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Is it survivable?

(40 Posts)
BlackRibboner Thu 22-Mar-18 20:29:54

Hi all

Please tell me how you got through this, if anyone did. 2yo has never slept through, can count on my fingers the number of nights we've had more than about 4/5 straight hours. I've tried controlled crying, staying with him, gradual movement away, early naps, late naps, no naps - nothing makes a difference. We've now given up and co sleep from whenever he first gets up, usually between 10 and 12. Some nights this means a bit more sleep for everyone, some nights he thrashes and kicks so no one sleeps and we're black and blue on the morning. I have an ebf 5 month old in the side cot too, so nights are not peaceful. No chance to catch up in the day as they don't sleep at the same time, plus baby still prefers to sleep on me and will only cat nap in the cot.

I am exhausted. I mean to the point where I'm walking round like a zombie, I don't feel safe to drive, I struggle to focus enough to listen to anyone and on more than one occasion I've been unable to talk - I've opened my mouth and actual gibberish has come out. I was signed off from work with exhaustion between pregnancies and if I weren't on mat leave I think I would be now too. DH and I are at each other's throats and our relationship isn't great atm, even though our feelings for each other haven't changed. I'm still just about managing to parent the kids with love and attention, but the TV plays a much bigger part than I would like.

Please, anyone who's been through this, tell me there's light at the end of the tunnel? I don't know anyone who has a child so old still not sleeping and no one seems to be as exhausted as I am, which makes me feel like I'm being weak or exaggerating and I should just buck up. Tell me I'm not abnormal, tell me I'll get through this without divorcing and/or admitting defeat and just walking away from it all. Please?

BleakBetty Thu 22-Mar-18 20:34:44

OP you have my sympathy flowers I don’t think you are being weak at all! Sleep deprivation and its side effects are very real and I’m sorry you’re suffering with them.

Do you have a spare bedroom? Can you and DP take it in turns to get a full night’s sleep, at least 6-8 hours? Do you have any friends/family who could have a fun sleepover with your eldest (and youngest if you’re comfortable) to give you a break?

BleakBetty Thu 22-Mar-18 20:37:01

Ah. Just read that youngest is EBF, but if anyone can help you get some respite by babysitting your eldest every now and then I’m sure that would just give you a little respite. Any lovely grandparents?

LJ17xx Thu 22-Mar-18 20:39:11

Following as have a 10 month old who doesn't sleep more than an hour!

Chienrouge Thu 22-Mar-18 20:45:01

I had DD1 who didn’t sleep through the night until she was 3.5. When DD2 was born (DD1 was 19 months), she was waking approx every 2 hours and screaming for an hour each time before she collapsed with exhaustion before getting up for the day at 5.30am. DD2 only slept attached to my nipple for the first month and then woke every 45 mins until she was 6 months old. DD1 didn’t nap
in the day, DD2 only napped on my chest. No family around at all and DH worked away Mon-Fri.
I honestly felt like I was dying. I couldn’t function. Our marriage was a wreck.
They’re now 4.5 and 2.8 and both sleep 7-7. I never, ever thought it would happen. DH and I are finally getting some time together. We even get to go out in the evenings occasionally!

Mumoftwoyoungkids Thu 22-Mar-18 20:45:31

Been there. Neither of mine slept through until around their third birthday.

(Although dd did have a 2 month phase where she did at 2.4 giving us just long enough to think “we’ve cracked it!” And conceive her baby brother. Once the pregnancy test was positive and there was no going back she went back to being up all night again.)

But they are now 7 and 4. And I am no longer obsessed by sleep. You are all knackered so I will repeat that - sleep is something that just happens and I don’t need to plan my life around it.

It will happen.

You will get through this.

BlackRibboner Thu 22-Mar-18 20:48:15

Thank you. We do have fab gps, on both sides, but all still working and live 4/5 hours away so regular respite not an option. Plus the eldest will only settle with me or DH - my parents in law have looked after him once and ended up awake all night, no one slept at all. At least if he's with us we all get some sleep, albeit very disrupted, but it's nowhere near enough to help me feel normal sad

BlackRibboner Thu 22-Mar-18 20:50:38

Thank you! Chienrouge, that's exactly how it feels, I'm dying slowly. Need to hear stories of that light at the end - I want to get through this with my marriage intact, and I need to have hope that it's possible . . .

Chienrouge Thu 22-Mar-18 20:58:09

It’s so indescribably tough. I hope it improves for you soon.
I moan now if one of mine wakes up once in the night for a wee/glass of water or something... those days are a distant (horrific) memory!

3luckystars Thu 22-Mar-18 21:00:27

Melatonin is the light.
I had 6 years of no sleep and nearly dropped dead from it.

Melatonin changed our lives.

Kittykat93 Thu 22-Mar-18 21:23:48

I don't have it anywhere near as bad as you but being up in the night with my 5mo feels like torture sometimes. I dread it when he wakes up in the morning and I know another day has begun! Never realised how much sleep deprivation affects people. Love every bone in his body but Christ I miss my sleep!!!

GreenRut Thu 22-Mar-18 21:50:30

I had 2 good sleepers and then third came along and didn't sleep through until recently, at 3 and a half. We were on our knees with it. Something clicked and it seemed to be related to a change in bedroom. I'm way past the point of confidently telling anyone I know the answer to any of this parenthood stuff, but I do think there was something in the room change.

On saying all of this she's started waking again at night about 2/7 days but it's nothing compared to before and is usually a quick ok go back to sleep, and she does.

Honestly op, one day you'll read a thread like yours on here and partly struggle to remember how bad it was.

SilverGiraffe7 Thu 22-Mar-18 22:06:40

Honestly op, one day you'll read a thread like yours on here and partly struggle to remember how bad it was.*

This is so true! You have my sympathies OP. I had DS1 and DS2 who both slept through from very early on. Then DD1 who, although initially as good a sleeper as her brothers, decided when I went back to work at 7 months to punish me with sleep deprivation... but you do forget the absolute horror of it eventually! Not much help now but, as they say, this too will pass. thanks

DollyDayScream Thu 22-Mar-18 22:14:16

I hear you and I salute you.

My DC is nearly 3 and has only just stated sleeping through.. sometimes.

My advice would be to do whatever you need to do to get as much sleep as you possibly can. You have a baby, you need to survive. Put all extreme controlled crying solutions in the draw for now. You need banks of energies for that shit and I'm guessing that now isn't the time.

Can your partner go in with the 2 year old and you take on the baby? That seems fair under the circumstances.

I really hope that you find a way through that doesn't involve running away to join the circus. Best wishes and best of luck.

MinaPaws Thu 22-Mar-18 22:20:36

You have my deepest sympathy. I had this. DS2 never slept.He was in our bed for years and didn't sleep through the night until he was 8 or 9. Turned out he has ASD and it's a symptom. I was a zombie, like you. A danger. I forgot my own name once when asked it. Mind just went blank. DH and I were grumpy and life felt such a slog.
But you do get through it. It gets easier year on year. very important for you and your DH not to fall out when you're not actually incompatible, just sleep deprived.
I found getting outside helped a lot. I spent as much of the day as possible in the open air.
Try to eat well. If grandparents are good but DS won't settle with them, would they be up for helping with laundry, shopping, housework etc so at least you don't have all those jobs too when you're exhausted. Or could you afford a cleaner?

BlackRibboner Thu 22-Mar-18 22:34:36

Melatonin? Tell me more!

Thank you for the support and sharing stories - it's lifted my mood just knowing there are others out there, part of it is feeling so isolated. Yy to forgetting your name, I have done that and also my age, children's ages, PINs . . . And more than once I've started to answer a question and stopped halfway through because I've forgotten what I'm saying and what I was asked. I feel like a simpleton and it feels like everyone's judging.

Both sets of parents are too far away to be of routine help, but have just got a cleaner and that does help, only once a week but still a load off. DH could take the older one, but he's in a relatively new job that was quite a leap career wise so keen to impress and so while he's good at getting up to DS, I can't ask him to do it all the time.

MinaPaws, that sounds horrendous, I'm sorry it was so long. But inspiring to hear that you made it through even when it lasted so many years. I can do this, I can.

riddles26 Fri 23-Mar-18 16:47:57

You poor thing, that sounds so unbelievably hard, you are an absolute hero for coping until now. I only have one who's 17 months so I'm not sure of any answers but have you tried a sleep consultant? If not, will your budget allow for one?

Nogodsnomasters Sat 24-Mar-18 21:43:50

I have a 3.5 yr old who still doesn't sleep through the night and never did from birth, like pp's dc he is waiting to be assessed for asd. Right now it's manageable because he can talk and wakes for things like toilet, drink, bad dream etc but up until about a year ago it was horrendous for those 2 & half years, and like you my husband and I were ready for killing each other, there were a few times where I thought jesus we are actually going to split up, but if you have a strong relationship it will survive it once the severe sleep deprivation passes I promise. My lb had to be rocked to sleep in our arms until he was 2 years old, absolutely back breaking. This only stopped when one night all 3 of us had norovirus and I physically didn't have it in me to hold and rock him to sleep so because I didn't do it he stayed up til 3am that 1st night, the next night he took til 10pm to fall asleep without rocking and so on, we're at the point now where we still have to lay beside him to get him to drop off but it only takes 20-30 mins and then upon his first wake up he ends up in our bed whether that's at 10pm or 2am so I also understand the constant thrashing. My only suggestion would be if you could afford it maybe 2-3 days a week could your ds1 go to a childminders or nursery so you could then nap when the baby naps while ds1 is away for the morning/afternoon etc it's an extreme faff of a solution but if it helped you catch up on even an extra hour or 2 on those 2-3 days a week it may help you remember your name again 😊 your post made me remember how brutal it was, it does get easier just not as soon as people make out before you have kids!

Pebbleinthesand Sat 24-Mar-18 21:50:51

Sorry no help with advice here as DD is a good sleeper but just wanted to say you're an absolute hero coping with two little ones, one who doesn't sleep and managing to EBF! What a woman you must be! I don't think I would cope with that so well done for even being able to function (even a little bit).
Well done and hope there's someone on here who can actually give you valuable help (unlike me) thanks

londonista Sat 24-Mar-18 22:01:33

So much sympathy OP. My youngest didn't sleep through till he was 2.5 years old. I really don't know how we did it tbh. There was a lot of crying, and not just from him. He used to wake at, like, 1am as well, when you're right in that first wave of deep sleep. Bloody awful.

No advice sorry... just TRUCKLOADS of sympathy. thanksthanksthanks

Sleeplikeasloth Sun 25-Mar-18 13:47:35

Honestly, I'd think about mix feeding your baby, so that you can get some blocks of sleep. If you and your husband can't alternate nights (and I don't think most work is an adequate reason tbh), then at least he can do until midnifht/1am ish, and you go to bed early and have a block of sleep.

Ebf is not worth it if you are so tired you are a danger to your children, too tired to drive etc.

VulvaNotVagina Mon 26-Mar-18 13:02:59

OP, you haven't mentioned if your DC has been checked for adenoids. DS1 was a horrific sleeper until he had his adenoids taken out when he was 3 (6 months ago). He was sleeping through within a week. I remember the desperation and exhaustion so well that I still well up when I think of the first nights he started sleeping through!
I thought adenoids were easy to diagnose because they're so common, but we had to see 3 (THREE!) ENT specialists before his adenoids were diagnosed as enlarged.
I would definitely have your DS checked even if he doesn't snore, my DS never snored, he didn't even always sleep with his mouth open, yet his adenoids were "massive" (I am quoting the ENT specialist who did the operation).

seven201 Mon 26-Mar-18 14:19:34

Have you ruled out all medical reasons? For example my nearly two year old has silent reflux - you wouldn't know it in the day anymore but at night she wakes up with acid pain in her throat. Meds have helped, but haven't totally fixed it.

MinaPaws Mon 26-Mar-18 17:58:26

People are right in suggesting you look at why this is happening. It's not normal. For DS it was a combination of ASD and chronic reflux (which also go together - so the severe pain from reflux, plus the hunger from refusing to eat and the general "I need no sleep, ever" nature of some aspergics meant he just.never. slept.

RiceBaby Mon 26-Mar-18 18:03:44

Sleep train (controlled crying) and stick with it. Won't take more than a week.

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