Substance and Soul

Insomnia, sleep regression, and a (much needed) sanity saver

MotherhoodSamantha WetterholmComment

Samantha is my name and wordy and somewhat descriptive post titles are my game. Apparently.

On a scale from one to ten, ten being the most pointless post of all time, this one may be an eleven. Or a thirty-seven. But I'll let you be the judge, oh faithful reader (aka my mom).

Things at headquarters are, um, *hem/haw* challenging. Yes that's the word, challenging. Because ajlfskd;ja;dkfja;sd isn't really a word now is it?

I did some complaining about it last week and because it's been raining (pouring) and it's a Monday and sleep is basically non-existent as of late, my current outlook is still on the low end of the spectrum.

Let's start with the worst thing on the planet (and no, I'm not dramatic at all) -- sleep regression. I don't know the scientific or developmental psychological definition but it's basically this:

Ingredients:
My head
A large hammer
A bucket of tears

Bang head with hammer until splitting headache forms, then add a bucket of tears and simmer until everyone is insane.

I don't even know if that's what is going on here but essentially Emma is refusing to fall asleep. She is refusing to stay asleep. She is refusing to stay in her own bed. She is waking up between 2 and 4 am and screaming for a solid hour.half. And now mommy needs a mocktail. 

We have had her in a toddler bed for a good seven months now with mixed results. We co-slept with Emma for the first year and a half of her life and we are happy with our decision. We all slept better, she nursed on demand throughout the night, and our tiny San Francisco one bedroom wasn't exactly large enough for anything else. 

However, now that we are expecting kid number two, we thought we'd give ourself ample time to prepare ourselves for life with two. Our main goals are potty training and sleep training. We still room share but our more spacious bedroom allows for a good distance between our bed, her bed, and the future space for the baby's bed.

But, we are at tough phase right now. She experiences severe separation anxiety if we even try to leave the room while she is attempting to sleep and now she won't settle in her own bed for a good hour to hour and a half after we put her down. It's a lot of up and down and screaming and crying (from her and from me) and pleading and head banging and I'm tired.

Which brings me to the other facet of this sleep (or lack thereof) issue. I have insomnia. I have had it pretty much my whole life and I don't know if it is pregnancy hormones or just life that has caused one of the worst flair-ups in a long time. 

Basically my nights are as follows: Emma fights sleep for almost two hours, finally falls asleep, then I wake up in the middle of the night for another two to four hours with insomnia/restless leg syndrome, then I finally fall back to sleep to be awoken shortly after by Emma around 4am where she fights her bed and sleep for another one to two hours. Then the sun comes up and I want to cry. 

UGH, GAHH, WAHHH!

Maybe my body/mind is just preparing me for the newborn phase or maybe Emma is trying to slowly beat me into submission. I guess we'll never know...

For those of you who do not suffer from insomnia, allow Emma to illustrate.

Most of the night this is my face - wide awake with a gaze of frustration. 

We then move to phase two where I pretend that I am asleep - one, to fool Emma into not bothering me and two, to fool myself into thinking I am getting more sleep than I actually am.

Then I finally drift off to sleep to be awoken at a later time to start the cycle over again.

Le sigh.

But not to leave you with too many rain clouds, I do have a little sanity saver recipe that helped me last week (which I may need to employ on the regular).

Sanity Saver Recipe
Text husband that you are at the end of your rope and that you are up to your eyeballs in toddler tantrums.
Tell husband you need a couple hours alone, out of the house.
Hand toddler over to husband the second he comes home.
Leave house and enjoy a leisurely dinner all by your lonesome. 
Enjoy a cocktail (or mocktail when you are with child) and dinner with no one needing a diaper change and without having to pick up the crayons off the floor after being dropped for the millionth time. 
Come home recharged and with a fresh perspective.
Be better mother. 

Love life again. 

Now if you managed to get through this doozy of a post, I congratulate you.

I did ask Emma during lunch today if she would so kindly sleep in her own bed tonight. She nodded yes. I'm going to take that as a step in the right direction. 

(She may need some reminding later. Wish us luck.)

Have a Monday.