Sunday, July 30, 2006

The walking dead

The sleep, it is not getting better. In fact, it may be getting worse. It's definitely worse. Or at least the cumulative loss of sleep is really getting to me.

I am so tired I can barely function. Ess is no longer compliant when we put her down at night -- last night it took more than an hour to get her to sleep, and then she was up several times in the night to nurse, and at least once she took another half hour or hour to get back to sleep (at a certain point, I can't bear to look at the clock anymore).

I have no business still being awake tonight, but she just went to sleep, and staying up a little after she does at least gives me the illusion that I'm a grownup with a life.

We are at wits' end. We desperately need sleep. Our relationship is suffering, our ability to parent effectively is suffering and our ability to work effectively for pay is in the dumps (great timing, considering I start work again on Wednesday).

I am considering switching to formula in the middle of the night just to get her to go more than a few hours between feedings. I hate to think of this; I am resisting it with all my might. I want her to have breastmilk, and up until now I've been ok with the time commitment that requires. But I am running on empty. And all the promises I hear about the alleged sleep milestones -- that sleep improves when they hit six weeks (which, for her corrected age, is this week) or 12-13 pounds (at her current rate of weight gain, in another month or so) -- seem like mirages in a dusty desert.

My parents are coming for a week-long visit on Tuesday. I am thinking that maybe when they leave they might like to take a chubby-cheeked little screaming person with them.

If y'all have any better ideas for surviving this period, I'd love to hear 'em. (Relevant stats: she weighs 10 pounds and is just about 12 weeks old (6 weeks corrected). She nurses roughly every hour-and-a-half or two hours during the day, sometimes a lot more frequently than that. At night, she'll occasionally give us a four-hour stretch, but it's mostly two- and three-hour chunks. Her naps vary wildly, from 40-minute catnaps to three-hour extravaganzas.)

If you have a horror story about your baby not sleeping until she was 18 months, I feel very sorry for you but please do not tell me about it right now.