Well friends, I wish I could say there's been an improvement in the sleeping situation...but so far, no.
I've had to give Evangeline .50mg of melatonin just to get her to fall asleep at night without getting out of bed 20 times. A few times a week, at least, she's waking in the middle of the night with a terrified scream and of course waking up Eliana, too. And the very early morning wake ups have not only continued, but hit a new level of horribleness. Yesterday the girls got up at 4:50am and nothing would get them to stay in their beds for more than 10 minutes at a time. As a parent, it's a very lonely and helpless feeling. Craig sleeps through his alarm going off several times and then leaves for work around 5:30am and he's gone almost every night at sports stuff with Jake, so most of the time I really do feel like a single parent. I have no help when it comes to anything sleep related with the girls. He would sleep through an atom bomb. When Eliana was a baby and screamed every night for hours with colic, I could be sitting in bed next to him, holding her while she screamed and he'd continue snoring. If only I was so lucky, right? And yes, it can be infuriating.
Friday makes it an entire month of this. I think that for anyone, this would be a tough situation. Then add being nearly 32 weeks pregnant...it feels like a horrible nightmare that I just can't wake up from. Every night I hope and pray that this will be the night that my kids sleep well and sleep til even just 7am. It hasn't happened yet. I never feel like myself. I feel like I'm in a constant haze and just staying awake to drive kids to errands and appointments is hard. Trying to nicely respond to missed calls, emails, comments, and scheduling appointments for all 5 of us is taking every ounce of me. I can't survive the 5am wake ups without caffeine, but then the possibility of any kind of nap or doze during the day is screwed if I do have caffeine. And I've never been a napper anyway. It makes the whole day feel awful for me. I can't win.
I feel isolated because it seems only my little terrors pull this kind of crap, to this extent, and for such a long period of time. I have been told probably 416 times that I just need blackout curtains and a sound machine. I am told several times a day that I "just need to put Evie in a separate room". Well, here's the deal, she's in a separate room for naps and it's not helping AT ALL. And we have always had blackout curtains and a sound machine. And the clock that turns green at a certain time. And structured bedtime routines. And no drinks after a certain time. And my kids have never been allowed caffeine. There isn't a magic fix and some easy solution that I somehow haven't thought of yet. I am doing the absolute best that I can, especially doing it all alone and pregnant.
The crazy thing about how early they wake up is that I can't outsmart them. I can't just go to bed early and wake well rested. I tried to go to bed at 9pm a few nights ago, which gives me approximately zero minutes of the day without any kids or time with my husband (which is the usual these days). I finally fell asleep at 9:30 and then 10 minutes later Evangeline was screaming bloody murder in her bed and woke up Eliana. I didn't get back to sleep til 10:30 and then they were up by 5am again. I got a whopping 6 1/2 hours of sleep- and that was a good night.
I worry I'll fall down the large flight of stairs as I make one of a bazillion trips up and down them. I worry I'll go into preterm labor or something else terrible will happen to the baby. I worry my kids will never sleep anywhere close to 'normal' again. I worry I'll have PPD or issues with milk supply because of being so chronically exhausted. I worry I won't be able to physically handle a natural birth because I have no energy just to do laundry, let alone the marathon of labor. Basically, I just worry.
I don't like to take my kids anywhere because their behavior is really unpredictable right now. They trip, fall and get hurt really easily because they are so tired. They argue and hit and do things they'd never do in a well-rested state. I have to remind Evangeline frequently to go to the potty because this non-sleeping has really messed up the fact that she's already potty trained.
Yesterday I really pondered just making her bed a crib again. But that's a tough one because she's a climber and was climbing out/falling out of her crib before we made it a toddler bed. There were many loud thumps and a screaming toddler and I envisioned broken arms and concussions. I could try to take them somewhere for a sleep study, but that feels like it would take so much energy just in the calling, scheduling, appointments, overnight stay, etc...and I can barely make sure there is dinner on the table at night right now.
This month has been really traumatic for me. There is definitely a torture-like element to sleep deprivation. I've started waking up and starting at the ceiling with fear right before 5am because my brain knows in a matter of minutes they'll be up and hollering. I wake up to every little thing at night, like my body doesn't know how to even find a deep sleep pattern anymore. It's not pregnancy or my bladder waking me, it's PTSD from my freaking kids. The same thing happened after the horrible 4 months with Eliana's colic. It took me a long time to be able to fall asleep normally and stay asleep after dealing with hours and hours of screaming every night. I start to wonder if it's even worth it to try and sleep. And part of me feels anger that God made our bodies to need sleep in the first place.
It's frustrating when I know and believe that God could make it all stop if he wanted to. He could make them sleep til 8am every single day. But He's not. I don't understand why He's allowing it to continue this way. I don't really feel heard or cared for right in this moment. I know This Too Shall Pass and I know things could get worse...trust me, I know that. I'm just honestly not sure how I'm supposed to prepare physically and emotionally for this next home birth when the most basic need, sleep, isn't happening.
This is my reality.