The 7 Stages of Sleep Deprivation


Your baby does what at night?!

Did you say ssll-, um, sslllee-, sluh-eep?  I can hardly understand what you trying to say.  Are you EVEN SPEAKING ENGLISH?

See, my baby does NOT sleep through the night yet.  Not even the better part of it.  Sure, Sugarpie’s only 11.5 weeks old, but it seems that all of my baby peers have little ones who can go 6, even 8-9 hours at a time without whining for the boobie.  That is not us.

It’s a scientifically proven fact that there are 7 stages of sleep deprivation.  My husband has no idea (because he is sleeping), but every night I go through each distinct stage at every waking.  It looks something like this:

Disbelief:  Kind of a stunned didn’t-I-just-close-my-eyes feeling

Denial:  She just needs to fart, she’ll work it out (roll over, pretend that I’m actually going to continue sleeping).

Anger:  WHY DOES MY HUSBAND EVEN HAVE BREASTS IF THEY DON’T WORK?!  What a waste of anatomy.  Not fair.

Bargaining:  Look!  It’s a nice warm pacifier.  Isn’t this what you want?  No?

Guilt:  Baby continues her noisy and futile attempt to suck milk from her fists.  Meltdown imminent.  She needs me, no she needs to sleep!  No she needs me.  I am the most selfish, despicable mother who has ever lived.  (This last sentiment occurs throughout the day, even outside of the context of nighttime waking.)

Depression:  Tears shed over that life full of luscious sleep that you lived pre-baby, which always induces more guilt. (These last two, I’m afraid, will run in a perpetual mini cycle for the rest of one’s maternal life.)

Acceptance:  Shed the warm covers, pick up your sweet, stretching baby and remember how amazing she is.

Repeat every 3-4 hours while thanking heaven that she is not twins.  *yawn*

11 responses »

  1. Stage 8: Delirium. Typical in parents of multiples.

    Hang in there, everything gets better. We used the Ferber Method beginning at 8 weeks (per pediatrician’s orders for babies and mommy to get some sleep.) The twins slept all night beginning at 12 weeks, but they were on formula by then (I think makes a huge difference.)

  2. tracie p you are the best mommy ever and I love you both so much.

    It sure hasn’t been easy and I know it never is but I’m so happy and thankful that we’ve stuck with nursing (and not just because I’m the one who gets to sleep through the night).

  3. This is me every night. But as soon as I go through the seven stages and pick her up it’s all worth it. Have you seen the Dreft commercial? They have a really cheesy saying at the end but it gets me every time! “you have a child forever but a baby for just one year” 🙂

  4. Oh Tracie, I did all that with my son and now doing it again with my granddaughter……..I guess because I’m older it seems so much harder……but she is so worth it…….Sugarpie is beautiful!!

  5. I got 8 hours last night – it doesn’t last forever, just feels like it will!!!!! But you’ll never sleep 10 hours again 🙂 You are a fabulous momma, so don’t worry about a thing.

  6. Hilarious. Brought back some not so pleasant memories. I am pretty sure I either glared at or laughed maniacally at the moms that told me their babes slept. My first didn’t sleep through the night until 11 months when she started walking. I would be up for 4-5 hr stretches for the first 3 months for sure and she didn’t nap either. Good times. My son did well until ear infections which meant 8 ths of him crawling over my head every hour and a half. It does pass, but be kind to yourself in the meantime!

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