Monday, February 11, 2008

Sick and Psycho

I love alliterative post titles, don't you? I was tempted to misspell it to get them to "match", but I can't make myself do that. Frustrated English major deep inside, you know.

This was the weekend from Hell and I do not say that lightly.

It started off badly on Friday when I made the huge mistake of having two mugs of chai: one in the morning and then one around 3pm. The first one ensured neither twin would nap during the day. In my stupidity (and because it tasted so good) I had the second which then ensured that neither would sleep through the night. Or anywhere close to it.

The twins, when they finally passed out from exhaustion around 10, woke up at 11:30, 1:30, 3ish, 4-oh-my-god-I-can't-focus-my-eyes something, then 6:30 and then 7 something. Otherwise known as "We might as well get up" time.

Yes. I did this to myself. Yes. It is all my fault. But here's the thing to keep in mind that will put everything into perspective:

I haven't had 6-8 hours of sleep since last May.

Do you know what that does to a person? Well, I can't answer for the rest of you, but it makes me psychotically angry. I get angry at the drop of a hat. It has been building for months. On Saturday morning, I went to get a nail file out of the drawer and noticed my scissors. My shiny, sharp, hair cutting scissors. They suddenly looked really good.

And I don't mean in a hair cutting sort of way.

I had a sudden flash - an actual desire - to eviscerate myself*.

It was at that moment that I turned around and went back into the bedroom to announce to Eric that he couldn't leave me alone with the twins today, as we had originally planned and that I needed to go with him. Then I told him why.

Then we got ready and Tra-la-la-la-la! headed off to the Girls in Sports conference the Girl Scouts were having.

Caitlin is pushing me and working on defining her boundaries and all of that jazz that is perfectly normal (so I've been told) in 6.5 year olds. The problem is that her boundary pushing is coming at the same exact time that we have twins who don't sleep through the night. This is Not Good. You might even say that this is a Bad Situation.

Eric spent the day being sick. Turns out that whatever Heather had that she gave to Emma, Emma gave it to Eric (probably via vomit) and then Eric gave it to me. On Sunday. Fortunately for all involved, it only lasted 24 hours. Eric got his day to be miserable and I got mine.

Nothing says Motherhood like throwing up into a basin held over the head of your nursing son.

You're welcome!

Parenting Without Pulling Punches. Maybe I should change my subtitle?

So. I spent Saturday night starting at 9:30 in bed. No reading, no writing, no nothing. Most especially no chai. Trying to sleep. Waking to nurse whomever was awake and then immediately putting them back down to sleep. It was still broken sleep, but better than the night before. And the night before that. And the one before that.

You get the picture.

The problem is that I spend the entire day nursing, changing, bouncing and entertaining the twins. Add to that the frustration that is a 6.5 year old that has to argue over everything: every word used incorrectly, every topic of conversation, everything you ask her to do. Night time, when Caitlin is finally in bed and the insanity that is the 4 pm to 8:30 pm time period is over, should be my time. My time to unwind.

Yes, "sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care" and yadda yadda yadda [Insert your favorite Shakespearean quote about sleep here] is fabulous. But I'd like some time to myself where no one needs or wants anything of me and no one is touching me. A time when I can think my own thoughts without being constantly interrupted by wee small people with urgent needs. Maybe even some time to get some work done for the upcoming Market season.

You see? I have a problem.

Caitlin, who gets 8 or more hours of sleep per night and gets to spend 6.5 hours out of the house, with her peers, doing things completely unrelated to babies and nursing has it easy. Even with all the yelling going on.

So maybe the person you should be worried about isn't Caitlin.

Maybe the person you should be worried about

Is me.

* Me. Just me. Only me. No desire to hurt the under 7 set. Or Eric, either. And after 2 days of actually working at getting some sleep, I feel a bit better. Last night, however, the twins woke every two hours. We seem to be experiencing a growth spurt.

No rest for the wicked.


Red Flashlight said...

What can we do to help? I mean, other than force you to watch an entire season of BSG with us.

Woman with a Hatchet said...

BSG me up, babe.

And I hope you and Scott don't get what we had. If you do, I'm terribly sorry. I got sick right as you were leaving and that was the rest of my day.

elisava said...

after hazel i felt this way. crazed and starting to think that it would be okay to die so i could get some "me" time at last. when i finally mentioned it to the doctor, i was surprised at how worried they were. they wanted to admidt me to the hospital! i ended up on anti-psychotics for months. this time around, i asked for prevenative meds. they seem to take the edge off, although i still have bad days.
my point... go to the doctor NOW. i know you are thinking, if i just got more sleep... but that ain't gonna happen, right? so go see your OB and see if they can suggest anything else. this is PPD, and it is nothing to be ashamed off.

elisava said...

you can contact me privately, if you like, hatchet. i think you know my email/phone.... i'll be out this morning, but i'll be around this afternoon.

Scylla said...

You know, that is really good advice.
We never think of the overwhelming storm of emotions we deal with post birth as legitimately frightening. We always view them as something to get through.
I was in deep depression for quite a bit after Oliver was born, much more so than with Marlena.
You have two.... on top of your one... so maybe a little talk over this with the doc is a good plan.
Cause what if it is more than stress and sleep deprivation?

Take care you.

Ali said...

God bless you for feeling the way I do... I'm starting to think that kids are seriously overrated.

Dawn said...

Evisceration is one of those things you can't take back or call a do-over - so call and go see your doc, get someone else to mind the babes for a few hours, put in a pair of ear plugs and take a nap. Just because you're a SAHM doesn't mean you can't / shouldn't get a little respite. (And everybody wonders why I'm in no rush to have kids)

Missy said...

Sleep deprivation can be very detrimental to one's mental health, and when you combine that with all the other stressors you have no wonder you are feeling so angry.

I really hope that I am not overstepping any boundaries seeing as I only know you through blogging, but it sounds like from what you described that things have reached a pretty serious point here. I know my professional work is with kids, a but I feel like I need to say that if you were a mother walking in to my office and you shared this information with you I would really strongly recommend seeking therapy for yourself, or at the very least having a conversation with your doctor about what is going on as soon as possible. From what I know of you from reading your blog it is clear to see what a priority taking care of your family is to you, and the best way to do that is (bear with me for sounding like a magazine but it is so true!)to make sure you are taking care of yourself.
Again I do offer my apologies if I have stepped over boundaries here, But I hope things start looking up for you soon.

Valerie said...

You are so coordinated with the throwing up and nursing at the same time! If there were mothering Oscars you would get the... something (I'm not sure what that would be called).

I'm sorry to hear you are on the edge at least you realized it and kept Eric around. You can call me too!

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Hey gang, thanks.

No really: thank you.

Missy: no worries about over stepping. I wouldn't have said it out "loud" as it were if I didn't expect feedback. That's why you'll probably never see me ask if "I look fat in this?" sort of questions.

Elisava: will call you tomorrow. Thanks for telling me. I'm sorry you went through that yourself.

Ali: yes. I mean no! Errrr...what I REALLY mean is that the highs are FANTASTIC while the lows are the WORST IN YOUR LIFE. Parenting is a rollercoaster. Sometimes it's even fun. It is more often more worth it than not. Your situation WILL get better and your son will be more fabulous than you ever could have imagined. You just have to survive the ugly parts.

Dawn: No do-overs? Where's my Save and Reload option?! Unfortunately "someone else" is Eric and he's just as sleep deprived. Although he DID get to sleep from May until the end of September....

Squeakes: I have more respect and awe for you and Ed with every day. Move back and save me! : ) No pressure though. ; >

Dawn said...

save and reload only works with arcade games babe!

and what happened to grandma (the local one) or other local friends and families? I'm not talking a full night of sleep, you know, just an hour or three with someone else on guard so you don't have to jump up at the first whimper/whine.

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