mr. sandman

I love sleep. I miss sleep. I need sleep.

Back in the early weeks of Madison’s life, I was getting up every two hours at night. She would feed, then cry for some time before going back to sleep. By the time I would fall back asleep, I would only get in about 45 minutes to an hour of sleep before she was up, ready to be fed again. Needless to say, it’s hard on the system. I wouldn’t be able to get my ass out of bed until about 11AM. Most days, I’d never put my contacts in, or put makeup on, or even get out of my pjs. Slowly, but surely, it started to get better.

A few weeks ago, we started to fall into a very nice rhythm. Maddy would have her last feeding at around 8 or 8:30PM, fall asleep relatively quickly, then wake up somewhere between 3:30 and 5AM. I’d then feed her in the dark so she would fall right back asleep, and she’d be out until pretty much 8AM on the dot. This was very doable. I started to feel a lot better with the amount of sleep that I was getting again. I was content with our little routine that was developing. But of course, as I heard all things do, as soon as we had a bit of a schedule going, it all went to hell.

I don’t know if Madison caught a bit of Murray’s cold (which I now have, ugh) or if she started teething, or both, but suddenly her sleep pattern completely regressed. One night, she was up at 12:30, then 2AM, then 5:30 and 6:50, and up for her usual wakeup time of 8AM. It kicked the crap out of us. I thought we were past all of this!! And to make it worse, when she woke up, she would not just be making little noises, she was screaming. All of the teething symptoms were there: irritability, disruption of sleep patterns, excessive drooling, chin rash, rosy cheeks and chewing on her hands. Oh boy.

To top it all off, she had her 4 month immunization shots on Wednesday. Just like my previous post about her 2 month immunizations, it was heartbreaking to hear her cry when she got poked with the needle. What made it worse was that she had been sleeping quite peacefully until the doctor came in. What a crappy way to wake up. Afterwards, her poor little legs were definitely sore, and that didn’t help her with sleeping, either.

This sleep regression doesn’t seem to have affected her as much as it has affected Murray and I. I don’t know how she still wakes up at pretty much 8AM on the dot, as if she has an alarm clock set. I would love to sleep until at least 10AM with all of these night wakings. She has also started to fight naps, especially in the afternoon. I see her yawning, so I know she’s tuckered out, but it’s as if she doesn’t want to miss anything. She screams and cries and arches her back, until finally I can rock and shush her to sleep. She’s fast asleep in my arms, but often as soon as I put her down, she wakes right back up and we have to start the process over again. Once she’s down for her nap, I have exactly 30 minutes until she wakes up again. This is enough time to say, each lunch, or get dressed. If I’m lucky, maybe I get to sit down and do nothing for a few minutes, but usually it gets taken up by clearing the dishwasher, sweeping up the dog hair or putting on a load of laundry. It hasn’t left any time for blogging, which is why I haven’t made any new posts for such a long time.

It does seem like we’re starting to get things going back in the right direction, though. We’re back down to a single night waking, with a short feed and relatively quick to go back to sleep. Unfortunately, it’s still on the early side of the night – somewhere between midnight and 2AM. I’d really really like to get a longer stretch of sleep again. Normally I go to bed around 9 or 9:30, so that means I still only get about three to five hours of consecutive sleep. Now that I’m sick, I especially need the rest. This weekend, I’m really going to try to take it easy so that I can rest up and feel better for next week.

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just shoot me

Yesterday I took Maddy for her 2 month immunization shots. The doc had told me that she would likely be pretty cranky afterwards, so it  might be worthwhile to see if someone could help me out with her that day. I asked my mom if she would be available, and being the loving Lola that she is, of course she said yes. I don’t think I knew what I was in for! I was expecting that Maddy would be cranky and fussy after her shots, so I was prepared for that, especially since I would have my mom to help out with her. However, I didn’t prepare myself for how hard it would be to watch Maddy cry!

Madison just before she's about to cry

Before the doctor came in, I took Mads out of her carseat and was holding her, cuddling her and telling her that she had to be brave. The doc checked her and took weight and length measurements. She is now 9 pounds and 9 ounces (on her 2 month birthday!) and is growing well. She’s small, in the 25th percentile, but she’s growing on her curve so the doctor has no concerns at all. This isn’t much of a surprise to me since I’m small, and Murray was quite small while he was growing up, too. He had his growth spurt in the 9th or 10th grade, and grew something like 7 inches in one year!! Apparently, it was really painful, but he is now 6 feet tall even though he was only a little 5 foot shorty in grade 8. As for me, I’m still a 5 foot 2 shorty. Hopefully Maddy gets her daddy’s height!

Then it came time for her shots. There are 3 needles, two go in one leg and one in the other. Babies don’t have enough muscle or fat in their arms yet, so they have to get their shots in the thigh. Now, I don’t like needles myself, so the panic started to set in once I saw how big those needles were! Was she really going to put those big things in my baby girl? Eek! I had to hold her sideways so that her left leg was facing the doc. She was already crying as if she knew what was going to happen. Maybe she was tuned in to my tension and it was making her upset. I couldn’t watch the needle go in, so I watched her face instead. Although she was already crying out loud, she screamed when the needle poked her. I felt like I had been shot! Her poor little face went all red and she was wailing. My heart broke. The worst part was having to turn her around and offer the other leg so she could get two more needles… There were tiny tears in her eyes.

As soon as it was over, I held her close, pressed to my chest and tried to comfort her. She cried for awhile longer, but eventually she calmed down so that it was just little sobs. How heartbreaking it is to see your little one cry out in pain! The doc left the room after giving me my flu shot, which normally I dread, but after watching my poor Mads scream like that, didn’t really phase me. My main concern was making sure she was ok and that I could comfort her. I breastfed her, and that seemed to really work to calm and soothe her. She fell asleep in my arms afterwards and I just whispered to her that I loved her and that it was all ok now.

I’m so glad that she doesn’t have to go through that for another two months now.

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