Sunday, January 17, 2016

On Depression and Expectations

The Baby is still not sleeping well.  We'll put her down at 6 or 6:30, always in the hope she'll power through that first wakeup half an hour after we put her down, and it never happens.  So she gets up and feeds, and then she's back down by 8 or so.  On many nights, she's up again at 9 or 10, and at 11, and then she'll wake one or two more times before 7 the next day.  Not as bad as I've heard of, but not good.  The Wife and I talk about it, and some if it is just expectations.  The Baby has given us enough good nights, when she'll sleep for up to seven hours at a stretch, that we know she can do it, and now that's she's close to four months old, we're starting to feel like she should be sleeping better.  I'm obsessed with her sleep.  In an effort to identify potential patterns from which we might build a schedule, we started tracking her sleep in a spreadsheet.  Below is a screen grab of it; each blue cell is half an hour of sleep, with the time on the vertical axis:

As you can see, not a lot of pattern there.  I'd like to call your attention to two things.  Just to the right of the middle of the graph, you'll see four nights in a row that really fucking sucked.  Those were the first four nights after my wife went back to work.  You will see some good chunks of sleep in the afternoons.  Those are when I'm rocking The Baby in the nursery.  If she's not in our arms, she will not sleep for more than 35 minutes.  You can damn near set your watch to her sleep cycle.

So I'm obsessed with her sleep, how much she's getting, and it's depressing me.  I don't mean in a "gee I'm bummed out today" kind of way, but in the way that makes it hard to get out of bed in the morning, keeps me near tears for more of the day than I'd like to admit, and as embarassing as it is to say it out loud, makes me want to hurt myself.  We're gonna spend a lot of time exploring all of this, because these feelings are the reason I started blogging in the first place, but I think if I had to put it down right now, as succinctly as possible, it is that The Baby's sleep (or lack thereof) makes me feel like a failure as a parent.  The days after those four awful nights were the worst of my life.  I was exhausted and angry and bitter and resentful and my wife is stuck dealing with the pile of shit that used to be the man she married, our baby, and her job which routinely demands she work 80 hours a week.  In the corporate world, we would say that is unsustainable.

And there's a text from The Wife, who is back on tomorrow, asking if I can take over putting The Baby down for the night.  Here goes nothing.

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