New Mama Musings

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Tales of the Sleep-Deprived

Worst. Night. Ever.

Well, in a long time anyway.

Last night Henry spent more time thrashing around and crying out than he did sleeping quietly. The arms were windmilling and whapping Mommy, who kept trying to stuff a boob in his face.

I haven't been this tired since Henry was first born. Those nights were hellish. He would wake up crying and jerkily bicycle his little legs for an hour or more. In retrospect I think he may have been reacting to the soy and occasional dairy in my diet -- things I didn't try cutting out until he was a bit older and starting to spit up a lot.

At about two months he started "sleeping through the night." By that I mean he wanted to nurse every few hours, but he pretty much let me know by fussing in his sleep. He would then nurse in his sleep and settle back down right away. Who would have thought getting woken up every two hours would seem like pure heaven?

At four months or so things started going downhill again. I've read that this is common, whether because babies start doing so much more that it's hard for them to sleep soundly at night or because they've begun teething. So Henry's been waking up a few times every night for the last several weeks. If I'm unable to soothe him back to sleep by patting his bottom, my husband takes over and puts him on his chest until he's out again.

Last night, however, was something altogether different. He never got so out of control that my husband had to help out, but he never slept in heavenly peace either, let me tell you.

It got so bad that when I'd finally settle him back down and my husband would inevitably shift positions or adjust the blankets or -- gasp! -- get up to go to the bathroom, I would scream in my head, "STOP MOVING! YOU MIGHT WAKE THE BABY!"

Of course that's entirely unfair, not to mention a bit irrational. But who knew a baby could be so sensitive to even the slightest disturbance?

Hopefully the voice in my head will stop screaming after the twin-sized bed we recently ordered to put between our bed and the wall arrives. That way the baby-who-takes-up-half-a-queen-sized-bed can have his space and Mommy and Daddy can possibly get some sleep. I'll keep you posted.

P.S. Happy five month birthday, Henry!


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