

Darkness

They say it is darkest before dawn. Every night I hope and pray that the previous night was that darkest hour, but every morning dawn comes and I've only managed to accumulate a total of 2, 3, 4 hours of sleep and I know I've got a day to survive and more nights ahead of me.

Each night is a little worse than the one that came before it. I have begun to feel detached -- from myself, from my spouse, from my child. I look at her and know I should feel an overpowering love but instead feel frustration and dread, especially between the hours of 8pm and 8am. I would suggest post-partum depression, but it's clearly sleep deprivation, and taking an anti-depressant isn't going to do anything to fix the fact that my child has gone back to only sleeping when held, and only when held by me. (We thought we had fixed the problem, but it's gotten much, much worse, and my back hurts so much I can no longer sleep in the chair while she sleeps.) She usually gives me one 2-3 hour stretch of nighttime sleep not on me, but you never know when it will come, so I usually spend most of it anxious, awaiting the sounds of her stirring.

I would say I'm nearing a breaking point, but I think whatever that point was has passed already. Somehow, when morning comes, I manage to pull it together and put on my big girl underwear and go about my day. Then nighttime comes, and I feel shattered and cracked again.

10 comments:

Lisa said...

I am sorry you are struggling with this. Hopefully the sleeping issues will get better soon.

niobe said...

Sleep deprivation is absolutely awful.

Though I understand why you might not be comfortable with it, I'd be happy (heck, I'd be thrilled) to watch her for an afternoon so you can get some rest.

maresi said...

Oh, dear. I'm sorry this is what's going on. I wish I lived next door and could help.
Meanwhile, I'll be praying for relief for you.

Neve said...

I didn't like reading this post. I cried each and every night around dinner time with Neve for at least 8 weeks. In an effort to try to make me feel better my mom told me that it was my body trying to expel the pregnancy hormones, but I knew better. It was the sadness I felt that everyone who hadn't just had a baby was winding down for the day and I was going to be up God only knows how many times with Neve that night. To say "I get it" is an understatement. I hope that I can give you a big hug soon. I'll also share with you something I said to Quinn 2 mornings ago that can't be typed or else DSS might come knocking on my door. Ian was horrified. xoxo

missedconceptions said...

I was nearly having panic attacks at night with S those first few weeks. During the day, you feel a part of society (sort of) but nights felt awfully lonely.

It's hormones and sleep deprivation, which are a noxious concoction. It will get better. This is only temporary.

In the meantime, hire/beg/demand that someone help you during the day. Everyone wants to hold a baby and if she cries a little, it's not the end of the world.

(As someone who has to take 2 antidepressants to function, give it 2 more weeks and then get to your doctor right away. It is normal, up to a point, but don't let it go on too long.)

HereWeGoAJen said...

Ah, I'm sorry. Take everyone up on the offers of help and get some naps.

It really sucks, doesn't it?

Nicky said...

Ugh, you're reminding me of how I felt the first several weeks with LL. Family, visitors, whoever would leave around 8pm, and as the door closed behind them, I'd feel this overwhelming dread of the long night ahead of me. I'd look at the clock and realize that I had to get through 12-14 hours without going crazy.

When I reached my breaking point, I remember sobbing to S about the sleep deprivation provisions of the Geneva Convention. I hated everybody in the world who was getting more than 4 hours of sleep.

My advice: take corrective action before it gets worse for you. I know that she'll only sleep on you, but it will NOT do her any harm at all to spend a few hours each night with P, even if she's not sleeping. Nurse her, then turn her over to Daddy with orders to get you ONLY when she's hungry, and put several closed doors between you and them. P's a big boy, he's an experienced parent, Josie will be with a loving daddy all night long, and it will do ALL of you some good.

One good night of only being up for feedings, then turning her back over to Daddy, and you'll feel better able to face life. If not, take a second night. :)

Yo-yo Mama said...

You are getting excellent advice and all I can say is I was there as well. After all we did to have our baby girl...I crawled into bed one night and sobbed into my pillow and asking my husband why did we do this; what were we thinking?? We wanted a baby so bad but then I wanted someone to just take her away. It's nothing to be ashamed of, but I was never so grateful to eventually find her growing out of that stage. Also, make sure to mention to your pediatrician on your next checkup.

Photogrl said...

You've gotten some wonderful advice...

I really hope the sleeping gets better soon.

Big, HUGE ((HUGS))

Katie said...

Ugh, you poor thing. I remember these days. . . and these feelings. This was the first 11 weeks of Will's life for me. If it helps, I survived it, and Will is a CHAMPION sleeper now. In fact, at 11 weeks, he started sleeping 7 hour stretches.

That doesn't make it better right now, except to know that there IS a distant light at the end of the tunnel.

Meanwhile: can you have a family or close friend come hold her for ONE night? One night in which you could get some rest. I believe you are nursing, but she is old enough for a bottle now OR at least you would know you could get some stretches of sleep? Or take people up on afternoon duty so you can at least get a nap in? I know, it's tough, but most people really do want to help and if told exactly what you need, would be happy to do it.

There are also services for night nannies/nurses if you would feel more comfortable paying someone to watch her at night. They usually are not that expensive for a night here or there and if you go with a reputable company, the employees have had background checks and come with references.

This is what I fear most about a second baby. Because at least before, I didn't have to suck it up for a toddler during the day. Oy.