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Old 06-29-2014, 07:18 PM   #11
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You just blew my mind! My kids were awful sleepers. Neither one sttn until they weaned at 16 & 20 months. I finally lost the last 10-15 lbs of baby weight within a couple of months of weaning and sttn both times. I always thought I just couldn't lose weight while BFing, but I bet you are right and it was sleep deprivation...wow!

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Old 06-30-2014, 05:11 AM   #12
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Re: How Sleep Deprivation Ruined My Life

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Yep. And then people suggest you need antidepressants. Sorry people, exhaustion is not fixed by antidepressants, would you like to be productive and help mama get a nap?
Well, it's tough b/c the reverse can also be true, kwim? I had (have) moderate PPD. Usually exercize helps, but I literally have no energy left to work out (compounded by depression) & no one to watch my kids while I do it. I had difficulty sleeping before babies & my twins each wake at least once overnight, but the depression made my anxiety worse, making it even more difficult to fall asleep & affecting the quality of any sleep I got. But of course, the exercize I'm not getting would help my sleep. I felt overwhelmed. I was sad & angry a lot. I ate a ton, & it's hard to tell the difference between what's excessive & what's necessary for bfing. I gained some, but not a ton, of weight. I'm not saying that medication fixed everything b/c life is overwhelming, kwim? But meds did help make things feel somewhat more manageable. They improved the quality of the sleep I was getting, improving my emotional and physical health. I definitely don't think meds should be the first place people go, but they can be helpful to some people at some times & I wouldn't want someone to not get the help they need, either.
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Old 06-30-2014, 11:44 AM   #13
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Re: How Sleep Deprivation Ruined My Life

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Well, it's tough b/c the reverse can also be true, kwim? I had (have) moderate PPD. Usually exercize helps, but I literally have no energy left to work out (compounded by depression) & no one to watch my kids while I do it. I had difficulty sleeping before babies & my twins each wake at least once overnight, but the depression made my anxiety worse, making it even more difficult to fall asleep & affecting the quality of any sleep I got. But of course, the exercise I'm not getting would help my sleep. I felt overwhelmed. I was sad & angry a lot. I ate a ton, & it's hard to tell the difference between what's excessive & what's necessary for bfing. I gained some, but not a ton, of weight. I'm not saying that medication fixed everything b/c life is overwhelming, kwim? But meds did help make things feel somewhat more manageable. They improved the quality of the sleep I was getting, improving my emotional and physical health. I definitely don't think meds should be the first place people go, but they can be helpful to some people at some times & I wouldn't want someone to not get the help they need, either.
I had severe PPD after DS3 that eventually led to long term hospitalization. I know what you mean about being too overwhelmed to exercise. I remember trying to get out the door for a walk during that time, with two toddlers in a double jogger and baby in the pouch, (a real feat for even a perfectly well mom), but there were too many details and things to remember (potty breaks, diaper changes, sippy cups, snacks, hats, sunscreen, nursing the baby, clothes for them, clothes for me) I was just in tears all the time. Leaving the house was nearly impossible and when I did it was for essentials like groceries which I had to force myself to do, and even then I was in tears even at the checkout stand.

I didn't gain weight during my PPD but I wasn't losing either. Plus I was craving chocolate. It turns out that dark chocolate does have the ability to boost brain levels of endorphins (natural opiates) as well as serotonin (a mood-altering chemical on which many antidepressants act) but even if chocolate helped a wee bit with my mood it was certainly not helping my waistline!

The insomnia that often accompanies depression is really unfortunate because you just don't get a break from your anxieties, and sometimes trying to fall asleep and not being able can trigger more anxiety/weepiness, and that of course compounds everything.

I am glad you were able to get help and that the meds make things more manageable. I waited too long with my PPD after DS3 (up until baby's 1st birthday) before seeking help but there was definantley a need for meds and wish I had gone that route sooner because there were other side effects of my PPD that might not have developed if I had caught it sooner. While I agree with twood80, who mentioned earlier that meds are not a pat solution for exhaustion, since there is no substitute for a good nights rest, some mothers will need meds to get that.

Plus moms who are really suffering might be too overwhelmed to know how to ask for help from a friend. There was one acquaintance at our church who recognized my PPD, (I was in no state of mind to ask for help) but she knew I had it because she had had it with DS7. She was the only one who did seemed to notice, or at least was not willing to ignore my muffled tears as I sat behind her during church every Sunday. I was avoiding all social interaction at that time, arriving a few minutes late and leaving before the service was up, so like I said, getting the help from a friend that I needed wasn't going to happen, except that this woman showed up unannounced at my house with her older children in tow, to help watch mine while I napped. I won't lie, I was not happy to see her, embarrassed by my messy house and angry that she didn't call first, but she wasn't leaving and I did need to lay down...so yeah practical help of that nature can be what is needed too. I only hope I remembered to thank her!

Although I have not had PPD this time around, I have considered meds for treating the depression related to sleep deprivation and would go there if we need to ( I say we because the whole med experience, scheduling appointments and finding what works and not doesn't just affect me but DH and children as well)I am still holding out a bit but would encourage other moms to go that route if needed.

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Old 07-03-2014, 11:54 PM   #14
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Re: How Sleep Deprivation Ruined My Life

I'm too heavy to run, so I swim. It's low impact and burns a lot of calories. It doesn't solve the sleep deprivation = no recovery problem, but it might work when that phase ends.
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Old 07-04-2014, 12:11 AM   #15
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Re: How Sleep Deprivation Ruined My Life

I was just reading this article before bed last night : http://www.health.harvard.edu/newswe...sleep-debt.htm

Meds helped me with my post-baby anxiety. But getting a full night's sleep on a constant basis was the best cure. Mine is a year and a half, and still waking up at night. He was an awful sleeper from early on. I hate to admit this, but I ended up having to use headphones at night if I wanted to get any sleep. He's better now, thank God. It's still hard. That's why I'm writing this at 2am.
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Old 07-04-2014, 12:46 AM   #16
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I was just reading this article before bed last night : http://www.health.harvard.edu/newswe...sleep-debt.htm Meds helped me with my post-baby anxiety. But getting a full night's sleep on a constant basis was the best cure. Mine is a year and a half, and still waking up at night. He was an awful sleeper from early on. I hate to admit this, but I ended up having to use headphones at night if I wanted to get any sleep. He's better now, thank God. It's still hard. That's why I'm writing this at 2am.
Super interesting

Also op thx for this thread. I really need to sleep more. Both my babies sleep wonderful and I am a night owl so it is dumb of me to always be so tired.
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Old 07-04-2014, 02:41 AM   #17
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Re: How Sleep Deprivation Ruined My Life

Hey - not advice on getting baby to sleep - but advice on surviving it. My 1st child slept on average 45-90 mins at a shot for over a year & I worked from 6 weeks onward, so I can offer pointers on survival mode.

I don't have enough info here to know what survival things you do already, so don't think I am saying this makes things great or fixes anything, but it helps you survive.

Cosleep - and keep the kid attached to the boob if you can. Sleep shirtless if necessary.

Have your child checked for reflux, it's a terrible one for waking kids.

Lay down & rest whenever you can squeeze it in even if you cannot sleep. So if all you can do is side lie on the couch while nursing & your older kids are running around, then take it. resting some even when not sleep is still easier on your body.

Take B12 to help with your energy lulls.

Take LOADS of Vit d3 to help with your immune system short falls - so that is 6000-10000 IU per day, not the 800 measly iu that is recommended for calcium absorption.

Get your thyroid tested if you can. Although weight gain can happen due to sleep deprivation, this kind of long term body strain can also predispose you to things cropping up like hypothyroid - which also makes you foggy, tired, overwhelmed, body ache, weight gain, etc. It also happens to be right at the top of things that are undiagnosed in moms & you are most at risk for developing it in the first year or two post partum.


And finally, I am sorry you are struggling. My first almost drove me to the kuckoo bin because I could hardly function when I was waking on average 6 times & then getting up & commuting an hour to work. I was sure I was going to kill myself falling asleep on the road. A dose of b12 20-30 mins before the drive made a huge difference immediately. Cosleeping helped a ton.

And if it helps any I do get it & you are sooo not alone. None of my kids are "great" sleepers until at least 2-3 yrs old. So for me - waking every 2-3 hrs seems good & it's been the best I've done for almost 8 yrs. Even my youngest, who was sleepy, hasn't been "allowed to" since she was wayyy slow on gaining & growth, so I had to wake her every 2-3 & then set up & nurse & do breast compressions & all that jazz because she was a dozy eater. In between she would fuss & wake needing help to resettle, but not wake enough to actually eat. I had to really wake her, change dipes, strip her down, etc, every 2-3. She wasn't any better with a bottle either & that was just more work anyway. FINALLY 6 weeks ago or so I was given the green light to let her sleep 4 hrs if she will (she won't) but she now sometimes will do 3 hrs, but she's less dozy anyway so when she wakes, she eats better, so at least I can nurse her laying down with no breast compressions or diaper changes & that helps a ton.

What I can promise you is that it will pass & all you can do is keep reminding yourself of that. It it is fleeting, even when it feels like a marathon, there is always a finish line. You have to keep reminding yourself of that or it seems never ending & like you'll never survive it.

Hang in there momma - I wish I had an answer that was better, but it's all I got. HUGE hugs to you though!
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Old 07-04-2014, 02:46 AM   #18
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Re: How Sleep Deprivation Ruined My Life

I also wanted to add my Dr suggested melatonin, even for naps, to be able to fall asleep as quickly as possible. it is short acting, so it won't make you more tired long term if you end up having to get up nor will it make it harder to hear a baby or other kid. for me though, for some reason it makes me really ornery the following day. But lots of people swear by it & I know it's safe while nursing. I am bummed it makes me cranky because it did wonders for helping me fall asleep quickly. I WISH I could take it.
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Old 07-04-2014, 09:56 PM   #19
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Re: How Sleep Deprivation Ruined My Life

I am touched by all your comments (wipes tears). It means SO much to be understood and to know that I am not alone. <<THANKS MAMAS>> I will definitely be trying some of these suggestions...

As a side note, I purposely kept DD up all day yesterday (by doing all her favorite things like playing outside for long periods and playdough) in order to skip two of her naps. I also avoided driving or taking her for a walk in the carrier lest she fall asleep, hoping she would be extra tired at bedtime. Well, she WAS out like a light come 8PM, but no improvement on the duration of sleep periods, plus a bit cranky this morning until she finally had a good afternoon nap. So if you are thinking of trying this, DO NOT do it. Let your precious baby get her naps---and like everyone suggests, sleep with her if you can
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Old 07-05-2014, 03:13 AM   #20
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Re: How Sleep Deprivation Ruined My Life

Oh dear, that sounds dreadful!

I was getting a bit crazy from the sleep deprivation just lately; both babies up multiple times per night, I was sleeping in 30"-1hr stretches. DP pulled the trigger & took one of the girls out of our room. Put her in her own crib in her room. It was tough getting her to fall asleep (DP did the deed, putting paci back in & giving her a pat every few minutes for about a 1/2hr until she fell asleep), but once it did...magic! I got 3 hrs straight sleep! Last two nights, it's been 5-6hrs straight, plus some more broken sleep early in the morning.

I kinda think each baby is different...my first was an awesome sleeper & has always slept better by herself. With the twins, cosleeping was necessary for my sanity. But I think L has outgrown it. I think we were waking her & she for sure was waking us & her sister. Her sister frequently wakes once for a feeding & prefers to be near. I'm okay with that, as long as it works for us all. And sleep does beget sleep. Now that both girls are truly sleeping 10 hrs at night, their naps are way, way better. For me, all my babies have to be really full at bedtime, though. That, at 6+mos, means some cereal in the evening, then a 7pm feeding, a short evening sleep, then a dream feed around 10. And I know it's not empirically true, but I find my babies that get formula before bed sleep better & longer
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