We’ve all done it. We’ve all said at one point that we’ve had insomnia. Where a few bad nights of sleep come together and we tell people we have insomnia.
I’ve done it. I’ve said I’ve had insomnia before. But the question is, was it really that?
I immediately think of Tyler Durden in Fight Club. Though, right now I’m in the Edward Norton phase of buying all the things IKEA, I am slowly starting to teeter on to the insanity of Durden by forming a fight club and making soap from liposuction fat.
People think it’s a simple cut and dry, have a baby, be sleep deprived. But it can be so much more. Have you ever heard of postpartum insomnia? It’s not your normal being tired after having a baby. It’s severe and can be a pretty bad thing if not caught early enough. I’ve been sleep deprived from babies before. This is so much more than that.
I don’t know if in the beginning it was a badge of honor to say that I was up for x amount of hours straight, but insomnia became a part of my every day a few months ago. Insomnia is described to most as an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep for a certain amount of time, while being able to be functional during the day.
That was me. I was up for many hours at night, googling everything and becoming strangely educated on all things random and then getting up and going about my day on all four cylinders. And this was OK for that time because, well, I was functioning and I was caring for the kids and yay!
However, the day Audrey was born, I didn’t sleep. I continued to not sleep for upwards of 40 hours. When I got to my room after having her, I had been awake for almost 36 hours and yet I couldn’t sleep. While waiting in the labor and delivery suite immediately after having her I couldn’t keep my eyes open. But every few minutes someone came in poked at my belly, looked at my bleeding, took my vitals. My eyes were so heavy and yet, I couldn’t sleep, and then I got the dreaded second wind.
I finally took a two hour nap that afternoon and then didn’t go back to sleep again until past midnight, getting about two hours of functional sleep.
This went on for the next two days, until last night at 5 AM when I had been wide awake since 3:30, I cried. I simply couldn’t take it anymore and I cried.
I’m not proud of any of this. It’s not a badge of honor to not sleep. It’s not something I want to brag about. I am sick. Insomnia has made me sick.
This morning, when I woke up with my eyes still puffy from my hour of bawling to Matt and him listening and telling me that it was going to be OK, I learned just how far my husband was willing to go to get his wife back.
I was immediately informed that the kids were going to his parents house for the night. That all visitors have been told to stay home the weekend. That my mom was going to come over to the house Sunday to watch Luca and Mae when he takes Claire to softball practice. That she was taking Claire to taekwondo next week so Matt could stay home with the other kids and give me a break. And he had called my OB and told her he was concerned for me, on a Saturday.
At first I was angry. I felt like such a failure. I usually can give it 110%, but who was my overtaxing benefiting? The kids didn’t know me, Matt didn’t know me and just like Matt said, I was letting everyone down by not being good to me.
When I realized that the kids were no worse for wear, that they jumped up in bed to see me and were so excited to be going to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, I felt better. They don’t want lame, zombie mom anymore either. And while I tried my damnedest to get us back to normal, I did it in a way that was causing me ill will.
We can get back to normal next week.
Insomnia is scary. What’s more scary about it is that I’m not crazy. I physically cannot sleep. I physically cannot will myself back to sleep. I am unable to push past the point of ten things going through my head. I’m not anxious. I’m not in constant worry about the kids. I just can’t sleep.
But the more I ignore it, the worse I get. The more I try to fight it, the more crazy I look. And I fear that if I were to let it go any longer, I’ll be going from having PPI to PPD and then I’ll feel like a huge failure.
In all honesty, I can handle having four kids. I know I have this. But what I immediately think is that everyone is going to find me as a failure because I simply dropped the ball. That if I end up with PPD, I’m a failure by not being able to handle all the children, where in complete honesty PPD isn’t caused willingly. I’d still feel like a failure.
Matt says I set the bar way to high for myself and that if I keep doing that, I’ll constantly come up short. I told him that I set the bar high and struggle to make it sometimes, but even if it kills me, I make it.
He said that’s no way to live.
So today I took the advice of my OB and took some benadryl (or wallydryl as we use ’round these parts, cause we cheap,) and took a 3 hour nap. I feel rested enough, and now I’m immediately worried that I won’t sleep tonight. But I have two priorities: feed Audrey and sleep. I have no other kids here, no other jobs. If I can get a good night’s sleep tonight, I may be able to snap myself out of this awful funk. I know it’ll take a few days, heck weeks, to get back to normal and hopefully shake this PPI, but I’m starting now.
I don’t want to go crazy again.