September 10, 2009

30 Days of Happiness, Day 16: A Fluffy Butt, Babylegs, and One Hell of a Sleepless Streak

This morning, as Charlie woke up from yet another nap that was entirely too short, I took one look at him and said to myself, "I do not have the energy to be a mother today."

I wish I could report that my son, who previously only woke up once or twice a night, is still doing that. However, no. That is not the case. He's waking up for at least three feedings. And countless other times to be comforted.

Yes, I said countless. Meaning I've lost count. Meaning that every time we get the kid to sleep and put him down, he starts fussing or is wide awake within minutes.

Take last night, for example. After Roy fed him around 4 AM and put him back down to sleep, Charlie just kept fussing and fussing. And fussing. And fussing. Finally, I picked him up and changed his diaper. Sat with him for a long while in the nursery with him over my shoulder, patting his back. It's so easy to get him to fall asleep this way. And he did fall asleep. But the second I put him down, he was fussy.

I looked at the clock and saw it was 6 AM. 6 AM, people! Two hours we had spent trying to get him to go back to sleep. I am not ashamed to admit that I started crying when I saw the clock. Because once it's 6 AM, my hours with Roy at home to help me are limited. And normally, I'm okay with this.

But what's happening with Charlie's shittastic sleep habits is not normal for him. And our little family is kind of in turmoil over this loss of sleep thing.

I have no idea what we're doing wrong, but I feel it must be something. Charlie is waking up as many times as he did when he was a newborn. As a matter of fact, he's exhibiting classic newborn behavior. Eating all the time (at night, anyway), not wanting to be put down, etc. At first I was chalking it up to a growth spurt, but if that's the case, this is one hell of a long growth spurt. All of this is very troubling for us, because hello! We're tired. And we know Charlie is tired. But how to get the kid to sleep, really sleep, is beyond me. We've tried so many things.

Arms swaddled, legs unswaddled.
In the pack and play with the changing pad.
In the pack and play without the changing pad.
After a feeding.
Before a feeding.
In his too-small bouncy chair.
In his new newborn-to-toddler rocker.
Cardboard taped over the windows.
Sunlight blazing in.
In the car seat.
In the swing.

And this list doesn't even include the countless methods we've employed to soothe him to sleep. I'll refrain from listing those.

So far there has been no magical combination. And more often than not, Charlie wakes up unhappy than happy. It used to be a 50/50 split. There's a lot more screaming now. I think I would be a little less concerned if Charlie had always been like this, but he hasn't been. I know he can sleep six hours straight without waking up because he did it for four or five weeks. What the hell is going on?

Bleh, I'm tired. Have I said that already?

But wait! Isn't this supposed to be a happiness post?

Right. About that happiness thing.

I do believe that sleep will be had, dammit! I got a copy of this book recently and burned through over half of it today. Are you wondering how I did that?

Well, I did actually get Charlie to take a decent nap today. And I tried to take one myself, but nothing doing. So I read instead. And then tonight I went to go get my hair done (!!!!!!!!!!), and I read while that was going on. (I'll share hair pics later.) The book is great, and I do believe that we can turn this situation around.

So back to that thought I had (the one at the beginning of this post). The one that so ridiculously assumed that I could take a day off from being a mother. I decided that I had to make the energy to be a mother today. And so that's what I did.

I put Charlie in a ridiculously cute outfit of just a diaper and some Babylegs and snapped some photos.

And it helped, really. Because what about a big ol' cloth-diapered baby butt and some leg warmers wouldn't make anyone smile?

It sure as hell worked wonders for me.

And pssst - don't forget to enter my book giveaway!


Nanette said...

We're just now starting to come out of two months up Sleep Hell, which is partially due to teething and partially due to...who knows?

Prior to that, she was sleeping through the night for about two months, after some sleep training.

And prior to THAT, it was quite often like you described in this post -- hours of unexplained crying, leading to a frazzled mom. I remember my low point - sitting in a work meeting that I was leading, totally losing my train of thought.


Anyhow, hang in there, mama! And Charlie is sooo sweet in his fluffy butt and babylegs!

mj said...

You're so right, baby leggings & baby butt totally make a person's day! Love it! Hope you get through this phase sooner rather than later!

Listen up Charlie! Momma needs her sleep!

PS You have so many great books on your amazon acct I have no idea which one to pick =/

phairhead said...

yr not doing anything wrong. charlie is being charlie.


amber said...

That picture totally had me smiling at the end. :) That doesn't stop my heart going out to you, though, over the sleep issues. Hang in there and I really hope you're able to get it worked out soon. {{hugs}}

Growing Up Cameron said...

Have you read Happiest Baby On The Block? If not, do it. Buy the book & dvd (I found out too late there was a dvd :p). The vacuum also worked wonders w/Cameron.

I'm sure the neighbors thought I was a cleaning freak.

Gina said...

My daughter did not sleep well until 6 months. We tried everything too and read about a half dozen books on baby sleep including Happiest Baby..., and No Cry Sleep... The one that eventually worked was recommended by our pediatrician - Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems by Dr. Ferber. I put off reading it when he first recommended it because I didn't think it was the approach we wanted, but it really wasn't what I thought it would be and worked MIRACLES for her and our sleep.

Anonymous said...

He's a maniac, maniac
on the floor!

We love the leg warmers!

M & P

Angie Eats Peace said...

That last picture is so cute!