The first few months after my second baby, I thought I was doing great. Because she slept all night. My toddler also slept all night. Every night, for months, everyone was sleeping 8+ hours long. We woke up refreshed, energetic, ready to start the day.
A Vicious Cycle
Then the teething started. I suppose it happened the first time around with my first kid too, at around the same age (6 months old). My baby would wake up every hour for the first 4 hours each night. Then there would be weeks where she would wake up every single hour the entire night. We tried everything we could to help, but like our first baby, we just had to wait it out until it ran it’s course. Then all of a sudden, 4 teeth popped out within a couple weeks. All of this lasted for 3 months.
Three months of horrible sleep and waking up screaming at everyone. Everyone in the house had dark circles under their eyes. Three months of crying and whining and general tiredness and nobody in a good mood.
Imagine your state of mind towards the end of those 3 months of bad sleep. I would shower and not remember whether I shampooed or conditioned my hair, or even bathed at all, so I would do it twice, or three times. Or did I? Last week, I put a full milk carton into the kitchen cabinet. I didn’t even laugh. My toddler asks for orange juice, I pour half a glass of water with half a glass of milk for her. I forget how many times I nursed my baby each day, and I clearly never remembered which side she’s supposed to nurse from. I haven’t remembered those things for months. During sleep deprivation, I shouldn’t be allowed to drive. Once someone asked for my cell phone number, and I drew a complete blank. I told them my husband’s number instead, and only remembered my number by the time I got home hours later.
After the baby’s 4 teeth erupted out of her gums, we had almost a week or week and a half of decent sleep. We were all starting to get our rhythm back. I woke up more energetic again and actually remembered my phone number. I put milk where it belonged, in the fridge. And I didn’t try to dilute it with water anymore and claim it was juice. I consciously showered with shampoo, conditioner and soap. I cut my nails and the kids’ nails. My toddler got her first haircut at a salon. We took them to the zoo and enjoyed time together. We took them to the playground and walked in the park. I didn’t scream as much. The kids were happier since they also slept better. The cycle of misery had broken.
Then the teething started again this past week. The end.