I'm wearing the same grey sweat pants for the third day in a row without washing them. My hair is absolutely disgusting. But my child is FINALLY asleep! Yes, it's 1:00 in the afternoon. To say we had a late night would be an understatement. Here is how bedtime typically plays out in our house:
8:00pm - Dinner (My mother-in-law works late.)
8:30pm - Bath time.
8:45pm - Story time.
9:00pm - Bedtime nursing.
9:15pm - Brief snooze.
9:30pm-12:00am - Feebly attempt to get the baby to sleep.
12:00am-10:00am - Constantly get up do feed the baby and/or get the baby back to sleep. If you want a more detailed description, it goes something like this:
After she wakes up at 9:30, we lay in bed (in the dark, of course) for about 1-2 hours. Then I nurse her again, and she sometimes sleeps for 2 hours, sometimes for 10 minutes. Every time she gets up, I try to rock her back to sleep, but that's never enough, so I whip out the boob. Usually that works. When it doesn't, we are back at square one. She's up at least once every two hours, and I almost always have to nurse her back to sleep. This goes on until somewhere between 8:30-noon depending on when she officially went down for the night. Then she wakes up with a smile (which is when I know she's up for good because she isn't crying) and I have to accept that this is all the sleep I will get, force myself out of bed and make a cup of coffee. Luckily, I have a Keurig so I literally can do it with my eyes closed. If I have no obligations that day, I will probably spend it feeling like a complete slob. No shower, no makeup, PJs all day.
I try not to make this my personal diary, because I know it gets old hearing people complain. I promise I'm not just complaining, though. I'm reaching out. Crying for help. I need to know I'm not the only one who sits with their infant until 2:30AM and wakes up sobbing uncontrollably (mama, not the baby) when she realizes that this is it. That nobody else is there to get up with the baby and she is just going to have to get through another day on 4-6 hours of light and heavily-interrupted sleep. That she will be too tired to cross anything of importance off of the To Do list, be it laundry, cleaning, e-mails, or phone calls. I need to know that somebody else out there has a baby that doesn't sleep. That there is anyone else in the world who rolls their eyes when the Parents newsletter in their inbox insists that "you need to take care of yourself" and "make sure you are getting enough sleep." Or that "Baby should be sleeping through the night now!" (Maybe I'm the only one who rolls my eyes and then imagines punching whoever wrote that article in their well-rested little face, but I'll take what I can get.)
Most nights, I am OK with the fact that I will be getting up all night to nurse the baby back to sleep. It's nights like last night, though, that make me wonder how anybody does this alone. I miss my husband terribly as it is, but his absence is much more noticeable when I need his help. When I know the baby isn't hungry but she's awake again anyway, I can just picture him rocking her and singing her back to sleep. Instead, it's me. Falling asleep sitting up while my daughter uses me as a human pacifier.
I'm sure one day, I will reflect on this time and actually miss getting up in the middle of the night, five times a night, every night. Just tell that to the bags under my eyes.