I’ve figured it out. I finally get why I don’t sleep, why Max doesn’t sleep and why neither if us will sleep for a long, long time.
Of course new parents are sleep deprived, everyone and their dog knows this, but this sleep deprivation has gone to a whole new makes-me-want-to-injure-myself-so-I-can-stay-overnight-in-the-hospital-and-get-some-effing-sleep level. And that’s not good. I said something to the effect of “I’m going to stab myself so I have to be in the hospital overnight” (only half kidding) to my friend Katrina (who’s in grad school getting her masters degree in social work) and she told me if I kept talking like that she’d have me committed. Hmmmm……
Anyhoo, I think about how out of my mind tired I am and how it effects my day to day life. It’s been going on so long that I’ve had to figure out how to live with it, I have no other choice. And then I think about Max and how his little baby body and brain deals with sleep deprivation, and it isn’t good. Babies, and people of all ages for that matter, need the proper amount of sleep to go through day to day life.
When Max was 4 or 5 months old I’d tell myself that by the time he was 10 months old he’d be sleeping through the night, and maybe Rob and I could get away for an overnighter. Shit, was I wrong. There are so many things that can cause a baby to sleep badly, but there’s one thing that I’m blaming for this whole damn mess. Teething.
Babies can be ‘teething’ for weeks or even months without any visible sign of an actual tooth (which is just plain mean on Mother Nature’s part). So imagine going through weeks of agonizing pain in your mouth and not being able to tell someone to remedy it. That’s what babies go through every single time a new tooth erupts. Basically what I’m saying is, babies are always teething. Even when you don’t think that’s what’s wrong, it is.
Last night the kid wouldn’t eat his dinner, he was incredibly whiney and clingy. I laid him down and started inspecting his mouth thinking I wouldn’t find anything. I saw a white spot on the top left part of his gummy little mouth. I shoved my finger in there and felt a sharp poke. The poor kid has a friggin’ molar coming in. I immediately grabbed him a teething ring, some ibuprofen and teething tablets. About a half hour later he was back to himself.
The conclusion I’ve come to is that babies are constantly teething, and until Max has all of his teeth, or until he can toughen up and handle the pain (kidding!), neither of us will sleep. Until then we’ll be up 6-10 times a night, sometimes more, rarely less, cuddling and nursing back to sleep. Or I’ll just down a bottle of NyQuil. That should knock us both out.