Exhausted Parents Share Their Stories | Part 1
Talk about being exhausted, no one knows the meaning of the word exhausted better than new parents. It’s a story for the ages, parenting infants is the ultimate form of tired! Time and time again baby cams show just how exhausted parents are. Stories are shared amongst exhausted parents in parenting groups. Parents open up and commiserate with one another over their lack of sleep and odd behaviors. The reality is exhausted parents make more mistakes than those who are well-rested. Just a heads up some of these stories are funny, others are terrifying, all end well, I promise.
Don’t let exhaustion sneak up on you and disrupt your quality of life.
Mike opens up about one of the worst days of his adult life.
I was alone for the sixth night in a row with our 6-month-old daughter and our son who was two and a half at the time. Teresa, my wife worked nights and I worked days. We worked opposite shifts, it was working for us up until this point. Our daughter was running a low-grade fever all day. We assumed teething since she was starting to chew on her hands and drool like crazy and there were no other symptoms. Teresa kept on eye on her, monitored her temperature, and she seemed fine otherwise.
Around 11:30 p.m. she woke, but instead of wanting a bottle like usual she was exceptionally unhappy, crying and kicking. I felt her and she was burning up. I checked her temperature and she was running a temperature around 102.6. At some point, Teresa called to check in on her. Call it mom intuition, but she knew Audrey wasn’t feeling well. I unswaddled her and tried to feed her a bottle which she mostly fought me on. Then I decided to give her some fever reducer. Well, she fought me on that too, but I was able to get her to take it. Finally, she fell asleep in my arms and I put her back down.
She woke again and again.
I gave her another dose of Tylenol around 3:30 a.m. When she woke again around 5 a.m. and I went in to get her something felt odd. I checked her temperature and it was still at 102-103 ish. I called Teresa who was due to be home by 7:30 a.m. to let her know I was going to call our pediatrician. She asked when the last time was I gave her the fever reducer and then reminded me I could alternate Tylenol and Motrin every 3 hours if needed.
So I went to get the Motrin and could not for the life of me remember the last time was I gave her a dose of Tylenol. I told Teresa I remembered giving it at 11:30 p.m. when I went in the first time, but couldn’t remember the time of the last dose.
All went quiet on the other end.
Teresa was silent as she checked her call log on her phone. She insisted it was 1:30 a.m. when she first called not 11:30 p.m. when I gave Audrey the Tylenol. I was sure it was 11:30 p.m., or was it 1:30 a.m., I couldn’t say for certain and that scared the shit out of me. I looked at the bottle of Tylenol and that scared the shit out of me. What came next was even worse. Teresa was panicked and left work immediately.
From the time our call ended and the time Teresa got home from work, Audrey had thrown up all over the kitchen and her crib while I attempted to clean it up. Her pediatrician called back and advised us to go to the hospital, but we were already on our way at that point.
That day was a blur.
I cried, Teresa cried, and Audrey cried helplessly. We felt like horrible parents when we were really weren’t, we were just exhausted parents They drew blood from her tiny veins, gave her I.V. fluids and bombarded us with lots of questions no good parents should have to answer. There we were, two parents scared shitless and I knew at that moment sleep deprivation almost cost me my most precious gift, our daughter.
Audrey made a full recovery.
Teresa continued to work nights, and I cut back on my hours during the day to help at home more. One of the best things we did though was hired The Jax Baby Company to come in one day and two nights a week overnight so we could both sleep all night long. Liz was terrific. She made the nights run so smoothly. We knew if she needed to wake us she wouldn’t hesitate, but week after week she handled it all seamlessly so we could both rest. We both agree, hiring help is the best investment exhausted parents can make!
Elizabeth recalls the night she knew she needed to call in reinforcements!
It was late or early, I don’t really remember, but I was up a few times through the night with our daughter. This time she had soaked through her diaper and clothes. So I got her cleaned up and put her back to sleep in her crib. The next thing I know it’s 6:30 a.m. and my husband’s calling my name from the other room. I walk in to see why he’s calling me and low and behold there she was soaked and crying. Staring at me with a confused look on his face my husband says, “Where’s her diaper?” I patted her bottom and then had to stop and try to remember the night in fragmented bits and pieces.
Holy shiitake! I had actually put her in a clean sleeper and totally forgotten to put a diaper on her. We laughed so hard we cried and if I’m being completely honest I peed myself a little too! Thank you pregnancy and childbirth! This is baby number three, not my first rodeo! That was the moment I knew I needed some solid stretches of sleep and I’d have to call in help to get it. Cue hiring help one night a week for a couple of months so this mama could get a full 10-hours of uninterrupted sleep!
All parents make mistakes, some are funny, others not at all!
However, exhausted parents can’t keep at it for an extended period of time. Eventually, it catches up to them. Sleep can’t be caught up on or stored up on. Healthy sleep habits from day one are important. Our team at The Jax Baby Company is here to help parents get the sleep they so desperately need while getting their little ones off to a phenomenal start as well!
A special thank you to the parents who willingly participated in this blog series. Stay tuned for Part 2 of Exhausted Parents Who Share Their Stories!
Happy Birth & Parenting,
If you’ve not seen the video below of Kyle Baker’s wife, Joanna Baker and their daughter, check it out! All ends well and it’s totally relatable, but man they could have really benefited from having a postpartum and infant care specialist there at night!