Sleep Deprivation and Post-Partum Depression

 

no slpe

I read an article the other day about a man who decided to do some sort of sleep research, he decided that he would sleep for 3 hours a day but broken up into bits of sleep here and there, but it totalled 3 hours, he gave up on the 5th day, SERIOUSLY, this article touched a nerve it really got to me! WHY? Because he gave up after 5 days as he was in pain, he couldn’t function couldn’t speak properly, he was having some health issues and it was too much to bear, HELLO DUDE! I’ve been doing this now for 14 FREAKING months, you (A MAN) did it for 5 days! What the HECK????

From the moment I fell pregnant with my second child that’s when sleep flew out of the window. You’d think all that sleep inducing Progesterone surging through my body during early pregnancy would make me want to just sleep right? By the last trimester sleep was a distant memory for me!

mom sleep
With my first child it was so different, almost immediately after falling pregnant and I mean from 3 weeks pregnant the exhaustion and tiredness was extreme, it was a tiredness like no other, I couldn’t even explain it or put into words (I’m sure you mama’s know what I’m talking about) but with my second child it has been so different. From 3 weeks pregnant I literally couldn’t sleep. I found myself never ever going to bed before midnight, my whole pregnancy was like this, you’d think that being pregnant I would want to sleep and be tired a lot, NOPE not me I just couldn’t sleep and looking back now… it was the first sign of things to come!

 
My sleeping woes during pregnancy was a sure sign of things to come, I feel like I haven’t slept since June 2016! Here’s why…

 
1) From week 3 of pregnancy I only could fall asleep after midnight and was up at 6:00am with a lot of tossing and turning in between.
2) Even when I was asleep I often had that feeling of still being awake, like my mind was always active. Does this happen to you?
3) When I gave birth and after I was on heavy medications, you’d think after giving birth and being on morphine I would be knocked out? Nope the night after giving birth I was up most of the night, listening to my husband snore (not too loud luckily) waiting for the midwifes to bring my son so he could breastfeed.
4) When we got home my son never ever slept, he was in constant pain, silent reflux and severe eczema and gas kept him up 90% of the night. I am not exaggerating, luckily after being put on meds he would at least get a 40 minute sleep cycle before he woke up again, slowly this gap of waking up increased, but not by much, he still wakes every 2-3 hours. Yes there have been those miracle nights maybe a few times where he has slept through or slept for like 6-7 hours, but they DO NOT come frequently at all.
5) In the beginning I just thought I was exhausted and that’s why I felt tired, unhappy, anxious, sad and helpless, since my son was not sleeping I was the way I was because of the lack of sleep but only later did I see how post-partum depression and sleep deprivation go hand in hand. I still often ask myself the question “Would I have PPD if my son slept well?’’
6) My husband would be with my son from 8:00pm-1:00am every night and then at 1:00 or whenever he woke up would be my shift. This was the only way we both got sleep, you’d think I’d be sleeping from 8-1 right? NOPE I’d be mostly awake wondering if my son was ok, wondering if I was a bad mother, wondering when we would ever get any sleep, wondering why me, why him. Anxious and worried all the time.
7) I would sleep each night anywhere from 1-3 hours MAXIMUM! and some nights I got ZERO sleep at all.
8) At about 8 months old Kieran started sleeping 3 hour stretches which was like a GOD send, people always asked how he was how he was sleeping, and I would always have the standard answer “He now sleeps like a new born” up every 1-4 hours!
9) When he teethes we obviously get even less sleep?
10) My psychologist told me 2 months ago that I am at the brink of a break down with little to no sleep. HE gave me sleeping tablets which I refused to take because it meant I am admitting defeat or I am a bad mother. See Depression affects the sleep too, BIG time! Arggggg it is just a never-ending cycle and yes I’m constantly on EXHAUSTION mode!
11) At 14 months old my son still wakes up every 2-4 hours, with some surprises here and there, few and far between. Sometimes he surprises us and if he isn’t awake then I am, I go and check if he is alive, why? Well because he is still asleep! Hahahahahaa!
12) I get EXTREMELY frustrated when people tell me they are tired, DO they know what tired is? NO, they don’t! DON’T talk to me about being tired or having no sleep, you have no idea what having no sleep means! Try having 1-3 hours a night of interrupted sleep for 14 months then come and tell me what TIRED actually is! – Sorry its obviously a sore subject…
13) On the odd occasion that I do get sleep (like when my boy sleeps) I find myself sitting awake, waiting for him to wake up. I now have what you’d call a serious sleep problem. Almost like if my body gets more than 4-5 hours sleep it can’t handle the amount of sleep and then it must be up. Honestly, I can’t sleep more than 5 hours a night now, its just too much. My brain and body are not used to this HUGE amount of sleep now. Strange right?
14) I find myself quite often looking at sleeping babies and wondering why they sleep and mine doesn’t. Also, often when my son does sleep I like to stare at him! I love sleeping babies, but seeing my own sleeping baby is a God-Send!
15) When my son does sleep – I often find myself reading, being on social media or watching a series instead of sleeping and then cursing myself afterwards! LOL! Suppose I just want some me time regardless of how exhausted I am still.
16) Hopefully this too shall pass, the late nights, the no sleep, the frequent wakes, the not wanting to sleep and wanting to play at 3:00am in the morning, the teething, the moaning and crying etc. One day I will sleep again… WHAT a day that will be! Still I’m pretty sure I will forget this time in my life when sleep was non-existent and for the weak!?

To all the exhausted mama’s I salute you, I know I am NOT alone. How do we do it? Mom’s are amazing! We just keep on keeping on even though our eyes are burning and red from tiredness and exhaustion and we want to tear out our hair at 4:00 am.

I suppose we are all #TEAMnoSLEEP for some parts or points of our lives, I’m glad I have an outlet to rant, and I’m glad and grateful for my nights of no sleep because of my kid/s some people are having no sleep for so many other reasons. I hope to one day be able to write a blog post on how I beat Post – partum depression and cured my sleeping problems, but that’s just not happening today.

Are you team #NoSleep or team #AlwaysAsleep?

Below are some useful links on Post-partum depression and Sleep problems.

http://metro.co.uk/2017/10/30/sleep-deprivation-vs-postnatal-depression-am-i-depressed-or-just-really-bloody-tired-7029136/

http://mummyitsok.com/blog/sleep-health-during-postnatal-depression/

https://www.baby-sleep-advice.com/sleep-deprivation-effects.html

 

Raising K Squared LOGO

 

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