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sleep deprivation

I've been really struggling with sleep. During the first trimester I slept a lot, way more then usual, and almost was sleeping as much as Andy. He has the easiest relationship with sleep.

But sometime in the early second trimester I just found myself waking up at 4 am. And not being able to get back to sleep.

First of all, there is a lot of waking in the night to pee, usually 1-3 times a night. And then there is me tossing and turning. You're supposed to sleep on your left side because of optimum blood flow. Back sleeping is bad. Right sleeping is so so. Tummy sleeping... only achieved by a rare few.

So I'm on my left side. My hips ache. I shift to the right. I get heartburn. I shift left. And I wake up on my back, and then get anxious that the baby did not get optimum blood flow.

Anyways, yesterday was superbly bad and I was tossing and turning from 1 am to 4 pm, and finally gave up for portions of it. I finally fall asleep and Andy's very loud alarms goes off at 9 am. Fuck.

And that bullshit excuse of: it's training you to have the baby. Really. Nature is so terrible that she keeps you awake when you're making another human, and let you start the taking care of a newborn with a backlog of sleep deprivation.

GAH. I am so bitchy when I can't sleep. So fuck yes we are sleep training.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 7th, 2014 02:22 am (UTC)
I was super bitter about that aspect, too. There is absolutely no way to be trained for sleep deprivation. You can maybe learn coping skills to be calmer about how much it sucks, but everyone's ability to function and self-regulate emotions is impacted by sleep deprivation.

I don't know if you've thought about this option at all for after the baby's born, but we ended up hiring a night nurse one night a week. Mentally, it helped a lot to have that little bit of a break. I'm a crap sleeper due to lifelong insomnia, so I was never able to catch up on sleep that much during it, but it was still calming.

Sleep training is the best. I know there are medical conditions where it can be a bad idea, but I don't understand why anyone with a healthy infant is ever opposed to it.

Edited at 2014-04-07 02:23 am (UTC)
Apr. 7th, 2014 02:14 pm (UTC)
Well, in the home birth circles, sleep training is a big no-no.

But I think I'd rather sleep train then be a raging, sleep deprived mother. I just don't handle sleep deprivation well. Partly it's because it's really hard for me to nap during the day, so I can't recover the sleep deficit.

Andy and I talked about him handling the night wakings for the baby. But that means we'll have to mix formula for the night. Which also brings a lot of mom guilt and peer pressure to exclusively breast feed.

But I'm learning that I just don't handle sleep deprivation. Yesterday I went into a rage and crying fit and locked Andy out of the room so I could just freak my shit out. And then I cried for hours.

You're right, I can't emotionally regulate as well when I'm sleep deprived. and that's just with a couple weeks of sleep deprivation. So if that means the baby gets fed formula at night so I can be a good mama in the day, then that's a better plan.
Apr. 7th, 2014 05:02 pm (UTC)
I don't want to start a potential argument on your lj thread, so I'll just say that if you want to email me privately for an alternative perspective on breastfeeding vs. formula, please do.

I know that in the home birth circles, sleep training is a big no-no, but I don't understand why. It's crazy to me. Babies and parents all sleep better. How is this anything other than a good thing?

I don't have any specific books to recommend. I liked Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child for an idea of the science behind infant sleep, but Weissbluth's method was a little too hardcore for me. We ended up hiring a sleep coach and using her method, which I love. Her method is to teach the baby to sleep by showing the baby how to calm herself with a small comfort blanket. As the baby gets older and SIDS is less relevant, she recommends adding small stuffed toys, too. We also use a white noise machine to add a sound cue for when nap/bedtime is over.

What we liked best about her method is that the parent is allowed to actively interact with the child during the initial sleep teaching period, which was easier for us than just walking away. The parent is functionally teaching the child how to comfort herself by demoing it.

IIRC, we started around 4 months and SB slept through the night for the first time around 5 months. She had periodic night wakings but always put herself back to sleep. It really was exactly what all the books said; the first weekend was rough and then the rest of it was all about establishing a solid nap schedule and night weaning.

And now we still have a consistent nap and bedtime schedule. We have a little routine but once she's in her crib, we walk away. If she's not ready for sleep yet, she plays with her crib toys. We don't have to stay in her room until she's solidly asleep. It makes life a lot easier.

If you want, I can add you to my baby friend's list and you can go back and read my lj posts from when we did sleep training.
Apr. 14th, 2014 12:06 pm (UTC)
There's such a lot of very strongly held opinions: "Do this!", "Don't do that!", often held with a vigour that defies rationality and available evidence.

The truth is that a wide variety of different parenting-techniques work fairly well, and what works for YOU is important. Way too often mothers (and fathers!) are shamed for making choices that work for them, rather than stick with what's claimed to be "best".

Guess what: having parents with energy, parents who slept. Parents who are happy and rested and fun, rather than pissed off, angry and tired, is ALSO a win.

If formula and sleep-training is what it takes to create a life that works for you. (all 3 of you !), then that's the best possible choice for you. (not just an "acceptable" choice, but the *best* choice)
Apr. 14th, 2014 03:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Eivind :-)
Apr. 7th, 2014 02:14 pm (UTC)
How long did it take small ball to sleep through the night? Do you have any books you'd recommend? I just went through the Ferber book, and thinking of picking up the babywise book.
Apr. 7th, 2014 02:55 pm (UTC)
Do you have a snoogle? Because they are awesome. And don't freak out about how you are sleeping. Your body will move you when you need it.

As for sleep training, that's up to you. Many mothers have found that if they co-sleep and dream-feed they barely wake up at all. I know that's the only way I got more sleep. If you find you really do need Andy to handle some of the night wakings, you could always pump milk for an overnight bottle instead of having formula, if the thought of formula bothers you. I could also point to studies about how night nursing helps keep milk production up. And honestly, you never know. I have friends whose babies slept 8 hours a night starting at 8 weeks. LP still wakes once a night to come into our room for mommy milk and snuggles (most nights) and he's almost 3.
Apr. 7th, 2014 03:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the advice, love!

I do have a snoogie and 3 body pillows. It's like a pillow fort in this house!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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