Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Weak, To Whom Sleep Belongs

Around 3 and a half months old, Lis started essentially sleeping through the night.  She might need us to come in and give her her ditty (pacifier) back, or she might want her diaper changed, or once in awhile, she would want food.  Mostly, she was tired and wanted to sleep.  Woe to anyone who woke her when she did not want to be woken.  It was not pretty.

So from 3.5 months to 6.5 months, we had an awesome sleeper.  Sure, some nights were worse than others, and some were downright blissful.  That’s three glorious months of sleep.

Then, Lis had her surgery, and everything has gone to hell in a hand basket. 

At 1:20 p.m. at work the other day, I put my face down on my glass desk, vaguely seeing how it would fog up as I breathed.  I didn’t care.  I was so tired that I dozed off for two minutes, until my chair rolled out from underneath me and I almost would up on my office floor. 

With the exception of one glorious night, where Lis slept until 7:30 in the morning, she has woken up at least twice.  That’s not so bad, but they are not just wake ups with a  quick return.  They’re the “walk me around the house” kind of wake ups.  Worse than that has been her pattern the last few nights—she wakes up at least once every hour, sometimes more.  Last night went something like this: Wake up at 11:15, 12:30, 1:05, 1:55 (diaper change), 2:55, 3:15, 4:30 (feeding), etc, etc, etc.  I was almost relived to go to work, even though I was so tired. 

There have been several nights of this now.

I don’t think either of us can keep this us.  Vor and I trade nights of and on, but she’s LOUD.  So, even though one of us is not getting up, we are both awake, wondering what we could do to help, if there is anything we could do, etc.  Lis can’t keep this up, because she’s seven months and she needs to sleep. 

I know this is a product of surgery.  First, her sleep schedule got al messed up by being out all day, and then further messed up by the pain medications.  Then, there was the problem of sleeping and being woken up by nurses at all hours.  Then, the eyes were swollen shut, and once she opened them again, she was terrified to close them.  She would get sleepy and start to drift off and wake up screaming, scared.

(here’s where I insert a mini rant regarding people who have told us to let her cry it out—it makes me want to wring necks.  "You need to let her learn how to self soothe! She doesn't know how to sleep on her own!"  GEE YOU THINK? That probably has nothing to do with the MAJOR TRAUMA she just experienced, RIGHT?  No way in hell am I letting my recently operated on baby cry it out, or if I can help, cry at all right now)

Anyways, there was pain she was still in, and that caused sleep problems.  Also, she lost her appetite from surgery and from the medicine, so she would eat less, but more often, which meant lots of nighttime feedings.

We may have had a breakthrough last night--not in terms of sleeping more, but in terms of food and then hopefully, that leads to sleeping more.  She finally ate some cereal, gnawed on a banana, and ate half of a freaking avocado.  Win.  Except for sleep last night.  That was still a fail.


Butterflyfish said...

Hopeful that she'll be able to get back to her former sleep schedule soon... for all your sakes

CP said...

Good luck! That sounds horrible :( I could never let my own babies cry-it-out. I couldn't imagine letting a baby do so after such a big surgery. Hugs!

Proto Attorney said...

Ugh, is co-sleeping an option until she's fully healed up? I don't do well without sleep, you have my sympathy.

What's your doctor say? I'd think they'd have some suggestions, since I'm sure it's a common post-surgical occurrence.

Grace said...

We're getting there! The eating has really helped over the last two nights. She actually slept for four hours straight last night and it was GLORIOUS.

We tried co-sleeping, once. I woke up with her fingers up my nose, and Vor woke up with scratches on his face.