Truth time. I am aware that this blog has been suffering a shameful amount of neglect recently. A combination of events (including a two week long birthday cake induced coma) have contributed to this wonton abandonment. The biggest contributing factor, however, has been severe sleep deprivation. No, we do not have another newborn we’re secretly hiding away. It’s our non-baby baby. The baby that is actually a toddler now but still kind of a baby. Yes, it’s Eleanor.
We are in the trenches of the worst stinking baby/toddler/whatever sleep regression ever. It has been three weeks. Three looooong, tedious, exhausting weeks of a small human SCREAMING BLOODY MURDER AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS IN OUR EARS. I’m not just talking about for a few minutes at bedtime and a couple extra wake ups during the night. It has been taking us an average of two to three hours every night to get Eleanor to sleep. A good seventy percent of the time has been filled with screaming. Then add in the three wakings every night (with more screaming and refusing to go back to sleep). Bonus: extra clinging, whining, and basic refusal to be anywhere but in my arms except “Down! Down! Down!” wait, no, “Up! Up! Up!” All. Day. Long.
You guys, I’m exhausted. Zach is exhausted. Eleanor is exhausted. We all need a month long hibernation period to recover from this. And it’s not over yet.
At first I thought maybe it was teething. There was that one day when she had started biting us again, but it has been weeks and I see zero indication of any new teeth coming in. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen didn’t really seem to help anything. Then there was the cold we all caught, but really, that should have just made her want to sleep more. It didn’t.
Nursing her to sleep hasn’t worked. She nurses, then pops up and wants to play and interact. The second I try to put her in the crib she starts to cry. No, not cry, scream. I try to walk with her and pat, bounce her on the yoga ball, do the “pick up, put down, pat pat pat” dance, wear her in the Ergo. Nothing works. If she doesn’t fall asleep nursing for me, she just doesn’t fall asleep. I end up giving up and coaxing her into her baby swing (which she is about three inches too tall for. Her little feet hang out over the end and threaten to scrape the ground). I then have to turn on the swing’s music and sit there patting Eleanor’s tummy until she stops screaming. Then, because she’ll freak out if she sees me leave, I have to lie down on the ground next to the swing and continue to pat her tummy for a minute. Then I stop patting and continue to lie there for another five or ten minutes. Because all is fine as long as she knows that I am there. Doing nothing. Bored out of my mind and aching from lying on the floor. Then (because she is still awake and will freak out if she sees me leave) as silently as possible I basically do “the worm” and inch my way around the back of the swing, out of her line of vision. Then, and only then, can I oh so quietly and stealthily crawl my way across the room and over to the stairs. I escape up to the main living room where I come out blinking like a mole in midday sun after being in the dimly lit basement for so long.
For Zach, the only means he has found of being able to get Eleanor to sleep is to take her into our bed and lie with her until they both pass out. Eventually he wakes up, realizes she is asleep and transfers her to her crib. If I’ve given up on getting her back to sleep at 4am, he will go and actually crawl in her crib with her to get her to sleep. He inevitably passes out as well and returns to bed hours later. Once I had to go wake him in the crib when his morning alarm was going off in our bedroom where he couldn’t hear it.
This child has stripped us of our dignity. The saddest part is that we are too exhausted to care. Three weeks and counting. Please share your stories of sleep regression sufferings (or better yet, ways to fix it! Yes, send hope! And reinforcements!). This misery wants some company!