Remember when I said newborns are a piece of cake? That must have been the leftover drugs from the epidural talking. I mean, don't get me wrong— they are WAY EASIER than little girls who just turned three… but it's not like you can leave them on the living room carpet and go have a spa day or something.
The main problem is depicted in the picture above. See that baby? It's 3am and she is WIDE AWAKE.
At the beginning, I was okay with getting very little sleep. I was on a new baby high with endless energy and forgot the concept of time entirely. Nights blended into days and time passed on it's very own mom-of-a-newborn continuum.
But this week, it's all starting to go downhill.
Part of it is the cumulative nature of sleepless nights. One night is totally doable. Two nights is fine too. Three weeks and all of a sudden you want to flee the scene and check yourself into a hotel room the second the baby starts crying at 2am.
Also, I don't know who told Harlow that the middle of the night is the most exciting time of day, but I'd like to find that person and hurt him. Or at least make him babysit for an evening.
There is one major problem not helping the situation.
Harlow has some digestive issues and breastfeeding leads to her feeling unsettled as opposed to satiated and sleepy. That's right— HARLOW DOESN'T DO MILK COMA. She prefers to grunt like an old man who just found out Madlock was canceled until she eventually spits up in my hair.
The pediatrician told me to leave her upright for about a half hour after feeding. This is fine during the day but at night, it sucks big time. By the time I feed her, let her digest properly and get her to go back to sleep, it's almost time to feed her again.
Also, since Harlow loves the nightlife, at 2am she looks bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, waiting for the entertainment to begin (let's watch that infomercial for the electric turkey fryer, Mom!)— which is the exact same moment I want to be asleep so badly I could cry. She remains awake until around 6am, enduring repeated attempts by yours truly to place her in the bassinet and sneak off to bed.
Unfortunately, every time my head hits the pillow, Harlow is fussing again. I run back, put a pacifier in her mouth, she calms down, I climb back in bed, the pacifier falls out and the grunting begins again. I listen to the grunting for a moment, convince my braindead sleepy self that this grunting is different than the last set of grunts and it actually means she is close to going back to sleep. But NO. It's the same grunting as the previous grunting and it means she is wrestling her arms out of her swaddle, kicking her feet and searching for her pacifier with her sad little gloved hand and I have to get back out of bed again before those grunts become full fledged WAILS.
It's an endless cycle that is slowly driving mad.
Ultimately, I end up taking Harlow into our bed which doesn't mean she falls asleep but it does mean she stays relatively quiet. Then I lie in a position that ensures I won't crush her or smother her with the blanket which after a week, has now translated into a pain in my right shoulder blade.
And just as Harlow looks like maybe she might drift off at 6am, guess who comes through the door?
Looking for milk and begging to turn on Curious George. YAY!
The one saving grace is that Harlow seems to be sleeping fine during the day (thanks to a tip from a facebook fan who suggested preheating the bassinet with a heating pad and then slipping it out the moment before I lay the baby down).
But nighttime remains a nightmare. The heating pad trick doesn't work on a baby who isn't tired.
I love Harlow, but really– she is so much cuter when she is sleeping.