Extreme sleep deprivation or Baby torture.

Fenn doesn’t sleep. She is not a sleeper. This baby is not for napping…

I am writing this at 4.30am, during the 7th awake session Fenn has had tonight. I can see how sleep deprivation was used as a torture method. I would confess to anything in order to get just 3hrs straight sleep.

Fenn actually slept through the night for 7 hours at the age of 10 weeks old. “Yes!!” I thought, “this mothering stuff is easy!” then gradually as she got older, her sleeping got worse and worse. She would happily go all day without a nap if she could, and then sleep only 3-4 hours a night, split into 3 or 4 chunks.

I seriously have no idea how this baby is alive and functioning, let alone looking so cute and happy.

It seems as though all of my friends who have babies who either give formula or breastmilk from a bottle have babies who sleep through. Some of their crotchlings have been sleeping 8pm-8am since a few weeks old and when they try to sympathise and tell me “Little Bobby woke TWICE last night! I know how you feel.” I want to punch them in the throat. There are others who get it, others who are also breastfeeding with babies who won’t take a bottle, others with eyebags so big they drag on the floor. Some of their babies improved once on solid food, but not all and not Fenn. 

I am a human doormouse and before getting pregnant would happily sleep for 10 hours a night. Nearly 9 months of chronic sleep deprivation has left me in a very bad place, both physically and mentally. The exhaustion means that I can’t focus of things, I worry about driving, I only want to eat chocolate and carbs, I have barely enough energy to get through the day let anone excercise and I have zero tolerance to pretty much anything my OH does. I have no idea how we haven’t killed each other. But one of the worst things are the thoughts of hopelessness and uselessness, thoughts that I am a crap mumma and that Fenn would be better off without me… the scary thoughts that spring from that. 

The night before last was the straw that broke the camel’s back. We had both got to breaking point. Something had to change. We have tried almost everything to get her to sleep, different routines, foods, bedding, cot angles, dream sheep, white noise, dim light, stories, no stories, shooshing, you name it, but the crux of the problem is that Fenn has no idea how to get herself off to sleep. 

Time to go cold turkey on the cry it out.

I will keep a diary of the Cry it out process… stay tuned for updates.

8 months old!

Today our little Fenn is 8 months old.

It is really scary. It seems like only 8 weeks ago that she was suction pulled into our lives, not 8 months.

She is really losing her baby looks now and is looking more like a little toddler. Her hair has grown massively in the last few weeks and she is so strong! She can twist and writhe like a conga eel in your arms and if you dare to eat or drink anything within her reach, she will grab and yank, including hot tea! Luckily we have been scald free so far. She also loves pulling hair, especially mine.

Developmentally, she is sitting up like a boss, and rolling around really confidently. She first rolled back to front about 8 weeks ago but didn’t bother doing it again until 10 days ago. She can now get herself down to crawling position from sitting (not gracefully, but no longer a fall) and knows that she wants to move… but luckily can’t yet! She is still really strong when we stand her up and can support herself when holding on to something. Mentally you can see her mind whirring all the time, when taking things out of or putting things into her little yellow bucket, or watching your mouth as you make certain phonics. She is weighing in at around 18lbs or 8.2kgs.

No viable words yet, but a real increase in ‘vocabulary’. She did say “haggis” last week, but I think that was a lucky combination of sounds more than her first word!

She still has no toothy pegs, but very hard gums and the usual teething issues.

Weaning is going really well. She eats pretty much everything with gusto, except rice and spicy things. She will give anything a go and loves feeding herself and making a mess. She still breastfeeds in the morning, evening and overnight, but often goes to Mimi’s (nanny’s) house during the day and copes easily without me!

Sleeping is still a challenge. She gets into a routine of going down at 8pm, waking at 11 and 3 and up at 6ish. Then when you get used to that she starts teething, gets ill or we go away and it goes back to 7+ wake ups a night. It is exhausting. We are looking into hiring a sleep coach.

One improvement is that she now naps in her cot during the day. She only ever sleeps for exactly 30 mins, but it frees me up a tiny bit!

I have already ordered her 1st birthday cake and we are starting to think about a little party. Sob…