This has been a crazy week. We have been inundated with crazy storms all week long, so we’ve been stuck indoors. Sure, we could go out, but when the rain is pouring down and the winds are blowing huge limbs off of the redwoods behind our home, we find it more comforting to stay inside, even though it has resulted in a pretty serious case of cabin fever for all of us. We have gotten to watch some pretty crazy sights, including the small creek behind our house turning into a raging river:
Along with the storm this week has come a big shift in Baby Genius’ sleep patterns. Whereas he used to go down at 7pm and stay asleep until around 10pm when we go to bed (yeah, we go to bed that early these days), we are now lucky if he goes down at 7pm, and we’re lucky if he stays asleep twenty minutes, let alone three or four hours. BG used to wake up a total of maybe two times a night, and he would go right down again after a quick feed. He started the week off waking up every hour or hour and a half, and now while he may sleep two or three hours at the beginning of the night, he wakes himself up over and over and over again (every 10-30 minutes) after the first awakening. Last night, he woke up when we went to bed at 10:30, then again at 1am, and then the rest of the night is a big blur of picking him up, rocking him, nursing him, re-swaddling him, putting him down, settling back into bed, hearing him fuss, then whine, then cry, and then picking him back up. I cried more than once in the night last night.
Unfortunately, he also hasn’t been letting J put him to bed anymore. She used to have the magic touch. He would cry a bit in her arms, but she would comfort him, and let him get out whatever he had to get out while she held and rocked and walked him, and he would go to to sleep so well. Now he flips. the fuck. out. So I feed him then walk him, then try to put him down (whereupon his eyes pop wide open), and then I walk him and walk him and rock him and sing and shush and hum, and finally he goes out after sometimes over an hour of this–only to wake up a few minutes later.
I find myself channeling Dorothy Parker frequently these days, time after time asking, What fresh hell is this?
Right now, I’m tempting fate by blogging. You see, BG went down after I fed him and rocked him. I then walked him for a mere five minutes. He has been down for half an hour. Surely he’ll be kvetching and whining and fussing any moment now. Surely…
J and I are traumatized. We are both terrified of going to bed at night. I find myself jumping at the slightest sound on the baby monitor, flailing my arms wildly when the cats make too much noise or the neighbors downstairs find the need to close slam their door yet again. J just walked in from taking a hot tub and was celebrating that he was still asleep, and I begged her not to lest she curse it, lest he somehow hear her and decide to wake up just to prove us wrong.
We’re in survival mode. Every moment takes effort. She put me down for a nap today, and for the first time, I didn’t protest. We will somehow get through this. Fortunately, we have been working at holding ourselves together more this week. It’s surprising. We had a big night early in the week when we hashed out a lot. It was painful and hard, but we both know that we want to make our relationship work, and we want to feel in love with each other again, and we want the pain to stop. There’s a lot of hard work we have to do, but we’re doing that work each day, even if that means just being kind to one another when neither of us feels so kind. The evenings have been good for us because we have been putting BG down in his co-sleeper in our room (until now, he has slept in the evenings in his moses basket in the living room–yes, this transition is likely a big contributor to his sleep issues). Finally, we can have conversations between the two of us, have dinner together, even snuggle on the couch or give foot massages. Those little bits of time have been good medicine.
This weekend, my mom and step-dad are coming to see the boy, and they’re going to watch him while we go out for lunch and a beer–or nap–whichever seems most appropriate. We haven’t been out together without the baby in so long, and I’m really looking forward to some time with my wife.
I hope this insanity passes soon. I’ve never been so tired, so wrung out. I know it will pass, but right now, as we’re sitting in the trenches, it hardly feels like it.