Thursday, November 6, 2008

Running on Empty

I am tired. Not just "Hey, I could use a nap" tired, but "If I don't get some real sleep soon, I'm not going to make it" tired. I don't think I've ever been this tired in my entire 30 something years of life.

At nearly six months old, Evan is still not sleeping through the night. We've tried reinserting the pacifier when he wakes up in the middle of the night and that works for say 20 minutes and then he's awake again. And he doesn't just whimper; he wails. Loudly. The boy has a great pair of lungs.

We've tried the cry it out method and he just won't stop wailing. After several nights of what seemed like hours of angry screaming on his part (although I was pretty close to screaming, too), we gave up and I just went back to feeding him when he woke up. We can't just put him in his room and let him go until he wears himself out because he'll wake up the other two. And heaven knows we don't need all three of them awake in the middle of the night.

I've tried focusing on his naps because according to the experts, "good sleep begets more good sleep" in the infant population. But, thanks to the schedules of the other two kids, the poor kid just can't get regular naps. He naps for twenty minutes and then I have to get him up to take Liam to Mother's Day Out or to go meet Sydney at the bus stop. I've tried keeping him awake until after we've done drop-off/pick-up, but he either falls asleep in the car or gets overtired and then can't go to sleep at all. I'm at a loss for what to do and we're all suffering the consequences.

Ryan is so tired that he dozed off at a stop sign the other morning. Thank heavens he was stopped and not on the freeway.

The circles under my eyes are becoming permanent. Makeup doesn't even cover them anymore.

Use any cliche you want and I probably fit it: I look like death warmed over, like the walking dead, like something the cat dragged in, like something the cat threw up and then dragged in.

And even worse, I am grumpy. Actually, grumpy is an understatement. I am one of those people who has to have sleep. I function best when I get nine hours of good sleep (Ryan thinks this is ridiculous, but I know myself and I'm sticking to it). The last time I saw nine hours of uninterrupted sleep was March of 2006. Two and half years of sleep deprivation is enough to make anyone crazy. Come to think of it, isn't sleep deprivation a form of torture in some countries?

If ever there was a reason to not have any more kids, lack of sleep is it (at least for me). Yes, kids are expensive and yes, we're out of rooms for them to occupy, but those are things that we could deal with. But I absolutely cannot deal with the sleep deprivation that comes along with babies anymore. I don't know how the Duggars do it. Maybe they're those lucky people I hate envy whose kids sleep through the night at six weeks. Or maybe they just function better than I do on no sleep. Who knows.

So, any tips on how to get the little man to sleep better? I "top him off" at 10 pm or so and he has started eating solids (although I pretty much have to force it down him) so those two things should help, but I'm not noticing much of a difference. Any other ideas?

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