I always imagined that I’d be a patient mother. I don’t know what made me feel that way considering that I’m about as impatient as a person can get. Give me instant gratification—or else. But somehow, I just knew in my bones that it would be different when I became a mother.
I was wrong, of course. Throw one more point on the board for reality. (So THIS is why experienced moms roll their eyes at the musings of moms to be! I get it now!)
We’ve boarded the crazy train that they call the 18 month sleep regression. If you’re anything like me, you saw mention of this impending regression and thought, “Hah! As if her sleep could actually get worse!”
Oh ho, delusional tired one—but it can! It absolutely can!
And that is how I found myself rocking my daughter (again) in her dark nursery at three o’clock this morning. And then again at 3:45. And again at 4:45. And at 4:45 she screamed if I even thought about trying to put her in her crib, so I held her in the dark until Catch came to check on us around 5:30.
As Catch stood watching us, Charlotte’s pacifier dropped from her relaxed little mouth and she let out a soft snore. I slowly—so slowly—leaned forward and stood up. I inched my way toward the crib, with my daughter’s limp sleeping body draped across my arms. I leaned carefully over the crib rail and as her body grazed the crib’s flannel sheet, her eyes flew open and she started to scream.
I looked at Catch and said, “I can’t deal with this.” I turned my back on my screaming child, closed the door—which intensified her screams—and shoved my way past my wide-eyed wife as she stood blocking the hallway in an attempt to calm me down.
I threw myself into our bed and cried. Charlotte’s screams filled the room—amplified courtesy of the baby monitor. Catch came in, comforted me for a moment and then took the baby monitor and closed the door behind her. I heard her open Charlotte’s door. Charlotte screamed louder. This time peppered with demands for, “Maaaamaaaa!” They made their way down the hall, Charlotte still screaming desperately, Catch trying equally desperately to calm her down. After a few more minutes of screaming, I heard the chanting from the beginning of Frozen. The screaming stopped. I wrapped myself around Twix and closed my eyes.
We’re going on two weeks of sleep difficulty now, and it’s just getting worse. It started with more frequent night wakings. Then naps started to become a challenge (and this girl LOVES her naps). Now she refuses to be put down again when she wakes in the night.
We dealt with this all throughout my bout with the flu last week, although thankfully it wasn’t quite this bad. Still, I am not 100% recovered yet and it’s most likely because I just haven’t been able to get enough sleep.
It would help if she’d let Catch rock her. We could trade off. But if the boob mama isn’t the one to walk through that door at night, all hell breaks loose.
I don’t know what to do.
I am fed up, and just so effing tired. Doctor Google informs me that this sleep regression can last anywhere from 2-6 weeks, and that there’s not much you can do about it. Great.
Even worse, I know Catch is feeling Charlotte’s flat out rejection. She’s getting frustrated and I know she wants me to wean Charlotte.
And you know? At this point, I will GLADLY wean her. I am done. I really am. But this child is ADDICTED. My attempts to distract her from her desire to nurse have been futile—heck, sometimes they even become violent (toward me). Also, I really question whether the middle of a sleep regression is the appropriate time to hard core wean.
Short of taking myself on a week-long vacation and leaving Catch to figure it out, I just don’t know what to do. My patience is shot. My health is questionable. My wife is frustrated. I am actually starting to regret the effort I put into making breastfeeding work. I regret breastfeeding! How many people can say that?!
How the hell do people do this?