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Sleep, or lack thereof, with 2 clingy babies

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sleep, or lack thereof, with 2 clingy babies

Sorry in advance if this is not the most coherent post I've ever written. It's a mix match of a few days over many feeds (one of two activities which allow me to sit down). I'm pretty buggered.

I seemed to have jinxed myself by posting that baby William was a good sleeper. He's not a bad sleeper as such but he is a newborn baby. I've been getting up to him every couple of hours or so and it's taking its toll.

I am torn between asking Corey to help me at night with bub and hoping he will sleep through it. Sometimes he wakes up and helps, sometimes I wake him for help, and other times I leave him sleeping.

Getting up all the time is not only physically draining, but it's also emotionally difficult. There are times when I've been so tired I've cried while my head tells lies like, "I am never ever going to sleep again!" If bub and I don't wake Corey I find him snoring his head off next to me quite insulting.

In the early nights Corey was getting up every time William woke. He would change his nappy while I went to the bathroom. He'd usually go back to sleep then while I stayed up feeding. More often than not though William would wake when I brought him back to our room after a feed and his cry would wake Corey. Initially feeds were going so long that I'd go to the bathroom again while Corey burped him and helped him back to sleep.  His support meant a lot to me and it was also kind of necessary because I was still recovering from the birth.

It was incredibly difficult for Corey though because a) he's a natural cave dweller who needs lots of sleep or he turns into a whinging git b) he was still trying to stay up at night to finish a report for work c) the week before William was born was huge and he still hadn't caught up from that.

A taxi picked Corey up at 2:30am one morning, he worked his tail off, then it returned him at 11pm the next night for him to have to go to work the next day. The day after that we had a very busy day and then William was born very late at night. Corey was up with Alexis for hours when he got home from hospital (3am or so) and was back in at 8am. Then I in my infinite wisdom decided I was going home that afternoon and was mad at him for hinting he wanted us to stay another night because he was tired. (He was tired? It was ME who had just had a baby! I could not sleep at all at hospital, and that's all I could think of.)

The lack of sleep was taking its toll on us all, especially with our busy toddler Alexis deciding to wake at 5:30am and also sometimes at night. It was becoming clear that Corey wasn't coping. Eventually I stopped telling him to man up and started to cut him some slack although because I was tired and sore and emo and feeling overwhelmed it wasn't easy.

After a while I became more confident in looking after William during the night and didn't really need Corey.  We decided it was best for us all if Corey slept at night so he could watch Alexis in the mornings. He would also be able to tackle the housework much easier if his brain wasn't aching. 

There were two problems with this. A) Alexis wants to be near William and I when she wakes up B) I was sick of tip toeing around trying not to wake Corey up. Trying to keep William quiet and not use lights etc was just too much pressure. I didn't just have to deal with William, I also had my own personal hygiene to contend with. At the risk of oversharing, when you've just had a bub and your milk starts coming in you've got a fair few things leaking that you have to take care of. 

I would try not to wake Corey then get frustrated when he woke up anyway. Then I'd have a mood swing and go, "stuff it, he should be up anyway, why is it all up to me."

I can't solve the issue of Alexis crying until she kisses William and I in the mornings, but at least with Corey getting sleep at night there's only one of us cranky and tired. He can do most of the morning routine while I just sit with her for awhile and then Corey is fine to play with her while I head back to bed for a bit.

So the other night was the night before Corey's birthday and I was upset I hadn't bought Corey a present or made him a cake or even made a card. He has a lego space shuttle on layby (hehe, child) but we can't pick it up until Christmas. I wanted to give him something now, but what? So I sent him to the spareroom...

The best present I could think to give him was sleep. I didn't wake him to help with William and because he was at the other end of the house with a door closed I didn't have to tip-toe around. It proved to me that I <i>could</i> survive without needing Corey and it gave him the chance to catch up on sleep.   

Alexis, God bless her, was an angel. She slept through the night until 6:30am. I was up multiple times with William but I didn't mind. Corey got himself 8 hours of solid sleep, and was very happy about it. 
He was nice, selfless and helpful even though it was his birthday. He let Alexis watch wiggles (even though he hates it), he took us to my grandparents' so they could meet bub, he watched Alexis after her nap while I kept sleeping (even if he only managed to keep her quiet an extra 10 minutes the thought was there), he did the dishes, did some washing and cooked an awesome spaghetti bolognaise for dinner.

It would seem that husband who sleeps = happy husband. Happy, helpful, caring husband = happy wife. Life was good, for a day it was great.

The problem with sleep is we need it every night.

The next night was a disaster. Corey decided to stay up late. I wish I had his stamina. I think maybe that full night of sleep gave him a false sense of security. It was his birthday, he was entitled to some cave man time. I tried not to wake him but things with young kids rarely go to plan.

When I woke Corey at 10:30 to change William before the feed because I really needed to go to the loo he was very sweet about it.

I also had to wake him at 12:30 to deal with Alexis because I'd failed to get her back to sleep in the hour I'd been up with her and she had just woken William up. I'd been up for 2 hours straight at that stage. I had made it worse by going to Alexis because when I left to go to William it broke her little heart. Corey tried to get her to sleep with cuddles and a bottle but no luck. He came in (waking William who'd just gone back to sleep) to say he would have to drive her. I was just getting William back to bed again when they returned, Alexis still awake and very cranky, and screaming for me.

Corey took a sleeping William in the basinet while I tried to get Alexis to sleep in our bed. She stuffed around for half an hour, fell asleep for 30 seconds, and screamed. I asked Corey to grab some pain killers for Alexis and I (I figured something had to be wrong for her to act like that) and as he was doing that William woke up.

So we all sat up watching dvds while I fed William. At 3am we finally got both kids to sleep. I had Alexis, Corey had William. At 5 William wanted a feed. At 5:30 Alexis realised that I had left and screamed. We were up for the day.

Now she's finally at swimming lessons with poor Corey. William is finally asleep. I have about an hour before they get back. Should I sleep or shower? I stink sooo bad. Oh and we have family popping in sometime soon. I'm so tired. I NEED to try to sleep. I'll message them to come later. Assuming William lets me put him down.  

Did I do the wrong thing by giving Corey 8 hours sleep one night? Did it just tease him? What is going on with Alexis? Will she get over it soon? Should I send Corey to her if she wakes in the night? Should I just leave her crying? How do I not feel guilty she feels she isn't getting enough time with me? Was it just an isolated bad night (hopefully!)? Will I ever sleep again?  

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At October 15, 2011 at 2:32 PM , Blogger Kristy said...

This brings back memories. It will get better sweetie, I promise. xx (PS. You guys are doing a great job :) )

At October 15, 2011 at 3:15 PM , Blogger Cherie @ 'a baby called Max' said...

This brings back so many memories (& I feel so selfish saying that because I only have one baby).

But I really could relate to the sleep deprived resentment that builds up.

You're only human lovely, sleep deprivation chips away at the best of us.

It sounds like you and your husband are doing the best that you can, on as little sleep as you are getting, so you should be commended for that!

Hang in there xx

At October 19, 2011 at 2:46 PM , Blogger Veronica @ Mixed Gems said...

Sympathies. I won't say I know exactly how you feel but I can relate to a lot of what you are saying. My bub is 7 months now and sleeping better at night but I'm still exhausted. Just today I was wondering when the cumulative sleep deprivation bank starts moving towards the positive. I hate the sound of hubby snoring when I'm up at night too. It's so annoying but I think I agree; it's probably better to have one grumpy, tired parent rather than two. But my hubby does what yours seems to do; sleep early in the morning and then have to make it up the next night so he's in bed early, then repeat. I wish I could be in bed so early too some nights? Ah well. It will settle eventually. I can see it has for me, seven months on. Just waiting for the sleep-throughs. Miss T took 18 months. I hope Lil S does it sooner, but I'm prepared for the long haul!

At October 19, 2011 at 3:33 PM , Blogger The Mother Experiment said...

Thanks ladies.:) things around here have been settling fairly nicely but I'm reluctant to write about it because every blogger knows saying things are good is asking for trouble. Hehe. Mostly though I get up to William and Corey gets up to Alexis and that seems a good system (as long as Alexis sleeps through)..


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