Thursday, January 9, 2014

33.4 Weeks

I had another midwife appointment this week. It was so lovely driving alone to the birth center. They were pretty busy but I didn't mind waiting, though it might have been nice to  take a nap on the bed while I waited. Everything is good, baby grew a lot the past two weeks, cervix is very soft and she suspects there would be some dilation to report if there were no stitches so everything it doing its job. We'll discuss stitch removal next appointment and then we'll wait.

I am excited/can't believe we are this close/panicked because Malachi is still crazy sleeping/looking forward to not having to heft my belly around the bed rail in the middle of the night when I get a Charlie horse. Which I have only had to do twice so far because I followed this one easy trick.*

But first, back to our sleep problems Because lately that is my most pressing issue. I can't really show what it looks like because a flash going off around a should be sleeping baby would be ridiculous. So here is and "artist's" rendition of most of our nights. No matter when they actually start, this sequence, with little variation happens.

At some  point we are all in  bed. Malachi wakes up ( generally anytime between1am and 4am, and calls for Mama I snuggle him and try to cozy him back to sleep. If he has any bottle left I give it to him. He finishes it, then starts his routine of bashing and thrashing around the bed with his very weighty and hard head as I perform various defensive manuevers. Most nights I promise myself I will not sleep with him again without protective gear and as I don't have any I fully expect to wake up with a broken jaw or nose one of these mornings.

The snuggling just results in closer quarters in which to launch his cranial assaults and after a head, neck, chest assault, I shake Shane and ask him to get a refill. He takes the bottle and promptly goes back to sleep. Shane, not Malachi. I wait a bit, the thrashing continues. So I take the bottle, shake Shane again and tell him not to let Malachi crawl off the bed, and head down stairs to fill the bottle. I come back. He drinks the bottle, Malachi, not Shane, and then begins the head thrashing routine. This time with soundtrack. Of farm animal noises. First Uff Uff (dog) Then Mow. Then Boooo.(cow) Snort. Scary Bear growl. Tractor noises. And some animals that apparently didn't make it to the boat in time because I've never heard them before.

To be fair, most nights Shane does wake up and gets a bottle. But if he doesn't he doesn't even remember me asking him to. And no matter how it plays out no one is rested in the morning. I tried putting Malachi in a crib in our room but that just made for extra effort on my part to extract him when the 'Mama's started. And I don't need any heavy lifting at this point. So he is back in the bed. And despite his nights, his naps generally are short, non-existent, or so late I can't let him sleep more than 30 min. So no nap times for Mama. Which is ok because I have this fabulous trait where unless I am really sick, napping gives me a headache. And after a bout of pregnancy insomnia last week, which just preceded the nighttime gymnastics routine, I don't want to risk messing with sleep schedules.

I'm feeling desperate as we approach the due date but really don't know what else to try. I thought of getting a new bed and setting up camp in the bonus room and letting the boys tough it out. We could use a new bed and once everyone is finally settled, baby and I can move back in, bringing a new mattress with us. I could sleep somewhere else for the duration of the pregnancy and get Malachi used to not having Mama there, but it is kind of a two person job so I'd have to have one of the other kids risk life and limb to sleep in there and help out.

Honestly I'm so tired I don't know if I can even think properly to problem solve our issues.  Maybe I just need to accept that none of our kids need sleep and I should plan on being under slept for the foreseeable future. I don't know how other families manage. I seriously want to gag myself and vomit  from envy when other moms talk about their 4 year old napping, or 'we put the kids to bed at 7:30, then its our time to visit and catch up on each other's day. Some days Shane is just getting home 7:00. Is our schedule just too erratic to support normal sleep patterns? Is it genetic? Does it need some tough love to make it resemble anything normal? Is there a normal? Who am I?

I don't like the 'cry it out' method of bed weaning but am open to any and all other offers of advice. Even if its just a "Yes. Sounds like you have young children. You don't get hot coffee, any length of a shower, trips to the bathroom alone, a full meal in one sitting, or sleep. That's how it is."

But then Malachi does his scary bear routine, which once you are really afraid he quickly turns into a gentle uff uff and my heart melts. I just wish he wouldn't do it at 3am.

*One easy trick. The other night I was giggling in bed as I told Shane a tip a neighbor share to help with leg cramps. Place a bar of soap under your bottom sheet near your feet, and you won't get cramps. She did, and didn't have any, after having cramps with previous pregnancies. He laughed and we looked it up on my phone and sure enough it was on the internet so it must be true. Isn't that silly? So did you put a bar of soap under the sheet? Yes. My leg is still sore from the other night, despite the calcium-magnesium I've been taking since last pregnancy so I don't care if its placebo or what I'll try anything. And it worked. For a week. But I'm totally game for another placebo effect if anyone has other recommendations.

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