Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It's the sleep deprivation talking...

Just when we thought we were getting things figured out, Sweet Potato and Monkey Girl throw monkey wrenches into our systems. First, over the past week or so, Sweet Potato has started a new nighttime fussiness routine. This is more than a little upsetting, not just because it's heartbreaking not to be able to soothe your own child, but also because from everything I've read, fussiness is supposed to peak at six weeks and then get better. Sadly, it seems that Sweet Potato hasn't read the books, because his has been getting worse, not better, and the stickies are about eight and a half weeks now.


And, if that wasn't bad enough, last night's dual meltdown was an exhausting, utter and complete disaster. One or both babies essentially screamed bloody murder from 6:00pm until 11:00. And we were powerless to stop it the entire time.

Then, because their nighttime routines were so f'ed up, Sweet Potato woke up at 12:45, and Monkey Girl at 2-something, which meant that we couldn't string together a stretch of sleep of more than just over and hour all night. (Basically, unless they get to almost 3am, we're in for it because they never sleep as long after they go back to bed as the do during the "first" sleep of the night.) And that was the second night in the row that one of them woke up early and frequently. And the thing is, it's not like a "good" night sleep involves getting a full night's rest anyway, so after two nights like that, I'm pretty sure I'm starting to hallucinate. (Wait, was that a purple elephant outside of my window??)

And, the fact that, around the third hour of screaming I really start to loose my sense of humor just makes me feel like a crap mother. I mean, not only can I not soothe my children, but now I'm losing my patience? I suck.

But, can someone tell me who was the mastermind that decided that humans would start their lives with no ability to communicate (well, that is, except the blood curdling screams of an inconsolable infant who can't express what's making him or her so sad) and limited ability to sleep more than a few short hours at a time? Because either one of these things in isolation wouldn't be so hard to deal with, I don't think. I mean, sleep deprivation--it ain't fun, but we've all been there and could cope. And inconsolable crying? Well, I think if I were getting more sleep I think my patience level wouldn't feel so fried.

But, taken together, well, they test the limits of even the most sainted mother. Which I'm not.

I should say that, on the upside, Sweet Potato had at least one rock star night's sleep--8 and a half hours! (And another 7-hour stretch.) So, I feel like we might be getting *close* to turning a sleep corner. Now, if we could just get Monkey Girl to sleep longer! And if we can get Sweet Potato to replicate that sleep more often--then we'd be in business.

Of course, I confess that I got nowhere near 8 hours sleep despite Sweet Potato's rock star stretch both because Monkey Girl didn't sleep well that night and because after about his 5th hour sleeping, I woke up every 15 minutes or so to make sure he was still breathing.

So, yeah. I'm a little paranoid.

Thankfully, they're a very forgiving pair and don't seem to notice when I can't make it all better. In fact, they are both having longer alert period and are smiling up a storm at us. It's the best feeling in the world. Of course, it breaks my heart that one day they're going to push my hugs away and make me drop them off a block away to avoid the embarrassment. But, in the meantime, it's really fun to be able to play with them, and to see them smile and coo back. I mean, does it get cuter?


E said...

Oh wow - they are so cute! I definitely know what you mean about the sleep deprivation, though. I hope that they both turn that corner really soon. Don't worry - you won't lose that sense of humor and patience forever!!!


anna said...

Oh my gosh, the baby on the left has so much hair!!! I'm jealous of the 7-8 hour stretch you've gotten recently but can totally relate to the crappy nights when babies have been fussy. And as for being paranoid, my hubby just told me that I'm being crazy paranoid yesterday so again we're in parallel, my dear! I've also lost my cool a few times and have felt pretty guilty about it. Catching up on sleep helps a little so if you can get hubby to take them out on an evening walk while you take a nap, your world will seem much more manageable. And regardless, we will get through this rough patch and have happy, content babies sometime soon, right?!

Diana said...

OMG! They are soooooo cute!!!

Sarah said...

piper was a perfect sleeper until 3-4 months and it's been very trying ever since. they just don't all follow the usual pattern. i can't imagine how you ever get it worked out with two since each baby is so different. good thing they are so completely wonderful you have no choice but to be wholly in love with them. gorgeous pictures!!