Pretty much every time anyone asks me what I want or what turns me on (which is a surprisingly frequent occurrence for someone who is not yet a Penthouse Pet. Notice I said YET.) I have a stock answer: sleep. I want more sleep. If there was a 12 Step for Sleepaholics Anonymous I would probably have to join. Maybe I could actually NAP there.

Sleep, like my precious 6 pack abs, is a dwindling commodity around here as you might have guessed by my menagerie and The Sausages. Any moment of the day, someone or somebody wants something from me. I’m used to it by now, although, like anything else, it has it’s days where I want to pull what’s left of my postpartum hair from my head and run down the street naked and screaming about dingoes and my baby.

With the addition of each child, my sleep issues have gotten worse. And once my glandular issues (I HAVE GLANDULAR ISSUES, PEOPLE!!) were solved and the Synthroid was happily on board, I suddenly found that I had developed that tried and true, suicide-inducing insomnia. This happened to occur right as I got pregnant with Alex, and this was before I knew that pregnant ladies could take Benedryl, so I spent all of his pregnancy sleeping horribly. I’d fall asleep only to flit in and out of the land of nod all night.

WARNING! WARNING! IF YOU HAVE A NEW BABY AND IT IS YOUR FIRST BABY DO NOT READ WHAT FOLLOWS. LET ME DIRECT YOU HERE.

Alex was born and the issues deepened. Not only did he not sleep through the night until he was a over a year, he was still UP every 1-3 hours during this year. I nearly lost what was left of my addled mind. (insert joke here about how someone who calls herself “Your Aunt Becky” can maintain that she was EVER sane) I hallucinated, I hurt myself unintentionally, I was afraid to drive, lest I crash into something while I nodded off at a stop light, I got into a fist-fight with Daver, I fantasized about being institutionalized.

It.Was.Torture.

Every time I was able to fall asleep, Alex would wake up, which is comical for a couple moments until you remember that this is a method of torture the soldiers used on POW. I have no doubts of it’s efficacy.

To make matters worse, I got so agitated that even the nights Alex DID sleep for 6 glorious hours at a stretch, I couldn’t sleep. Pair-a-docks indeed.

Alex has since been squared away and I take a lovely combo of meds to insure that I go to and stay asleep, which is certainly not something of which I am proud, but with 3 kids, I don’t quite have the luxury to evacuate my bowels alone, let alone find an hour to nap.

(pointless aside time! BONUS!!

When I finally went to the doctor about these persistent and kind of frightening headaches I’ve been having for the past 4-5 months, he asked if I could lie down when I got one. I laughed until I cried. Then DAVE laughed until he cried, because, seriously, doc, do you write your own jokes?! I’ll make sure to try the salmon and I *always* tip my waitress)

Amelia has decided that sleep is for (and I quote) “fucking pansies” and doesn’t care to partaketh in such pointless activities now that she’s realized what a cool place the world is. And while I see her point–I do–the world is a much HAPPIER place for everyone when baby naps.

But no.

I don’t remember–or give much of a shit–or two shits–or even three shits–if this is some sort of developmental thing, because knowing it’s a developmental thing that most babies grow out of until said baby is old enough for Benedryl, doesn’t exactly fucking help you a whole lot. I lost faith in the term “most” as it applies to children, oh, I don’t know, about 8 years ago?

Either way, Miss Mimi is not sleeping. Dave is bearing the brunt of the overnight stuff because he is not only awesome but amazing too (and he knows that once I get up with her, I’m up for a good couple of hours afterwards and although this does not directly affect him, me whining, pissing and moaning incessantly about it later does) and I have to deal with the juggling act of two small ones.

One of whom is my Alex, who would, most days, like to crawl back up in the old uterus (it’s not UTER-YOU, Mom, it’s UTER-US!) and stretch out in there and the other is my precious daughter. Who now, just like her mother, wakes up from a dead sleep when a frog in Siberia farts or a raccoon in the Catskills considers walking on some crunchy leaves.

(Alex was the same way)

This really becomes a problem because we have stupidly never installed a soundproof room which, after these two babies, would have been wiser than the velcro wall we installed instead.

My house is loud. It just is.

Alex has a voice that could shear glass into nifty seascapes, my dogs bark whenever someone thinks about walking past my house, the phone is always ringing, kids are always banging through, recklessly slamming doors, my cats yodel from different vantage points about the house, and well, if you can’t sleep for shit anyway, you’re effing screwed.

As frustrating as it is sometimes after I’ve carefully put my daughter to sleep through a combination of bottles, swaddling, bouncing and/or patting and binkies, and I get her upstairs and she bolts upright, looking at me mischievously as if to say “yeah RIGHT, Mom. Nice freaking try!” I feel sorry for her. If she’s anything like me, she’s going to discover the wonders of pharmaceuticals early and learn to punch people who tell her to try warm milk.

Either that, or I am going to have to surgically implant her somewhere on my body. Then at least, I could have my hands back. So that I can, you know, pick my nose and check for dirty diapers.

The important stuff.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

45 Responses to It’s Where I’m A Viking!

  • Love it – real and honest. I love being an Aunty, but can’t see myself doing the 24/7 arrangement without a nanny and a cleaner! Sleep deprivation is evil – am complete princess when it comes to my minimum 8 – 10 hours per night, without it I am useless to society and myself … I am sure mothers everywhere will want to scratch my eyes out – I don’t know how you do the getting up all through the night thing and be expected to stay sane. I admire mothers! …. but not many seem to be so real about their experience of it. Love your work!

  • Creepy Mommy says:

    Your baby doesn’t sleep either!? Neither does mine! When I get home from work my mom or my sister (whichever watched Harper for the day) tell me how bad my baby is (they’re kidding. Mostly. I think.) and how she never sleeps. Which is true for the most part, but I can usually get her to take a two hour nap on one of my three days off, then I get to do fun stuff like the dishes or clean out the cat box. Huzzah!

    Sometimes I wish I had a little, tiny, baby frying pan. I’d konk her over the dome with it. Just kidding.

    Mostly.

    HAVE FUN AT BLOGHER!!!!!!

  • ainebegonia says:

    This probably won’t make you feel any better, my youngest has never napped. She’s six (almost 7) and she’s never napped. In her preschool class, naps were required. The teacher learned to just be happy if she didn’t get up from her mat more than three times during nap time. Sometimes they don’t outgrow it.

  • Rachel says:

    Farty has never been one to nap, but at least he’s in bed before 7 most nights and sleeps straight thru til about 5:30 or 6am. Which would be great if I didn’t also suffer from the insomnia. I can take a Unisom or 2 Benadryl, and 2-3 hours later, I am still wide awake. Nothing works. Except, when about 3am hits, I could sleep for 12 straight hours. But, like you, I have kids who actually want to eat and other bothersome stuff.
    What can you do? I’m hoping for some sleep when they’re in college.

  • This sooo doesn’t help with the sleeping thing, but have you tried a baby sling? It’s cheaper than surgical infant implantation and also returns to you the use of your arms.

  • Anjali says:

    Can I join this insomnia club? None of my three kids consistently slept through the night until they were about 1.5 years. My 16-month old gets up usually 1-2 times a night. And she also goes through periods of napping no more than 1 hour A DAY.

    But when the older two were 1.5 years, they did actually sleep (and still do at ages 7 & 5) 12 hours straight. (Here’s hoping I can convince Baby #3 to do the same, though it ain’t lookin’ good…)

    I’m toasting you with caffeine!

  • michelle says:

    It gets better. My youngest is 7, and although she either starts out, or ends up in my bed every night (GASP), at least I’ve amassed enough 6 hr nights over the past year that I don’t have a constant headache, and I can remember my zip code. Most of the time.

  • Three things:
    1. Oh, how I love sleep too.
    2. That damn family pictures website distracted me from your post for at least ten minutes.
    3. I had a dream about you last night. I don’t know what you were doing, but you were there. I wonder what that means…

  • SciFi Dad says:

    My wife is like that… once she wakes up, even a little, she’s up for a while.

    Me? If I’m tired, I can fall asleep sitting up on the couch while my kids play (loudly) in the same room.

  • a says:

    I love sleeping. It’s like a dear friend that I used to spend lots of time with, but now see only occasionally. I don’t suffer from the insomnia, but it’s a miracle if I ever get to sleep straight through the night. Either my husband wakes me up when he goes to bed, or my daughter wakes up from a bad dream in the middle of the night, or some anxiety pokes me in the shoulder at 3 am – whatever, I never get to sleep straight through. However, I do get (more or less) plenty of sleep, since I can usually muster 6-7 hours a night…

    And while they frown upon sleeping at work (actually, our union contract specifically forbids it), sometimes you just can’t help yourself! Of course, that’s actually my coworkers – I just grab a Mountain Dew.

  • Inna says:

    After reading this, I must say I’m a little terrified to have kids. I need sleep, I don’t function well at all without it….

    But, if I lived closer I’d be happy to watch the non-sleeping babes while you took a nap :)

  • tina says:

    Meh, you are still making sense so you aren’t tired enough ;)

    JuJu is the exact. same. way. She’s up, on a good night, twice. On a bad it’s more like 6. And it’s all me, baby. I am fucking exhausted. And getting meaner by the day.

    I call bullshit on the people that claim their kids sleep 12 hours a night. They are just full of it.

    And mine refuses to nap anywhere but on me, so I don’t even get anything resembling a break.

    I think about you when I try to blog. I am jealous. Paragraphs?!? Pictures? When do you find the time?

  • amy d says:

    Oh, Aunt Becky. I sympathize more than you could know on the sleep thing. I often say I would be a kick ass mommy, had I just been given a night nurse to deal with the little Jackers so I could recharge. little sleep= 1 pissy, agitated mommy in our house.

    Totally off the subject: the only thing that brings joy to my work day is reading your daily posts. My MIL (yeah, she’s my boss…what a fucking bad deal, no?) has walked into my office 3 times now, forcing me to close Aunt Becky’s blog page…well, because I’m supposed to be working. The nerve, right? Inlaws dude…now that’s a future post for you to delve into! I’d do it myself, but they READ my blog. Can I not escape from these nut jobs??

  • kbrients says:

    oh dear. I love me some sleep. I can often be found in my Pj’s baout 3.2 seconds after returning home from work in the after noon. LOVE SLEEP.

  • Badass Geek says:

    You should totally get a kangaroo pouch. That would be AWESOME.

  • daisybv2 says:

    Girl I am so sorry… I would be going crazy if my kids did not sleep….

    Have fun at Blogher yo!

  • Sweet merciful crap! I don’t know how you do it with sleep depravation. If I had to take care of 3 kids and write a pithy and deeply touching blog without at least seven hours of sleep in a row, I would have been wheeled out in a straight jacket by now. You should bottle your fortitude.

  • Sarah says:

    Yeah… I’m pregnant with my first and I shouldn’t have read the no sleep part. Although I’m not sleeping much these days anyway. Oh well.

  • Lisa says:

    I hear that once our many small children become teenagers we will go through the sleep deprivation thing all over again. Evidently waiting up (after putting in a full day at home or the office) until they either make or break their curfews, and then staying up to make sure they do not try to sneak out of the house, puts mommy right back into sleep deprivation mode. Add in a couple of pre-teen girl pajama parties, and basically sleep for mommies is non-existent.

    Aren’t you glad your babies have a mom like you, who will help them when they are parents so they will have a respite from this? It is hard to do this alone, but it will make you the best grandparents in the world!

  • Tara says:

    Sleep deprivation seriously sucks, Ian is doing better now, but still will wake from time to time. At least 3-4 times a week if not more. Usually because his nuk fell out of his mouth and he can’t find it….we have a selection on the changing table so we can just grab one, soothe him and go.

    We learned long ago that if we don’t pick him up, rather just rub his back he goes back to sleep and stays asleep. But we didn’t start doing this until he was a year old or so. I think…geez it seems forever ago. He’s only 17 months, you’d think I’d remember. But before that he was up 7-9 times a night.

  • MK says:

    I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

    (says she who hasn’t slept in 5 years. Unless in a hotel room. Alone).

  • Melanie says:

    I am sure you have tried it all, but when my kiddo’s were babies I played a radio in their nursery 24/7, nothing too loud mind you but enough noise that I figured I SHOULD be able to make some noise outside of their bedrooms without them immediately flipping out (and they got used to sleeping with at least some sort of various noise). My 4 year old still likes his radio on, and he has been know to come out and tell me that he heard my (current) favorite song on his “radio box”……… for me this has been a lifesaver!

  • Cat says:

    My son’s a light sleeper. I put a fan in our room ($12 stand up fan from Target) and the white noise blocks out almost everything. He sleeps more soundly now- Still not more than 4-6 hours at a time, but better than nothing.

  • Sarah says:

    I am so happy you mentioned dingoes.

  • Kristin says:

    Sleep deprivation truly sucks shit. Hope Miss Amelia starts cooperating soon.

  • Sarah says:

    And OMG – the girls! And the hormones! And the not sleeping! WTH?!?!

    Sadie is a totally light sleeper too. I have music on in her rooms whenever she’s sleeping – white noise and ocean sounds and classical and whatever else seems to drown us out – and run a fan all the time. Still can’t flush a toilet after 7pm but whatever. Maybe one day she’ll sleep. Maybe?

  • The Mommy says:

    {SIGH} Sleep. I miss it, too. Although I can fall asleep anytime, anywhere (sorry). Have you tried a noise machine for Amelia? I love mine! Our Baby Girl sleeps with it on during the day (the new baby has been sleeping through everything so far *knocks furiously on wood* during the day). Good luck!

  • Dude, I love the places you direct us for distraction.

    Also, I was going to say try a white noise machine if you haven’t yet. That may help some.

  • Mrs Soup says:

    Oh I hope Amelia starts sleeping better. :(

    Mr. Soup is the type that if something wakes him up, he is awake for hours and when Baby Soup was real little he would stay up for days almost. It was heartbreaking for me, but I would snatch at those sleep hours like a drowning man for a rope.

    I on the other hand can fall asleep in a minute, almost anywhere. Which is good, because I need a lot of sleep. And I pray, dear lord do I pray, that any further children are at least acceptable sleepers. I don’t know what I’ll do if they aren’t…..

    Is it a bad thing if you eat your young? Just checking…for hypothetical reasons.

    Oh, and I don’t know why in the world it took me so long, but I stalked you to AIM….

  • tash says:

    Bella never slept. Never napped, hated to go down at bedtime. We tried everything — every book, every solution. Black out blinds, shushing, music, no music, me in the room, me out of the room, driving, rocking . . . you name it, we did it, to no avail. At our six month appointment, looking like I had been dropped from a building and Bella wide-eyed and alert her doctor finally said, “You know, some people just don’t need sleep. Unfortunately for you, she’s one of those people.”

    There’s a reason sleep dep is a torture device.

  • Kristine says:

    I don’t think I’ve slept a full night more than a handful of times in the past almost 4 years – since I got pregnant and it has very little to do with Landon at this point.

    I feel your pain.

  • Mwa says:

    I would go insane in two weeks. When the kids are sick and they don’t sleep, I’m a complete wreck. This surely will get better as they grow up. (Trying to give you some hope there.)

    We have a similar arrangement for getting up at night, but it’s me who has to as Babes will be a right pain the day after he gets up and I can’t sleep through anything anyway. But then he cleans the kitchen. Whatever works, right?

  • baseballmom says:

    Holy God, yes. T was the same way. He had an ear infection at four days old, and a cold too, and it was HELL from there on. We took turns staying up, holding him in the recliner, watching mtv and trying not to drop him when we nodded off. If we put him down, he would wake up instantly. I tried having him sleep in the carseat/carrier, bassinett, everything. I remember trying to CRAWL out of his room so he wouldn’t wake up. It sucked. May you sleep at BlogHer, my friend.

  • Nancy says:

    Screw BlogHer, sleep the entire weekend in a quiet hotel room!

  • SCY says:

    Hope you get to catch up on some sleep while you’re at Blogher ;) or is that like thinking a dog won’t scratch it’s balls?

    Have fun either way!

    xxx

  • Mimi says:

    Becks, I so feel your pain on this one I want to laugh/cry myself to sleep. I would love to know what your dream cocktail is. I need one.

    Make sure to soil yourself at key moments while at Blogher. You want to leave an impression.

  • Fiddle1 says:

    Aack. I’m sorry for complaining about my sleep issues all the time! FWIW, my pediatrician said she has no problems giving benadryl to a baby Amelia’s age…for sleep reasons. But she warned that it can sometimes have the opposite effect. And I’ve talked to two other moms that did it to get their babies on a “pattern” of nighttime sleep.

  • giggleblue says:

    dude, i don’t want to be off of the objective, but that damn family photo website is too funny!!!

    hmm, surgical implant? have you tried baby-wearing??

  • Kendra says:

    Oh, sleep, my onetime best friend. My husband teases me that I’d really like about 11 hours a night, and truthfully that’s not far off. He needs much less sleep than I do, so even before kids, he was always up and about and irritated that I wasn’t doing the same thing at 7 AM. Three kids later, it’s a glorious morning if I’m still asleep at 7 AM. All three of them are insanely early risers. And our 16-month-old is just starting to sleep through the night consistently. Of course, we’re moving her out of our bedroom and into her own tonight, so I fully expect that to undo all our hard work. And of course she’s nursing (yes, still) so all the nighttime waking is my responsibility–and has been since day one with the first one. That’s what I get for having the boobs.

    I sometimes fantasize about what my life would be like if I were allowed to just sleep all I wanted. I imagine there would be a week or two of 12-hour nights and midafternoon naps. I don’t care what people say; you can make up for it, and someday I plan to.

  • nicole says:

    I have the glandular issues of which you speak, and I can’t imagine having the kids with it. Damn. HOWEVER, maybe they need to lower that dose a little. They lowered mine and now I only have suicide inducing insomnia half the time. The other half of the time I’m awakened by the neighborhood’s subwoofer testosterone dick measuring at 3am. Ah, Brooklyn in the summer.

  • excavator says:

    “Not uter-YOU, Mom, it’s uter-US”.

    Bwahahahahahahahahahaaha!

    You bring back Those Days. Where the success of my entire day, and mommy-esteem depended on whether or not baby napped.

    “uter-US”

    Bwahahahahahahahaahahahah!!!!!!

  • rilley says:

    My friends all think it’s hysterically funny (of course, they have no trouble sleeping) but I go to sleep every night to the soothing white noise of a recording of a clothes dryer on loop on my ipod. What they find even funnier is that it’s from a company called ‘Baby Sleep Sound’ and is marketed (as a download) to parents as a sleep aid for their infants. BEST DAMN $5 I EVER SPENT.

  • jil says:

    Ok, seriously, all kidding aside. My “baby” is 25 yrs old, lives several states away and I still suffer from insomnia….have since the day she was born. I wish I could impart some hope but I swear I still know when she rolls over in her bed, a thousand miles away. As for benedryl, I am in the 15 percentile who has reverse effects…..makes me bounce off the walls. How do I cope…LOL, I dont, I just continue to suffer through it. An occasional night with 5 straight hours and I think I just hit the lottery!!!! Hang in there and good luck!!

  • Betts says:

    Oh, I feel your pain with sleepless kids. Well, I felt it becuase it’s over now, but it hurts bad when it’s happening. One tip that might help with the noisy house, try a white noise machine. I used one on Pipsqueak to block sounds of barking dogs and the UPS delivery truck. I usually used the cricket sounds. I’m not saying it solved everything, but it helped a little.

  • Raina says:

    You are hilarious!!! I was ready to cry but after reading your “It’s where I’m a viking”, I wanted to roll on the floor with laughter. Thanks for cheering me up. I have 3 kids (ages 4,2 and1) and I’m pregnant with the 4th, due in 6 weeks. And I feel like I’m loosing my mind almost every single day.

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