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.


About Cassie

Two sisters from two misters. What could be more fun?

Posted on March 2, 2013, in Cassie and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I think Matt is a wonderful and caring husband and father. Sleep aids are good to retrain you to remember how to sleep. Sometimes it is necessary to just give in and cave and to stop doing because you are taking care of everyone by first taking care of yourself. And you’re setting a great example for Claire and Luca (I assume Mae is still not quite able to grasp these concepts) to teach them to take care of themselves as part of taking care of others. There, see how I reframed this to make the point that you are doing this for your kids and your husband?! And it is true. And you will not go to PPD because you figured out how important physical exercise is to your well being and you will return to exercise when your body is ready. You will be OK. Did I say that I think Matt is wonderful? And your family I am certain is thrilled to be able to help. You’re so darned self sufficient and capable 99.9% of the time that I would imagine it’s sometime a challenge for others to figure out what they can do to help you. And I’m sure they DO want to help you because they love you. Hugs coming your way.

  2. You are not a failure. You are amazing. I am so happy that Matt is looking out for you and taking care of you. You all are in my prayers.

  3. Your husband has much wisdom. And as for “everybody,” they’re too busy being in awe of you to feel like you’re a failure. Take care of yourself, with a clear conscience.

  4. I agree with Matt. Sometimes we have to cut ourselves a break and that is so hard to do. I’m so glad he stepped in and helped you in the best way possible.

    With all this whacky heart stuff my husband is constantly making me stop and I get frustrated because I want to be able to keep doing these things and living my life, but what I really need is to step back and take a break.

    I’m glad things are getting better.

  5. Nobody could ever think that you are a failure. Seriously. Nobody who knows you could think that.
    Insomnia is horrible, and I am glad Matt took charge of organizing everything so that you can look after yourself (and Audrey, that is).
    Sometimes you just have to give yourself the time you need and lower the bar. That is not giving up, and once you feel better you can even put it higher again if that is what drives you…
    I am glad you had another nap and I hope there are some more in the near future!

  6. Cassie,

    You are a super mom and even super mom’s need rest. Don’t feel like a failure. You kick butt, you really do. You just gave birth and your body needs a little rest. Matt sounds like an amazing husband. Yay to him for taking action and making all the perfect plans so that you were able to get rest without argument. He’s right, if you’re exhausted you aren’t enjoying as much as you could be – it’s no way to live. Get your rest and then you can enjoy everything a little more. I sure hope you got the rest you need and doubtless you are already back to your super mom ways. 🙂

    Audrey is perfect. Congratulations again! I love her name! We considered Audrey for a girl at one point. You always pick great names!

  7. I hope you have gotten some sleep by now. I can’t imagine anyone finding you a failure. There is so much to admire about you and your family. I am in awe quite a bit. Hang in there.

  8. Glad that Matt stepped in and helped you when you weren’t willing to help yourself.

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