I’ve really been struggling with anxiety lately.
I think Ada has broken me. Worn me down until there is just nothing sane left.
The problem is that she doesn’t sleep. She tosses and turns and cries and wants to nurse ALL NIGHT LONG. Every single night. Not just a couple of bad nights, but every night.
It’s beyond normal baby things. It’s not due to nursing, or co-sleeping. People love to blame it on those. Rosie nursed and co-slept and had no issues. Rosie goes to sleep in her bed by herself in her own room every night and sleeps like a rock, even though she nursed to sleep for 3.5 years and slept in our bed until she was four.
I’ve tried putting Ada in the crib, and she still wakes up. I’ve tried sleeping away from her on the couch with her in the bed and she still wakes up. It’s physically impossible for her to sleep more than two hours in a row, usually more like an hour.
I’ve taken her to the doctor and she is perfectly healthy. I’ve tried Motrin. I’ve tried Melatonin. I’ve tried refusing to nurse her and just rubbing her back instead. I’ve tried nursing her as much as she wants. None of it makes a difference. She just does not sleep. She never has, from birth.
She’s one of those over sensitive children. She wakes up at every little noise–I move one limb and she wakes up. A car drives by, she wakes up. I’ve tried white noise and it doesn’t work–she won’t go to sleep with it on because she just wants to talk about it. She wakes up if you turn it on once she’s asleep. A fan doesn’t seem to make any difference in her sleep either. I’ve tried taking her to the potty in the middle of the night (sometimes she has to go) and I’ve tried not taking her at all. ) I even tried letting her cry one night, but after five minutes she was shaking so hard, she was terrified. I won’t ever do that again.
I’ve tried everything I can think of, everything anyone has ever suggested…you can bet I’ve tried it. AKA I am not looking for more suggestions. People don’t understand what it’s like to have a child like Ada unless they’ve had one themselves. She doesn’t need to sleep to be rested. Four or five broken hours of sleep and she’s good to go. She can’t nap because she won’t go to bed until 3 in the morning, even if she naps after breakfast. Not that she would even fall asleep after breakfast, because she’s never tired, but still.
My toddler is broken. She did not come with the sleep software installed on her hard drive.
She’s 20 months old and I haven’t slept in as long.
I might not survive.
I’ve started seeing a therapist to discuss my overwhelming anxiety. She seems to think part of it is due to never having any time to myself. Ada doesn’t nap, and she doesn’t stay asleep at night, and I never get away from them. She could be onto something there. Now if only she could make childcare materialize out of thin air…
Tyler is completely and totally unable to help. He gets home between 4 and 6 in the morning, and he is really tired so he falls asleep.
Ada won’t let him touch her–she doesn’t let him help with her care. She screams and kicks and won’t calm down. He’s here/awake so little that she isn’t used to him doing anything with her. That combined with her intense terrible two’s phase…yeah not working out well.
It’s just hard. People love to give advice, but it doesn’t help. Ada isn’t normal, I’m afraid. I don’t think anything is wrong with her per say. She’s just…BAM. Ada.
She has some kind of oral issue too. She eats hardly any solid food unless it’s smooth. She gags really easily and would rather nurse than eat. She gags if there’s a fuzz or hair in her mouth when she goes to nurse. Rosie never once complained about that, but it happens to Ada every time she nurses and she makes me scrape her tongue off so she can stop heaving. She gags when she tries to eat a lot of foods too. She says, “It stinks!” “I won’t!” “Nooooo!” “No way!” “It chokes me, Ada.” “Don’t like it.” Rosie at this age ate everything! We didn’t child led weaning with Rosie too, but Rosie was willing to try all kinds of stuff. Ada shuns all food items that aren’t vanilla yogurt, plain chicken breast in very tiny pieces with no crust, shredded cheese, whipped cream cheese, Annie’s macaroni and cheese, and blackberries. Even those things are very hit or miss. She won’t eat a single vegetable. Why Ada, why?
Part of her night waking and constant nursing is due to hunger. I can hear her belly growling! She even says, “I’m hooongry Mommy.” But my milk is all gone after hours of nursing, and she knows it. “Milk all gone,” she says. Yet she won’t eat a single thing. She spits it out or won’t put it in her mouth in the first place because, “It stinks!” Clearly she’s not starving to death. She weighs 28 pounds and wears 3T clothes, some 4T too.
She is so busy learning stuff, she doesn’t care about eating or sleeping.
She loves to count, she can count to 10. Not just memorizing the words, but actually counting objects.
She wrote this the other day while Rosie and I were doing handwriting practice at the kitchen table. She said, “Here you go. I done!”
She is obsessed with these puzzles on the iPad. She’s saying, “Right there? No. Go here? Yeah.” She will do those puzzles for an hour at a time, sometimes longer. It’s the only time she sits still!
And she speaks in full sentences, she can say anything. At this age Rosie could say about 10 scrambled words, definitely not sentences that strangers can understand. She knows all of her animals and their sounds, she recognizes her name when it’s written down. She can climb to any height with no fear. She knows some of her colors, and she remembers everything instantly.
I guess Ada is just different. She is busy, and over sensitive. She’s one of those kids, always calculating, always observing, never resting. She literally never stops talking or singing. It’s great that she is so smart, but totally exhausting. I wouldn’t be lying if I said I’m hoping for a boring, happy baby next time. One that lays there and coos or something.
Rosie was kind of a high needs baby, always wanting to be worn and snuggled and needing to nurse a lot, but Ada is a completely different ball game. She’s like off the high needs chart! She doesn’t need to be held all the time, but she doesn’t eat or sleep…which is worse!! If you have a baby that wants to be held all the time count your blessings. Holding and nursing a baby constantly can make you touched out, but at least they are content to sleep in a sling or snuggled against you at night. What do you do when your child doesn’t have a need for sleep??????
No one has an answer for that.