Wednesday, April 9, 2008

this old train breaks down...

I am breaking down. I have yelled and screamed and hit my pillow and cried so much today I am ashamed. I feel so desperate. Pip woke up this morning at 4 and wouldn't go back to sleep. I refused to nurse him because it was still night, but he fought me and resisted for over 2 hours. He would fall asleep over and over again but the second I made a motion towards the crib it would all start over again. I finally after an hour put him in his bed and walked out, leaving him screaming for me to hold him. I came back in when it was clear he was not calming down (and because I just physically cannot stand to hear him scream) and I got him to sleep in his crib by lying on the floor next to him and holding his hand or patting his tummy or simply just singing or saying "shhhhh." However each time I tried to leave he would start again, calling for me and crying "hand" so I would hold his hand. This went on until I finally had to get up and get both of us ready for a dentist appointment at 6:30.
After the appointment he fell asleep in the car. I brought him up and attempted to put him to bed but he woke up immediately when I stood up to put him in his crib and he wouldn't sleep after that. We played for awhile and at 11:30 he was nursing and getting drowsey so again I took him up to his room for a nap. He fell asleep nursing almost immediately but it was 30 minutes before I could successfully lay him in his crib without him waking and screaming. I finally breathed a sigh of relief and then went straight to bed myself. I was awoken a short 39 minutes later. It has now been over an hour again of me nursing Pip, and Pip falling asleep, only to start screaming each time I make the slightest move toward the crib. I have been rough and sharp and cold towards him and now he is awake for good, and I feel guilty but also so angry, resentful, frustrated, discouraged, desperate, out-of-control, depressed, alone, helpless, substandard, like a failure on so many levels. Originally just because I can't do anything to get this kid to sleep better, and now because of the emotions I am feeling today in reponse to his sleep behaviors. I don't like myself one bit today.

I don't know what to do. I was feeling good about nightweaning but this morning and today have been the worst for me since becoming a mother. It is apparent that Pipsqueak is replacing his need to nurse all through the night with other needs that still require me to be awake with him (and for longer): me holding him in the chair with the blanket, or me holding him while standing and swaying and singing, or me lying next to him and singing, or holding his hand, or patting him, or "shhhhh"ing him. This nightweaning thing isn't working. It's more like a night shifting-of-sleep-crutches. And the way it is affecting his daytime (and naptime especially) behaviors is just way too much. I don't know how much more I can take. How many more days spent battling naps, how many more early mornings spent holding him while he sleeps or listening to him scream? How many more months of serious fatigue and sleep deprivation?

I cannot keep spending entire nights sitting in a chair, awake, holding my sleeping son, but I cannot keep waking up every 2-3 hours to nurse him. I cannot keep dealing with an overtired toddler who is too clingy to nap without me holding him, but I cannot keep feeling like I am dragging my feet, in a constant haze of fatigue. There is no way for me to win in this situation.

I am seriously terrified at the thought of ever having another (let alone more than one other) child. I will constantly question every decision I make and wonder if I am setting us up for another road like this one. Every single thing I do with future babies I will wonder if I am contributing to the making of another horrible sleeper. I am sick too at the thought of going through a process like this again, with another child.

I have never doubted myself more than I have today. My instincts, my abilities, my very identity as a mother. I don't feel qualified or fit. I feel entirely useless, helpless, and burdened.

I know a need a time-out from Pipsqueak. I am reacting to every little thing he does with negativity and sharpness. I don't like that I am harming his little spirit with all my anxiety and negativity. The problem is I have no one to take over for me right now. I can't get a break right now.

I can't breathe.

1 comment:

-A said...

Call me . . . anytime . . . no, really!

*Please pardon me as I post a post in your comments*

'I' did the night-weaning thing on his own, but when I started weaning during the day in preparation for 'A' . . . he started waking at night screaming. He didn't want to be rocked. He didn't want to be shushed. He didn't want anything to do with being comforted if it didn't involve being nursed.
So I would nurse him, he would fall asleep, I would put him down and turn around, he would start screaming and I would start crying.
After several nights of this, I broke down and took him back to bed with me when he woke up. Thus changed my opinion of co-sleeping. When my options were no sleep or any amount of poor sleep, I took what I could get.
I'm not saying you should just move Pip into bed with you. Just wanted to share the experience and say I'm around if you need a hand or an ear.
After many rough nights and what seemed like countless nights sleeping on the floor of the nursery plus many more of rocking until he himself said he was ready to be put down . . . he did start sleeping without me there.

Related Posts with Thumbnails