A Tale of Two Mommies

…because more seems excessive…

Tag Archives: sleep deprivation

Fairly Aggressive, Not All that Passive

My two-year-old son is a seasoned professional in the sleep regression field, but seems to be starting his transition back to his reliable snooze during the day.  I say this cautiously, as today was the first day in almost two weeks when he napped.  It wasn’t enough to spare me from an odd mix of sweetly clingy and dismally cranky, with a side of impulsive destruction as the late afternoon progressed into evening, but I’ll take it.

There are all kinds of reasons for sleep regression specific to this age, but Mr. Man’s brand is concern for missing out on Mommy time.  If I weren’t so tired, this would be endearing.  The genesis of this problem is my fault, really.  A combination of me assuming a toddler equates an oblivious human, and his delayed speech pressing me to forget exactly how finely attuned his receptive language is, prompted me to lament to anyone who would listen on the phone how the Warrior Queen spent the duration of Little Man’s nap sleeping on me for several days in a row.  The fateful afternoon in question began his naptime with my son waiting in his crib while I trekked downstairs to retrieve his disgusting bacteria and disease carrying stuffed dog, as well as my wailing daughter.  He screamed, “Baby! Baby!” repeatedly between fits of tears once I returned with her nestled in my arms.  That was it.  He hasn’t taken a nap since despite his blatant need for some shut-eye.  Seriously, two months of night time feedings didn’t have me looking as tired and ragged as Little Man during the past couple weeks.  Today he napped, a paltry forty-five minutes, but it’s a start, and hopefully a sign of what’s to come…for everyone’s sanity.

But, today I waited too long to retrieve my son from his crib.  The process of sleep training my son, and my daughter intermittently requiring me to hold her for significant durations throughout my son’s “quiet time,” left me getting little done and having almost no break in the last couple weeks.  So, I took it upon myself to enjoy a lovely piece…or two…okay, four…of my favorite dark chocolate hazelnut bar while my daughter actually slept without me needing to intervene.  My son was awake and standing, but if he suspected I had chocolate, he’d climb my face to get to it…not even kidding.  My delay consequently, had me pay the piper once I retrieved him.  Not only did he become suddenly upset between the thirty seconds it took me to clean every ounce of chocolate off of my fingers and reach his door, but then my daughter began passionately screaming downstairs as I pulled him up.

In the six weeks since my parents left, I’ve become a bit of an aficionado at managing situations when at least one of the three of us is unhappy.  Warrior Queen needed to eat, and I needed Conan the Destroyer to chill until I could satiate my daughter well enough to reasonably tend to him.  Maybe cartoons work for some parents.  I haven’t used that piece of potential arsenal yet, but Mr. Man loves watching home recordings of himself as a baby.  He’s also rather partial to his sister’s first bath video; it’s usually first on the viewing docket.

The home movies worked their magic for a bit.  My daughter was able to chug a good amount of her formula.  My son was entertained with videos of him laughing at the wind through the leaves when he was six-months-old, but then he decided to attempt calling Guam, reaching past my computer for our home phone.  Movies done; my daughter notsomuch.

The next intervention for a generally disquieted Mr. Man following an insufficient rest works about half the time.  Usually not when I’m in the middle of tending to his sister, but it’s easy enough to try.  I enthusiastically offer to read him a story.  Surprisingly, Little Man scampers off to the other room, and I hear him retrieving items from the appropriate shelf.  He wastes no time returning, laying a book in front of me while his sister continues to inhale the contents of her bottle.  I hadn’t read this specific story to him since I was pregnant, but I guess he had a yen for, You Were the First.


Some Days are Like That

Fair assertion that yesterday was a bad day.  I’m almost thirty-weeks pregnant at this point, which assumes the delight that sleeping is a distant memory.  Last night was my crowning glory…  I woke at two in the morning, and never fell back asleep, not really.  I think I drifted off for thirty or forty minutes, but my son has had an early rise for entirely too long now, so he woke me up when I finally managed to get comfortable.

Pregnancy does interesting things to my body, so it isn’t just that I’m unbelievably tired, but I also feel an underlying nausea.  I managed a half a piece of toast and attempted some water before I received the signal that my meager sustenance offering might not stay down, much less anything else.

In the last week or two I’ve been having exceptional trouble breathing (I can’t remember my name some days, so you can pretty much forget about me recalling any timeline besides my due date.).  Everything is pushing up as I get larger, and, boy, am I getting larger.  It doesn’t take all that much for me to require pause in general daily activity to catch my breath…Oddly, my exercise hasn’t been impacted by this development.  This situation, however, is not new to me.  The same thing happened with my son’s pregnancy until he dropped.  Most interesting for me is that my daughter’s trajectory seems to be about a month ahead of his.  All of this makes me wonder if there will be an even earlier arrival than his.  But, I digress because this musing was not on my mind as I was making every effort to get through the day.

I had my first diabetes clinic appointment with my son as my escort.  The plan was meeting with the nurse to go over the sugar testing with a quick hustle to the nutritionist immediately after.  The entire whirlwind would last an hour exactly.  My meeting with the nurse could have been worse, but it could have been significantly better as well.  In a fog I’m looking along her walls seeing all of these sugar testing meter boxes, and immediately begin to well up…ridiculous…  My son is eating his crackers, and smiling at me because he’s good that way.  Then the nurse begins to tell me quickly about the logistics of how often and when I need to test.  I begin to sob…obnoxiously…  Oh, but it gets so much worse.  I see the needle.  The nurse is showing me something about it with the plan that I’m about to puncture myself.  I open the alcohol wipe, and immediately request for her trash can.  As my son was admiring the general festivities, I’m ralphing in a complete stranger’s trashcan because I can’t handle a needle.  My saving grace is that I had only eaten toast all day and sipped a bit of water, so other than the idea of borching into the nurse’s garbage and the elimination of my dignity, no real harm was done.

My son continued to be wonderful throughout the remaining portions of a, blessedly, uneventful appointment.  He was telling jokes, and seemed in good cheer despite having an absurd mother.

At home my son took his nap; I was so tired that I managed to as well.  I felt better after, but it was an extremely long night.  My husband has been home with a fever, but I had such heinous heartburn that wouldn’t abate that he eventually needed to take on some of the evening’s Little Man duty.  Did I mention my son is wonderful?  He clearly missed and wanted to play with Mommy, but was content to do his own thing much of the night while I sat uncomfortably on the sofa nursing the pain that was radiating throughout my entire chest.  I think my son just knew Mommy was at her end by the evening; I’m not sure what I should think about this, so I choose not to.

After an hour or so, my heartburn subsided, replaced by my inability to breathe and extreme exhaustion.  I was physically completely unable to get through the entire night routine, and am exceedingly grateful my husband was enough on the mend to help.

But, I was asleep by eight.  I was up, literally, every hour throughout the night to use the facilities, but fell back asleep without issue.  I feel oodles better this morning.  It will be eight soon, and my son is still asleep…Ah, I remember mornings like this so fondly…  I rescheduled my stabbing appointment and have a strategy because that can’t happen again.  I started my dietary shifts this morning.  I’ll get through all of this, but really I’m pulling for a delivery in the thirty-seven week neighborhood.

Rest for the Weary

My husband and I have relatively frequent conversations regarding the misery of the first three months of newborn life.  Part of these conversations consists of him mentioning the challenge of having two blessed cherubs vying for our affections…or at least a meal…  I approach this near transition with a similar stoicism that served me well expecting and slogging through the first months of our first.  No argument, the beginning is lousy on many levels, mostly akin to sleep deprivation.  But, how do I explain to my husband that the misery after our daughter is born will feel much more tolerable and even oddly invigorating than these months of pregnancy?

I’d say that fortune blessed me with another easy pregnancy, but it’s never quite so easy.  My assertion expressing my obligation to minimize the hardships because so many have it worse.  My relationship with my daughter is an interesting thing that I can process more fully now that the experience is a repetition.  Pregnancy is surely miraculous and the closeness I’m developing with my tenant so strange.  But, the toll on my body nurturing this miracle is constant and inescapable.  The virtue of understanding the full process and timeline is my only relief in some moments.

I could describe at length the various symptoms that illustrate the annoying encumbrance pregnancy is on my life, but there is one specific experience worth the characters for this post.  Fatigue seems like such a paltry way to describe it, yet other descriptors aren’t appropriate expressions either.  On a basic level I’m tired; the same unrelenting sleepiness that one would expect from months of restless sleep.  But, even when I’ve clocked sufficient hours at night with nothing noteworthy interfering, soon after I awaken I can feel the heaviness in my lids that never alleviates other than fleeting seconds of distraction.

Fatigue, however, is a versatile beast, as sleepiness only characterizes the least troubling of its many faces.  Perhaps best represented as walking through body deep water while carrying a burdensome load, but the liquid does not share the effort as expected.  Every trudge is a slow plod of heavy motion that persists so long the previous ease of movement becomes a nostalgia whose incarnation seems forever lost.  But, with familiarity as my guide, I will reacquaint with the self I remember from so many months ago.  It will be the dark early hours of morning when I’m holding my daughter during those harsh initial months, but I will smile and this time almost will be forgotten.

In Sickness and in Health…But Mostly Sickness…

It’s Christmas, and by not celebrating we always inadvertently celebrate.  This year my son and I are blessed with a cold.  He’s been sick every two weeks for the last few months.  This is the first time I’ve had an illness in the last year.  I shouldn’t complain, but I will…This stinks…  My eyes are itchy.  My nose is itchy and running, albeit less than yesterday.  I can’t see through the fountain of tears, thanks to the perpetual proclivity of my eye duct work this fine supposedly winter’s day…  During one of my hourly toilet calls spaced throughout the night, I became acutely aware that my throat was absolutely killing me.  Thank goodness for small miracles; that has significantly abated.  I’m not sure if all the tea I’m sucking down has impacted that blessing, but I’ll use any excuse I can to make myself this beverage, so we’ll call it the reason to give myself permission to continue to stain my teeth.  I figure my dental appointment is in a month-and-a-half; he needs to earn his professional credentials.

Cold aside, I’ve forgotten what a good night’s sleep is like, but it seems that last night was particularly heinous;  I kept the Warrior Queen awake in the process of my comfort seeking gyrations.  Feeling her stir throughout the overnight hours was the best part of remaining awake from two to four in the morning, but that probably makes me a terrible person.  Consequently, she seems to be out cold this morning; she’s barely moved, which is highly uncharacteristic from my future Taz.  In any case, she made a noble effort to stir as I carted Little Man in this little wagon that is really purposed for obscenely large Lego-type blocks.  I haven’t really exercised all week, so I think she just appreciated the gesture.  With all of my flatulence, I’m sure hearing the rhythm of my heartbeat while I’m in motion is a pleasant diversion.  But, alas, thirty minutes later, she is sleeping again.

A sick little man is not quite so glorious as a stowaway who doesn’t complain all that much.  He’s been upset all morning because we won’t let him gnaw on the various cords in one of our desk drawers that he can apparently open even though the handles were removed.  Even with a spare USB cable, my son wants no part of the alternative.  Thankfully, my husband is home and healthy, giving me a moment to write this post and reflect on the banalities of family life…under a cloak of plague…

All of this yuckiness on a day that I’ve never liked and I think of our soon to be larger external family when two kids will be sick at the same time and probably both of us.  No one will be sleeping.  Every one will be cranky and in need of a nap, but a slumbering peace will not fall on our humble household…It never does when you most need it…  It will be absolutely miserable and draining, but sometimes even when my moist Mr. Man is looking up at me with the pained eyes of someone who hasn’t fully embraced every expression of demonstrating one’s misery, I think how amazing it is to experience all these small, uncomfortable moments that I will soon forget baring this written notion.  But, then again, maybe I’m just a bit loopy from sleep deprivation and a face I want to rip off just to make the itching stop.


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