Monday, March 22, 2010

dry dry desert (UPDATED)

I am parched.
It is 2:36am. Hazel has been awake and crying for over an hour. I've been in twice - she is not sick or scared. Just awake, and for whatever reason, fighting sleep. I really hate to admit it, but I have no compassion left.
I am dry.
It's been almost 2 solid years of routine sleep struggle. Night wakings. Fighting naps. Crying it out. Hours spent awake in the cold, quiet middle of the night. Desperately trying to soothe your child to sleep while worrying about creating bad habits.
I've got nothing left.
I've tried every strategy (that I've read about or heard of).
At this point - the nighttime crying begins, and my skin just crawls. Part of me still just dies that my baby is not happy, not resting. The rest of me - is just SO tired. It is exhausted and raw and angry and frustrated at failing over and over and over.
I just want the crying to stop.
Because there is another baby in the house who will wake up soon and need to be fed. She is not ready to night-wean yet. Between the two, sleep is too elusive. It is difficult to find reason and sanity at 3am when your child has been screaming for hours.
I want my daughter to be rested. I want her to sleep well.
I want to be rested. I want to sleep well.
I want to give the best to my girls - and I don't do that when I am crabby and tired in the small small hours of the morning.
I am ashamed that it makes me angry to hear her continue to cry.
I carry so much guilt for that anger.
I feel so dry, so parched.

Even as I returned to bed after writing this, listening to Hazel cry, I realized that what I wrote was not completely true.
Yes, I feel angry in the middle of the night. I am frustrated and confused and angry.
But mostly, I think my anger stems from feeling so heartbroken and helpless that I cannot prevent my daughter's tears or give her the rest she needs. I feel that I should have the power to fix it for her.
It's physically painful for a mama to lay in bed and listen to her baby cry... I just want to go in and make it all better. The problem is that my going in doesn't necessarily make it all better - at least not for very long.
Because I cannot FIX it, and because I don't feel that I handle this trial very gracefully, I wonder about my ability to be mama to more than the two kiddos I have. And I know that I *want* more. So it terrifies me to think that I might not be "cut out" for being mama to more than two. That I might not really be capable, not able to handle it.
Probably not rational, but there it is.
So thanks for your kind words, and for reading my mid-night sob story. We are awake and smiling this morning, praying and looking for a better night tonight.

4 thoughts:

Anna said...

Just thought you might like to know that you aren't alone. We've struggled with the same thing my daughter's whole life. I'm starting to get really anxious about adding baby #2 to the nighttime mix in just 2 months. I feel like a horrible mother and horrible person sometimes at 2 and 3 in the morning.
Lots of hugs to you. Hope your sleep struggles get better soon.

Kaycee said...

Oh KT that is so hard. I have no words except that I hope everyone in your household gets more rest soon. And that I hope you can forgive yourself for your very normal feelings. Everything is harder at 3am and I can't imagine having to deal with that for as long as you have. I wish there was something I could do to help.

Wendy said...

Katie, I feel the same way when Luke is up from 1-4 am just because he wants to be. It is so hard to be a mommy then. And you are right... you don't sleep if they're not sleeping. I can't go back to sleep until Luke stops crying, no matter how hard I try and it's exhausting! But remember that you are a great mommy! Keep your chin up!

Bethany said...

Does she have sinus/allergy/throat trouble? My little guy had a horrible time sleeping till we realized that he had sleep apnea. 90% of his airways were blocked. He had his adenoids removed, and it's night and day.