Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sleep Deprived Jurl

3:00 a.m. and it looks like it's gonna be another sleepless night. I heard the soft patter of tiny feet long before, "I need you, Mommy" pushed through the fog of sleep I'd been enjoying for the better part of four hours. Now, I'm wide awake with a wide awake three year old snuggled next to me. At first, holding her in my arms warms my heart despite the interrupted REM sleep, but about three minutes into this cuddle position my arm falls asleep and my neck stiffens up. Every time I try to shift so I'm not in excruciating pain my toddler clutches at me and says, "I need you, Mommy."

I take a deep breath and try to hold on for a few more minutes. She's bound to fall asleep soon, right? Meanwhile, my core body temperature is shooting through the roof because my daughter puts out about a million BTUs. Now my arm is dead, my neck is paralyzed, and I'm sweating. It's like I climbed inside a Hot Pocket with metal spikes.

Amazingly, it is not the heat or the pain keeping me awake at what is now 3:45 a.m., it's my husband's imitation of a buzzsaw that won't let me find any peace. It's starts off like a gentle purr, almost like a cat with a head cold. Then the volume increases and it sounds more like an old fashioned percolating coffee pot. By the time it hits lawnmower I'm ready to commit murder. Bloody, fleshy, sticky murder.

4:00 a.m. and now the baby is starting to cry. He already has a lot in common with his father. He too starts out with soft murmur, working up to caterwauling maniac. I roll my little hot pocket over me so she's between me and the buzzsaw and roll myself out of bed. At the first sign of movement, she says, "I need you Mommy!" I tell her, "Need the Buzzsaw. I have to check on the baby."

I stumble around the foot of our bed, stumping my toe on freaking Candy Land, and make my way through the semi-darkness to the baby's room. His giant head is thrashing side to side, his little hands are flailing, and he's really letting me know he's unhappy about something. First I try the pacifier. No deal. Next, I turn on the aquarium. Uh, not falling for the maniacal looking see horse and plastic seaweed. Last resort, I pick up my other little hot pocket, bouncing him in my arms in the hopes that Mama's extra cushiness will help him fall back to sleep. After a few minutes it actually works so I put the little lump back in his bed. I turn around to find my daughter standing right behind me. She scared the beejezus out of me! "Samantha! What are you doing?"

"I told you, I need you Mommy. What are you doing?"

"Checking on the baby. Come on. let's go back to bed. Why didn't you stay with Daddy?"

"He's making loud noises."

4:15 a.m. and we're back in the bed. Now Samantha is between us which is actually a huge pain in the ass because she refuses to be covered by our blankets . About the third time she kicked the covers off of both of us I considered moving to Seattle under the cover of darkness, changing my name to Roberta, and getting a job at a Starbucks. Without any of these sleep stealing jerks.

4:30 a.m. and I hear Samantha chuckle. I decide to ignore it b/c I really believe I have a chance of getting some sleep. But she will not be ignored. "That video was funny." I assume she is talking about a video she watched the night before, but again I ignore her. "Mommy, wasn't that video funny?"


"Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy....."

"Samantha! I am going to move to Mars if you aren't quiet this instant! Go to sleep."

"That's silly. You can't live on Mars." 5:00 a.m and I'm engaged in talk about space travel with a three year old. How did this happen?

5:15 a.m. and baby decides he's lonely so I'm back in the nursery. I forgot my glasses so I can't see where his pacifier landed and by the time I find it he is royally ticked. Miraculously, the pacifier and scary aquarium work this time so I'm back in bed by 5:20 a.m.

5:30 a.m., both husband and daughter are now sleeping. And snoring. It's now that I begin to pray to Jesus I can get to sleep before I have to get up for work. I start doing the math. If I fall asleep right this instant, I can get almost an hour!

6:00 a.m. the baby begins to wail as if he has not eaten since the womb. With deep bitterness I climb out of bed, stomp to the kitchen for a bottle, stomp back to the nursery, and feed my little love bug.

6:30 a.m. and I've finished feeding the baby just in time to get in the shower. I hate everybody.

So, if in the near future you read a headline something like this, "Mother of Two Snaps in the Middle of the Night, Locks Family in Bathroom at Knife Point to Avoid Snoring, Whining, and Crying", you'll know I found my breaking point.


Claudia said...

Jurl, I'm right there with you. My little hot pocket decided to have one of those cough-laden nights where in order for one of us (parents)to have some sleep, I reluctantly volunteered to go sleep in the guest bed room so husband doesn't have to hear the coughing through the monitor. Ugh. Cough medicine dosing at 8 wears off by midnight. The midnight dosing wears off by 4 a.m... more coughing... and just as I have finally dozed back to sleep, husband wakes me up 30 minutes before I actually have to get up to tell me he's leaving for work. =( So now I'm tired, awake, pregnant and pissed! But still you sound like you had a worse night, so I won't complain (much).

Anonymous said...

CBS/AP) Cold and cough medicines do not work in children and should not be used in those younger than 6, federal health advisers recommended Friday.

The over-the-counter medicines should be studied further, even after decades in which children have received billions of doses a year, the outside experts told the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA is not required to follow the advice of its panels of outside experts but does so most of the time.

"The data that we have now is they don't seem to work," said Sean Henry, a University of Pennsylvania epidemiologist, one of the FDA experts gathered to examine the medicines, peddled as treatments for common cold symptoms. The recommendation applies to medicines containing one or more of decongestants, expectorants, antihistamines and anti-tussives.

The nonbinding recommendation is likely to lead to a shake-up in how the medicines - which have long escaped much scrutiny - are labeled, marketed and used. Just how and how quickly was not immediately clear.

In two separate votes, the panelists said the medicines should not be used by children younger than 2 or in those younger than 6. A third vote, to recommend against use in children 6 to 11, failed.

Earlier, the panelists voted unanimously to recommend the medicines be studied in children to determine whether they work. That recommendation would require the FDA to undertake a rule-making process to reclassify the medicines, since the ingredients they include are now generally recognized as safe and effective, which does not require testing. The process could take years, even before any studies themselves get under way.

Simply relabeling the medicines to state they should not be used in some age groups could be accomplished more quickly, FDA officials said.

Indeed, the drug industry could further revise the labels on the medicines to caution against such use. The Thursday-Friday meeting came just a week after the industry pre-emptively moved to eliminate sales of the nonprescription drugs targeted at children under 2.

Pediatricians pushing for greater restrictions told the FDA advisers Thursday that the over-the-counter medicines should not be given to children younger than 6, an age group they called the most vulnerable to any potential ill effects.

FDA officials and panelists agreed there is no evidence they work in older children, either.

Still, panelists held off from recommending against use in older children. Some said they feared such a prohibition would not eliminate use of the medicines by parents.

"They will administer adult products to their children because they work for them or feel they work for them," said the panel's patient and family representative, Amy Celento.

The drug industry says the medicines, used 3.8 billion times a year in treating cold and cough symptoms in children, do work and are safe. It says that more parent education is needed to avoid overdoses that in rare cases have been fatal.

A group of pediatricians petitioned the FDA this year seeking action on the medicines.

An American Academy of Pediatrics official told the experts Friday that the medications should be relabeled to tell parents they do not work in children under 6 and may be dangerous.

"Why not label these products with what we actually know?" asked David Bromberg, a pediatrician.

CBS News correspondent Wyatt Andrews reported that the cold and cough medicine industry admits that 92 deaths are connected to combination cold medicines - but claims 79 of them were due to misuse or overdose.

Drug manufacturers continue to maintain that administered correctly, the medicines are safe and effective for sick children over two years of age.

© MMVII, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

ATLGAL said...

I too have had too many of those nights (last night being one, albeit not for as long a time as yours-- mine was only for 2 hours) where the idea of your kid is much more appealing just then than is the screaming, crying reality. And what the HECK do you DO when neither bottle nor pacifier works??? Here's what I do: (1) sing the lullabies that my mom and granny sang to me- this stage is very very brief; (2) keep trying and trying with both bottle and pacifier, and she spits both out and screams louder; (3) crawl on the floor in frantic effort to re-locate the discarded pacifier or three; (4) break out in a sweat hoping that my husband sleeps through it and doesn't come in to start giving advice; (5) plead with a 13 month old to please please please work with me as we are a family and we have to respect each other; (6) kinda want to yell at a 13 month old and explain why this is unacceptable behavior; (7) walk around in circles in hopes that motion will help, even though I know it won't; (8) pray for sleep to rescue my wee one- and me- from the discomfort or WHATEVER THE HECK THE PROBLEM IS; (9) close my eyes and feign peacefulness, thinking baby will see what I'm doing and try to imitate me; and finally (10) become a zombie, just sitting there- perhaps making some rocking efforts- but not seeing, hearing, or feeling anything at all. And, after some period of time, if nothing else works, usually start back at #1. Isn't it amazing, too, afterwards, you can't remember how long it was and what actually did the trick, but suddenly they just collapse back into sleep w/o any rhyme or reason. Babies are insane. But as I sit here in my office, looking at a photo of my sweet one, all I can think of is how darn cute and sweet she is. And how friggin tired I am. And, I'm off to Starbucks...again. Cheers, moms.

pissy mother too said... the copyright much?

Claudia said...

For the record, the medicine I administered to my child was under the instruction of his pediatrician and contained only ONE type of medicine. It is not the combination drug that Anonymous wrote about in her comment.

"The recommendation applies to medicines containing one or more of decongestants, expectorants, antihistamines and anti-tussives."

Anonymous said...

You are so tough with making baby sleep in his own bed..make Sam do the same thing!! She's got to learn and you've got to sleep.

ATLGAL said...


It works 100 percent of the time, although the scientists at the Canada Research council (who discovered it) aren't sure why. To stop nighttime coughing in a child (or an adult, as we found out personally), put Vicks Vapor Rub generously on the bottom of the feet at bedtime and then cover with socks.

I'm told that even persistent, heavy, deep coughing will stop in about five minutes and stay stopped for many, many hours of relief. This is more effective in children than even very strong prescription cough medicines. In addition it is extremely soothing and comforting and they will sleep soundly. I heard the head of the Canada Research Council describe these findings on the part of their scientists when they were investigating the effectiveness and usage of prescription cough medicines in children, as compared to alternative therapies like acupressure.

Anonymous said...

Jurl, I would kick my husbands butt if he didn't help me with the baby he wanted to badly. Next time smack his butt and get him to help out. Your blogs are hilarious.