Monday, December 11, 2006

Diagnosis: Teething

Let me preface this post by saying that all known doctors, authorities, and most other people concur that getting good, regular sleep is paramount in the management of bipolar disorder. As in, go to bed at the same time every night, get up at the same time every day, don't nap in between, get at least 8 uninterrupted hours if you don't want to have a bad episode, good sleep.

Let me also say that the particular meds that I am on are known to interact with BC pills, and I have noticed a marked increase in my, ahem, irritability during the week I have my period.

Be it known, then, that I am, in fact, you know... menstruating.

That being said, Mouse is not sleeping. The child, she is completely uninterested in getting a good night's sleep. On average, she will wake up 5-7 times a night. Sometimes, she only goes for twenty minutes or so after being settled back down before crying again. She will. not. sleep. At all. It is driving me up the GDMF* wall. Every time I hear the sniffle that precedes the whimper that precedes the wail, I tense. My blood pressure goes up. Way up. I curse. I think of people I could sell my baby to for money.** I will admit it: I HATE getting up in the night with my kids.

I feel none of that "motherly compassion" stuff. I have no desire to nurture or comfort after 10 p.m. I don't want to feed/change/soothe/etc. I want my freaking sleep. I don't care how selfish that sounds. I have no maternal instincts after dark. I (selfish me!) just want to get some damn sleep so that I don't turn into a homicidal maniac.

So, when Mouse started pulling on her ears the other day, I was thrilled. She has an ear infection! No wonder she can't sleep! We'll go to the doctor, get the drops, feel better, sleep better, end of story.

Today I took her in. The kindly Nurse Practitioner was very friendly, but practically laughed me out of the office. She said, and I quote, "That's the healthiest baby I've ever seen!"

I could have killed her. Cheerfully, even.

So, yeah, no ear infection. No *anything* wrong with her. And, as an added bonus, she lost a whole pound (she hasn't been eating to her usual standards, either), bringing her back into the "reasonable" range, back from the "holy crap, look at that baby" range. Silver lining, I suppose. I looked at the sheet they give you, and under "Diagnosis" she had written "teething."

I felt like a moron.

And the bitch of it all is that there's nothing to be done, because there's nothing wrong with her except that it takes her three weeks to cut a single tooth. At this rate, she may have her first molars by kindergarten, but I'm not holding my breath. At nine and a half months, she has three teeth and one big lump under her front gums. That's it. That's bizarre, right? The Bear had 10 teeth at 10 months. We're not exactly there yet.

The upshot of all this, I suppose, is that she hasn't been sleeping, which means I haven't been sleeping, which means Husband hasn't been sleeping. Even the Bear wakes up occasionally to get in on all the late-night action. Guess who is the grouchiest out of all four?

ETA: As of Tuesday morning, we now have four teeth. Maybe tonight will be a turning point. Or not.

*That's an abbreviation coined by one of my students, when reporting what another student said to get himself suspended. You figure it out.

**$500 OBO. Call me.


Julie said...

I believe that allowing a child to live once they've awoken you 5-7 times during the night is the height of motherly compassion.f

Jane said...

Hmm... That's a good thought. Maybe I'm better at this than I give myself credit for.

I always said the reason they make babies so cute is so that you don't kill them in the middle of the night.

Julie said...

I think there is actual scientific research about that -- that mammal babies are cute because they are so much damn work.

And you are better at this than you give yourself credit for.

Jane said...

Makes sense to me... cuteness is like a camoflage that protects them from predators or tired parents.

Thanks for the support!