OK so once again I feel like a crazy lady...it is 1:22am, I am drinking port and chamomile tea and crying. I ripped open the box of tissues because they weren't coming out fast enough and I 'told off' the power point because my charge cable wasn't in properly. I called it a 'c##t'.
Yes, a power-point.
So if you haven't already worked it out, I am extremely sleep deprived. I am filled with rage at no-one. Yes, I can't be angry at anyone but I am furious.
Welcome to parenthood.
OK so before I get on to the boring stuff of how I get here I just have to say...I firmly believe two things:
1) Children really ARE born the way they are and 'good luck' trying to mold anything about them, especially sleep. If your child is a good sleeper and you are fully functional - please don't waste energy bragging or giving people advice - just do stuff to help out - preferably involving taking the baby when you can, washing up and telling the parents they are doing an awesome job. And that it is not their fault.
And trust me - in the age of the internet...if someone doesn't know about: white noise, swaddling, allowing opportunities for babies to self-soothe, music, routines, tired signs, watching BF diet for triggers, light levels, temperature control, parental attitude, transitional objects, feeding up during the day, solids, trying formula, prayer, panadol for teething, etc, etc...then they are probably living under a rock. NO it is not your awesomeness that makes your baby stay asleep.
Feel good, but only because you lucked out...and don't brag!!!! It is like telling an overweight person how awesome it is that you can eat tim tams all day because of your metabolism....just don't go there...
2) There is a reason most people who achieve things in life (such as scientists or researchers) are either male or childless. Your brain is chewed to pieces when you never get more than an hour's sleep in a row. You also contemplate drinking wine at breakfast and telling off inanimate objects, neither of which is rather conducive to, well, anything much. I remember what it was like to be interested in the news of the world. Now I am interested in the news of the blanket...'so is tonight going to be better? YES!...actually...dammit...no....'
3) People who have more than one child 'generally' tend to have a pretty good sleeper for a first child. I am not saying 'ALL', but if I had a dollar for the number of times I have said 'one is a good number' since I had my daughter I would be making Rinehart look impoverished. I don't want another baby. I am over the image in my mind of the happy table at meal time of kids playfully throwing things and laughing...I want the kids OUTNUMBERED. So if there are two of us that means one of them. Maybe some babies are like the cuckoo chick...they are born and boot all the other eggs out of the nest. That is how I feel about other children...like running to the hills screaming...
4) If you love your cats you will hate them when you are sleep deprived with a high needs child. My sister tried to tell me this when she had three under two (twins!). I didn't believe her, but it is true. When my cats try to drape themselves over me I just think...'get OFF me'. When they cry and sound like a baby I just want to put them outside in the backyard...the baby is asleep...it is my rare chance to live WITHOUT crying...
Well those were my two points that became four.
HOW I GOT HERE
First up I should say that come 9am I am lining up for Trescillian. Even just for the free night of sleep. I give up - yes - I am a failure.
Second, I should say that I don't have postnatal depression. If you saw me at 6am when my baby starts the day I am fine, happy, making the hot drinks and planning the day. It is the nights that get me...because I CAN NOT SLEEP...
Third, I love my daughter, but she is one crap sleeper. I have tried everything under the sun, read all the books, tried co-sleeping, etc, and she is a HELL baby at night. She used to sleep 'through the night' being 5 hours in a row from about a few weeks old until 3.5 months. The 4 month sleep regression...that...never....went...away.......... .....
Her old pattern which I remember with such fondness was bed at 9pm, feed at 2pm, then 5am, then start the day at 7am. Like clockwork. With a nice routine. Then, one day, for no particular reason, she added a 12am feed. Then a 1am, 1:35am, 2am, 2:45am, 3am, 4:10am, 4:25am, 5am, .....you get my drift. She never went back to normal. And so I am up, watching the clock hands go around and drinking my port. She will only take Mummy for the wakeups, even though her Dad is with her all day as he is off work at the moment. When he goes near her during the night....she screams, and screams....tonight it was for an hour and a half...till I went in and settled her. She is one, very, very, determined baby. And she has been like this for a long time.
And the truth is, I feel like such a failure. Nothing in the world so sad as a defeated optimist right? Each morning I wake up and even though my hubby hasn't been up during the night I get the household going...make the coffees/teas...etc..convinced that the right nap schedule, the right amount or kind of solids, the right wrapping (or not wrapping), the right amount of 'kick-time' and daylight, the right amount of everything really...she has so much love, and cuddles, and family around, and all the things you would think would keep a baby happy. But when the sun goes down, it all goes to hell. And I have lost hope. Tonight I got her to settle in the cot, with my old t-shirt, and she has still woken up every 45 minutes. She is well fed. She ate solids, the room is a good temperature, the white noise is on and the air purifier (in case dust or mould could be the problem). She has a weak night light, the stars are aligned...BUT MY BABY DOES NOT SLEEP. She is 7 months old, and she just does not sleep.