Mat leave is the best thing ever. Or: why the sleep deprevation hasn’t killed me yet

Yeah, I’m thankful on a daily basis that I’m Canadian.  I have absolutely no idea how women manage a tiny baby and working full time.  I mean, I get it, you do what you have to do, but I don’t think I could manage this stage if I had to get up and be at work at 8 am.

Jess’s sleep is getting worse, if that’s even possible.  She’s now up less than every three hours at night, demanding to be fed.  And when I say demanding?  She wakes up screaming, and the noise wakes David, who is sleeping on a different floor. (I miss sleeping beside my husband, but someone needs to get enough sleep to hold down a job.) On a good night, we might get four hours in a row, but that’s less common, and I don’t know what to do.  All the sleep books talk about teaching your baby to fall back asleep, and Jess has no troubles with that, it seems.  I hear her wake up, and then rock the bassinet or talk to herself for a minute and go back to sleep.  If she’s not hungry, she does not need my help.  She doesn’t need my help to fall asleep at bedtime or naptime either.  Our routine is diapers – pjs – nurse – kiss daddy goodnight – upstairs to the bassinet – kiss – I leave and she falls asleep a few minutes later.  She likes sleep.  But she can’t seem to ever be full anymore, or something.   Last night we both fell asleep with her latched on, and she ate for 90 minutes, and still woke up 2.5 hours later hungry.  None of the books have given me any advice about how to change that.  (Sample from one book: all babies do not need to wake to eat after they weigh more than 11 pounds.  Fuck you, book guy.)

I would have to quit my job, if I was working.  There is no way I could be a functional employee on these snack size bites of sleep.  I’m barely a functional human being right now, and I can spend 12 hours in bed, albeit only sleeping in far too short windows.  I’m so tired, and the fear of falling asleep is getting worse.  Knowing that I simply can’t get enough sleep makes me afraid to fall asleep and that’s stupid, I know, but here we are.

Thank god for all the parent and baby fitness classes we’re doing right now.  Three last week, plus yoga, and then Monday a water fitness class starts to make up for the strollercize that is now over.  In a month, it will be 4 days a week including two classes on Monday, because exercise is my happy drug of choice.  And for the fact that Jess is a very cheerful baby when she’s awake.   These are the things that makes this all tolerable.  That, and my new addiction to iced greek coffee.

Jess has taken well to solid foods (and by well I mean will face plant on the spoon if you’re too slow at offering) and we’ve experimented with stuffing as much food as she’ll take at night, in hope of sating her little belly, but no luck yet.

I’m too tired to think of a good close, so here’s a cute baby picture instead.

Happy baby loves eating

8 responses to “Mat leave is the best thing ever. Or: why the sleep deprevation hasn’t killed me yet

  1. Incredibly cute baby pic. Not sure how old she is at this point, but yes mine started waking more often around four months… right when I went back to work… only part time, 3 days a week, but it was still dreadful. No mom should have to do that and I would like my career once my children are in school to do something to change the U.S. policy about maternity leave…. I can only dream!

    • Jess slept beautifully until 4 months old, almost to the day. Which I was expecting, because that’s apparently a normal sleep regression point. What I didn’t expect is that it would stay that was for another three months.

      I have a long rant about US (lack of) maternity leave. It focuses on the fact that with all these politicians ranting about “family values”, there seems to be a distinct lack of laws and policies backing it up. (At least, I assume you guys don’t get day care credit, and monthly baby bonus money and $500 for child arts and sports classes, and mat leave and all sorts of other things. But the rant is best is person, because it requires flail-y hand gestures.

  2. First, how great that she puts herself to sleep so well! I just had a lovely hour+ trying to get my babe to sleep and then stay asleep in her crib (it used to take longer – progress!). But that schedule sounds so rough, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at all either if I knew a scream was coming at any moment, yikes! Someone told me they used to feed their baby oatmeal before bed since it would keep the baby full longer, but it sounds like you have tried that approach. I like this blogger’s advice and she has a lot about sleeping: http://alphamom.com/author/amy/

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