I Didn’t Sleep In 2008

26 Feb

Everyone should have kids. They are the greatest joy in the world. But they are also terrorists. You’ll realize this as soon as they are born and they start using sleep deprivation to break you.
-Ray Romano quotes

By the time my mom moved in with me in April of 2008 I think I had been slowly losing my mind.

True, it was partly because of my complete submersion into Oli-land and lack of full emotional participation in anything other than blind baby support. It was also due to a familiar term recognized world wide by new parents. And talked about, dreaded, cursed, and feared by the blind community.

Sleep deprivation.

When my girl was 6 months old she just simply stopped sleeping.

She was on her own little planet where there was no 24 hour day. Sometimes her day was 20 hours, sometimes it was 27 hours. There was absolutely no sleep schedule. She would go to bed at 7pm get up at 1am, be up until 9am, go back to sleep until 2pm, get up and stay up until 12am, sleep until 4am. . .every single day was different.

When I went to work with bags under my eyes, mismatched socks, and had forgotten to run a brush through my hair, the new moms in the unit would spot me across the room like a bug drawn to a light. They knew what I was suffering from and they were always ready to inundate me with solutions to Oli’s sleep problem.

“Put her to bed at the same time every night. Make sure she’s had enough to eat. Bath her with this soap and then apply this lotion. Play this song before bedtime…” The list goes on and on.

I listened and I tried anything anyone ever suggested to me. Nothing worked. The only thing I refused to try was putting a dab of alcohol in her bottle at night. But that may have simply been because I didn’t want to share and needed every last drop.

I read books on sleep, googled sleep solutions for blind babies, talked with other parents of blind children, asked her pediatrician, doctors who worked in my unit, and random strangers at the grocery store who looked just like me. A soundly sleeping infant in a car seat and a mother looking like she had just returned from war, hadn’t eaten in a week, showered in 2, or slept for 3. We would bond in the frozen foods section describing last nights battle in which our child always defeated us. Granted, their baby was only a month old and mine was turning one year.

Eventually by the time my mom arrived I had just given up.

I was totally convinced that Oli was never going to sleep again.

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One Response to “I Didn’t Sleep In 2008”

  1. My Dance in the Rain March 1, 2013 at 1:09 am #

    My typical almost two year old still does not sleep through the night keeping us up for hours some nights. Crazy because Sophie is a good sleeper unless she is sick, she only wakes up 2-3 times a month wanting to stay awake all night and she is the one I was told would have sleep issues.

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