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Come for the Honesty – Stay For the Sarcasm

I didn’t want this to be a mommy blog. I really didn’t. Sure I started that way because I had a new baby and I needed to talk about it and connect with other mothers going through similar torture but I figured (which was true) that once the newness of that wore off, I’d have many other scintillating things to discuss, dissect and more words that start with the letter D. But here I am smack dab back in the thick of it.

New baby hell.

Last night was the worst sleep-wise – I don’t even remember what sleeping at night feels like. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel rested. I want to cry but I’m too tired and frustrated. Yesterday, my daughter woke up in the wee hours of the morning, promptly puked all over my husband who was taking a four a.m. feed. She spent all of yesterday home from school with a fever and layed in bed with her sleep deprived mommy while I vacillated between babies, tylenol for her and trying to find a mental hospital that provides childcare. Hey, they have it at the gym, why not the loony bin? By the way, does changing from one bathrobe to a cleaner one count as actually changing your clothes?

To all the nice people who told me to get some help, I have it. We (my husband and I) decided that we’d risk going broke for some daily help. The problem is, right now the babies sleep all day and are up all night. So, feasibly I could leave the house while the babies sleep because someone is here, but I’m so fucking tired from the night before that I’m useless to go anywhere or get anything done. Plus, I have to get up and take my daughter to school and then pick her up and make sure she gets what little energy I have left.

So if I haven’t returned your calls or emails it’s not entirely because I’m flakey which I am, it’s because I’m TIRED.

Last night I layed in bed while my two tiny babies who had been fed, swaddled, held, burped etc. cried and cried for no reason I could decifer and I thought “I can’t do this. I can’t.” And I still feel that way this morning. And it’s not postpartum. It’s lack of sleep. I feel like a failure. My husband is having to do way more than his share. I don’t know how he does it but I just want to check out for awhile and I can’t. But sometimes I helplessly watch him take yet another double feeding and I don’t know how he does it. If it was all up to me would they starve?

Yesterday I layed with my three-year-old while she was practically delirious with fever and I stroked her head over and over and I thought about how much I love her and how grateful I am to be her mom, the person she needs most in this world. The person who can give her comfort just by my sitting next to her and touching her. I love being able to give her what my mother wasn’t able to give me. I have it in me – I know I do. But will I be able to do it for three? Right now I can’t see it.

Now before I try to find a new shrink because mine left the practice and you see I obviously will need my Zoloft reupped, I want you to go to this Website and listen to the song Fall Apart Today.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on January 16, 2008 8:24 pmUncategorized29 comments  

29 Comments

  1. Chicagoland Mamacita! said,

    It’s a beautiful song, really it is. But right now you need to listen to something like the 2008 equivalent of “Bringing Sexy Back” or something else that makes you want to get up and dance. I realize dancing sounds like a ridiculous concept to a sleep deprived person, but I’m serious.

    In the summer of 2006, when I was deep in the throes of PPD, and totally sleep-deprived, I called my husband crying. In the background, he could hear I was listening to The Fray – How To Save a Life, on repeat. Nothing like a song about suicide to make anyone down feel worse.

    I wish I could help your babies sleep – but in the meantime, hang in there and find some happy songs.

    | January 16, 2008 @ 10:33 pm

  2. MereCat said,

    The only real thing that can get you through this is the fact that IT WILL NOT LAST! Just remember that. This is just a short period of time in the grand scheme of things, so just do one day at a time, alas, one FEEDING at a time, one puke at a time.

    Your husband isn’t doing more than his share, because you have twins. You BOTH have twins… and an older child. Twins are not a “regular daddy” kinda thing, or a “regular mommy” kind of thing.

    It’s different with twins. One more time. It’s different with twins. You are doing fine, and you are going to make it. Just keep doing what you are doing, and I promise it will get better. MUCH, much better.

    | January 16, 2008 @ 10:52 pm

  3. Deezee said,

    Would night-time help be better for you than daytime help? I know plenty of people who opted for night nurses to get through this early phase.

    Sorry it’s so hard. My son didn’t sleep for six years (really, not an exaggeration), so I feel your pain.

    | January 16, 2008 @ 11:12 pm

  4. iheartchocolate said,

    My last baby, now 10 months, never slept. He cried for hours every single night. I tried everything to figure out what it was. I had to learn to lay him down and let him cry. As a result, he now sleeps fairly well and falls asleep as soon as I lay him down (awake). He is pretty independant, which is kind of sad, but kind of necessary since I have a toddler too. I also have a 16 year old, so I have done this before. It never, ever gets easier (child-to-child). The early part is always so difficult. I would have given an arm to have had some help in the evenings. My husband did very little this time around. I encourage you with all of my being to get some nighttime help if you can afford it. Even if is a live in nanny who can take that shift. If you can afford it, do it.

    | January 16, 2008 @ 11:23 pm

  5. Becky said,

    Oh you poor thing. There is very little in this world as mind fcuking as sleep deprivation. I feel for you. Hey, if you’re up at all hours of the night (like me! but I have no twins! just a crabby 9 month old! yay!) IM me at stinkybutt234 (on AOL).

    Yes, that’s really my IM name. Because I am awesome and have no shame.

    | January 16, 2008 @ 11:31 pm

  6. Surcie said,

    I don’t know what to say other than hang in there, Stef. You’re doing great and the way you’re feeling about this new gig is totally normal.

    | January 17, 2008 @ 12:28 am

  7. Anonymous said,

    When my oldest was this age, I cried everyday at just the beauty of him. I took video of him here and there all day everyday! With the twins I cried everyday and I think I took video on their 1st birthday.
    Christine (mommy to 3 boys)

    | January 17, 2008 @ 2:47 am

  8. sarah said,

    I remember those feelings so clearly (the helplessness of watching Husband do way more than me because I just could. not. cope. with how tired I was). My heart is breaking for you b/c it’s so awful to feel so badly when everyone expects you to be beaming with joy and loooooove. No one tells you it takes so much energy to bond with a baby.

    (((((hugs)))))

    | January 17, 2008 @ 3:02 am

  9. Anonymous said,

    The song you should be listening to is Billy Dean “Let them be little”. So sweet and true.
    Christine (mama to 3 boys)

    | January 17, 2008 @ 6:32 am

  10. putty said,

    The song you should be listening to is “S**t, Damn, M***********” by D’Angelo. That song’s message is so powerful. Or is it hilarious? I get those two words confused. “Why the both of youse butt ball naked?” Why indeed?

    Remember, I am only a phone call away.

    | January 17, 2008 @ 7:07 am

  11. emily said,

    me too on letting hubby do more than his fair share… this is HARD!
    No well-meaning advice here, just deeply felt empathy and a holla’ to the “you’re not alone” camp.

    keep going.

    | January 17, 2008 @ 11:40 am

  12. Anonymous said,

    Health and safety are one thing. But if the babies are safe and healthy and crying, then please remember it is your right to get some sleep! Yes, please, keep your help! Get friends, a night nurse, anything. It will pass eventually, but we all need help sometimes!

    | January 17, 2008 @ 1:22 pm

  13. SUEB0B said,

    You’re not crazy, you’re tired. Being tired can make you depressed.

    If someone came while the babies were sleeping, could you then get some uninterrupted sleep during the day? That might help.

    | January 17, 2008 @ 2:11 pm

  14. Smiling Mama said,

    I definitely can’t say that I know how you feel, but I know you’ll make it. This is a short period of time and it will get better!!!

    | January 17, 2008 @ 3:07 pm

  15. Kyddryn said,

    You can do it.

    You won’t let your babies starve.

    You are a good mommy.

    There’s no such thing as “fair share” when it comes to babies.

    And what’s wrong with sleeping during the day when eldest beloved is in school? What, the world will end if you get some rest during daylight hours? Believe me, the laundry, dishes, and everything else will be there at night when you are forced to be awake anyway.

    Did I mention that you can do this? Because you can. Self doubt is natural, nothing wrong with it. Remember what Dori said, in Nemo? “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…” Oh, my goodness…I just quoted Disney. I need drugs. Many, many drugs. Now.

    You will survive. Wait, there’s a song for you…cue disco ball…

    | January 17, 2008 @ 3:07 pm

  16. Binkytown said,

    It’s not new baby hell, it’s new TWIN BABIES hell. Try and cut yourself some slack and ride it out. It will be better (it has to be, right?) You can do it!

    | January 17, 2008 @ 3:25 pm

  17. Kate said,

    I just found your blog – am pregnant with my second and have a two year old at home. You are awesome as is your blog. You are not a bad mom. This will not last. It will get better, much better. Hang in there!

    | January 17, 2008 @ 4:07 pm

  18. Anonymous said,

    The baby swing saved my sanity when my son was born. For the first 3 months that is where he slept at night. When you have day help, take a nap if you can? You’ll make it, and you are not a failure. Failures leave their babies dressed in a diaper at a strip club at 5:00am when the temp is 38 degrees. Ya, someone actually did that. Sad sad world. And yes you can equally love and provide love for all 3 babies, don’t ask me how, but you can.

    | January 17, 2008 @ 4:43 pm

  19. Anonymous said,

    Don’t feel guilty if your hubby is doing more now. You did so much for them before they were born, let him catch up!!! Hang in there. I have 2 girls and hated this time with both of them. Your’re not alone!!!! IT WILL GET BETTER!!!!!

    | January 17, 2008 @ 4:45 pm

  20. halfmama said,

    I haven’t been there with the older child AND the twins but I have been there with the twins. It is hell, so I’m not sure how you are doing it with another child. My routine went like this: change, nurse, burp, change, nurse, burp, pump for an hour+ (I had or was on the verge of mastitis constantly), then repeat. All day, all night.

    My husband and I didn’t think we would make it. But we did. The first three months were crazy. After six months, it got even better. “Healthy Sleep Habits…” was my bible.

    There are some services that offer overnight nannies. Maybe this will help? They might help get them on a schedule, even though I know they are still young.

    Good luck. You’ll get through it. If I can, anyone can. Because I’m a dramatic whiner.

    | January 17, 2008 @ 4:45 pm

  21. Kris said,

    The fact you are coherent enough to even blog is remarkable. I have spent the last four days feeling like the worst mom to walk the planet over sleep issues-largely my own deprevation. I can’t imagine doing it with twin newborns and a toddler. Give yourself a break.

    | January 17, 2008 @ 5:39 pm

  22. The Psycho Ex Wife said,

    I agree with a previous poster, when your help is there, it’s time to sleep – leave the laundry and chores to the night time. You should not be running errands, SLEEP ONLY! If you feel you must do something, set a timer, do it for 15 minutes, and then sleep. Your house will not fall apart, but YOU might, so take care of yourself first.

    It’s hard not to feel guilty that your husband is taking on things you normally do, but get over it. He is probably happy to do it, and really, what choice does he have? He said for better and worse right? Ha, laugh, sometimes it’s all you have! When I was on bedrest for 3 months I could do nothing, and my husband had to take complete care of our 8 month old, for the first time ever. He FORGOT to pick her up from childcare the first day. When he walked in the door, I asked if he had forgotten something, ha, good times. You will get through it.

    | January 17, 2008 @ 6:52 pm

  23. Andrea said,

    Maybe the babies have acid reflux. It’s totally treatable and a Godsend. My daughter had that, and once the pain stopped for her, the sleep started for us. Stay strong.

    | January 17, 2008 @ 10:26 pm

  24. Andrea said,

    And I meant the medicine for the reflux was a Godsend. Sorry.

    | January 17, 2008 @ 10:28 pm

  25. carrie said,

    I am so sorry you’re going through this. All I can say is that hopefully, a month from now, it’ll be something else and you’ll all be feeling better and getting some more sleep (at night).

    | January 17, 2008 @ 10:35 pm

  26. Christine said,

    I wish I had magical cure for non-sleeping babiies, or a pile of money to send you for nighttime help. As I don’t, here is all I’ve got for you:

    Throw on some hip-hop or something that makes you feel like the bad ass you are…NO SAD SONGS!!!

    Sleep as much as possible during the day. Just. do. it. Screw everything else, sleep so that you have a semblance of energy for those three sweet girls of yours.

    This will pass and someday just be a big blur. So, keep notes for your next book!

    Hugs to you, you fabulous mommy.

    | January 17, 2008 @ 11:00 pm

  27. Lil Mouse said,

    sending love your way. just remember that your hubby recharges by getting away from it all. try recharging your own batteries with a short nap when you do have help, buy earplugs… turn on white noise, whatever you can…

    | January 18, 2008 @ 1:46 am

  28. mommymae said,

    my twins slept pretty well, but the boy was a monster. he would wake up, nurse, unlatch and wake up again. i literally nursed him all. night. long. i finally listened to a friend and called our local sleep clinic and started a program for him at 7 months. he was sleeping all night long the first night. it was heaven. i’m not sure how old the kiddos have to be to start (i’m sure i’ll find out when this next one is born since i will be calling immediately) but it can’t hurt to ask around and find out if there is a program at a sleep clinic at a local hospital. good luck, my dear.

    | January 18, 2008 @ 3:00 am

  29. Trenches of Mommyhood said,

    Ugh. Feeling for you. The only thing that kept me going when I had the 3yr old, one year old and newborn was this mantra:
    “This too shall pass”.

    Hang on and hang in.

    | January 18, 2008 @ 3:54 pm

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