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16 weeks

Disclaimer: This post was written at the end of a very long and exhausting day after close to 4 months without a good night’s sleep. It’s not quite as bad as it sounds. I almost deleted the whole thing after I wrote it, but that feels dishonest. So here it is. Don’t call child protective services quite yet.

I wonder if there’s a point in every new mom’s life when she feels it just can’t get any harder. I imagine for most moms, that happens a little closer to the beginning – at four, or six, or eight weeks – when you stare down at this tiny person and can’t believe that you are solely responsible for keeping him alive. When your back hurts and your breasts are sore and you are so very, very tired. Maybe I should consider myself lucky that I haven’t felt this way until now. But at this moment – 16 weeks into this new life – I don’t think I can handle any more.

I must have gotten a total of about 3 hours of sleep last night. First I couldn’t fall asleep. Then as soon as I finally nodded off, Z woke up for the second time. (I was still awake for the first.) Then the kicking started. And it didn’t stop. Finally, at 3:30am, I decided to banish the boy to his crib in the other room. Then I cried for 20 minutes. When I went to check on him, he was fast asleep. So I went back to bed and fell asleep myself. 10 minutes later he started crying. Some amount of sleep finally happened between feeding him again and Dave leaving me alone with him at 6:30am.

I’m not entirely sure what happened between 6:30 and 10:30am when I left the house – but there was some crying (his and mine), some eating, some swinging, and a bit more sleeping. Most of the afternoon was okay. We went for a hike with a mom friend, and Zeke slept almost the whole time (reinforcing poor napping yet again). But even when things are okay these days, I dread the inevitable breakdown that will come – and that is no way to be with a baby.

My latest attempt to curb Z’s fussiness is putting him down for a nap every two hours (more on that later). At 4pm, I swaddled him and put him in his crib. I put my head down on the railing, gearing up for the long lulling-to-sleep process, and I actually fell asleep there. I was jolted awake at 4:15 when my arm slipped off the rail. Luckily, Zeke had fallen asleep as well, so I was able to sleep on the couch for another 30 minutes before he woke up again.

Dave got home and we had a nice hour together before the dreaded bedtime routine which, per usual, led to complete hysteria and my feeling like I really can’t take this anymore. (Compounding matters is a bit of an oversupply problem I’ve been having which is causing Zeke to have green poop and reject the boob from time to time – a terrible thing when it’s all I can do to soothe him.)

So here we are – 16 weeks into this thing – as tired as I think it’s possible to be, fearful of not being able to handle one more night feeding, one more bout of crying, one more forced nap. Another mom friend said the universe won’t give you more than you can handle. If this is true, I’ve about reached my limit.

PS: It’s not all bad. The new 90210 is thoroughly entertaining. This is how far I’ve sunk.


  1. specules
    specules September 3, 2008

    Man oh man, sorry you are having such hard times. Let me know if there’s anything that girl power can do: food or errands or tasks (or an early crash course in diapering and babysitting?). I got 6 weeks left to offer you before I follow suit…

  2. Sarah Goss
    Sarah Goss September 3, 2008

    Dear Mia,
    I sent you a long blathery email because I have such a hard time confining my comments to the realm of the brief! But I thought i would add this, if you want to check out a similar state of mind–experienced when Daisy was about 16 months old:
    It shows that my hardest, most frustrating moments were definitely not experienced in the newborn phase alone! And… I felt like the universe had given me more than I could handle about three days ago (four?) with my 2-year-old. You aren’t alone. And I echo Deb–please let me know if there’s anything I could do to help.
    Sarah G

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