For the Love of Sleep and Lullabies… and More Cool, Free Stuff!

March 28, 2011

I love sleep.

In fact, I love sleep SO much, that my lust for it is probably illegal somewhere.  Of course, if it is, I do NOT want to know about it.

It’s taken a long time for me to accept this fact about myself.

So many people I know, including people I’ve lived with – roommates in college, for example – could get by on far less sleep than me.  Or significantly change their sleep schedule for a few days to accommodate a third shift clinical rotation, for example – and then effortlessly switch back into their original schedule.  With little more than slightly bleary eyes and an extra cup of coffee.

*Jealous!*

You see, if I don’t get my 7 – 9 hours (and yes, you read that right:  SEVEN to NINE hours), my daily functioning of even the most basic tasks deteriorates rapidly.  For starters, I get slightly dizzy.  And my body doesn’t know how to control its temp, so I get the chills and bizarre hot flashes.

Most people?  Most people can breeze right through such annoyances.

Me?  Not so much.  My dry eyes, my overall achiness, the ever-present dizziness [which, of course, creates unabating nausea], and the short-circuited temp control issues completely undermine my everyday brilliance.

As in:  I CANNOT think straight.  To save my life.

Enter Motherhood.

What a nightmare!  From a sleep perspective, I mean.

For starters?  Incubating a human does not lend itself to a restful state.  And I am not one of those women who loved being pregnant.  In sum:  I hated it.  On the few days that I didn’t hate it?  I loathed it.  (Mind you, I was truly, sincerely happy to be having a child, so don’t try any read-between-the-lines tricks.)

Let’s not even talk about the sleeplessness that accompanies pregnancy.  I’ll save that whine for another time.

So, fast-forward to having a newborn.

All the books I read – and back in 2000 – 2001, I swear to the Lord Himself I read every single stinking book published in the previous ten years up to the current day – all the books said that while the schedule of a baby can be very difficult, newborns/infants sleep 16 – 22 hours per day.

Upon revisiting that statement cloaked as fact, I have two statements:

  • Lies.  Total lies.
    AND
  • Claire, my first-born, clearly didn’t read those books.

Oh, and also?  My darling firstborn had colic.  REALLY REALLY bad colic.

And you know how The Books say that colic lasts for about 3 months?

LIES!!  More LIES!!

Claire was born in January.  She didn’t sleep through the night until she was 9 months old, TO THE DAY.

And about 87.9% of the time she was awake, she was SCREAMING.  It could not have been more obvious that she was in pain.

My poor, sweet baby.  She was oh-so-very-tired. But her belly hurt so bad that she just couldn’t relax enough to sleep.

It was heartbreaking.  For both of us.

[At one point, I took her to the pediatrician, three parenting books in the diaper bag, and demanded to know why wasn’t she sleeping 16 – 22 hours PER DAY???? In retrospect, I think that might have been my, ahem, low-key ways of saying I Cannot Take It Anymore, Please Send Me To A Padded Room.  But, for better or worse, respite was a long time coming.]

We tried everything.  And I mean:  Every. Single. Thing.

I tried every baby formula on the market.  (If you’re one of those who profess breastfeeding is the only way to go, I’d like to say:  God Bless you for your views.  And I support you in your quest to breastfeed.  And it’s completely OK that we disagree.  And if you think otherwise, buh-bye.)  Nothing worked.  In fact, I sobbed one day, looking at all the partially used canisters of formula on my counter, after hearing from our local Women’s Shelter that no matter how much was left, they couldn’t take a donation of a partially used container.

What a WASTE!

I tried supplements.  Chiropractic treatments.  Herbal sachets.  Crib toys.  NO crib toys.  “Crying it Out.”  [That worked with Kate and Amy.  It did NOT work with Claire the Colicky Baby.]  A teddy bear that had a sound box in it that simulated a mother’s heartbeat.

My heartfelt lullabies did nothing for her.  Neither did any of the 14 soothing CDs that I bought at various big box baby shops, the essential oils that I bought from the health food stores, the supplements I bought from herbal specialty shoppes, or even the lovely religious picture I bought from The Marian Center for Claire’s room.

NOTHING WORKED.

I thought I was going to LOSE MY MIND.

Post-partum depression set in hard and deep.  But that’s another post.  Or a couple dozen of them.

The first time that Claire slept through the night, I had tucked a lavender sachet in the heartbeat teddy bear, played a New Age lullaby CD, read her favorite story (I’ll Love You Forever) twice, and rocked her for exactly 12 minutes.

Needless to say, we did that EXACT routine for quite some time.

Oh, God.  Those months were so very, very brutal.  So completely horrific.

And?  We both made it “out.”  Alive.

Thank you, God!

Lullabies

Awesome Music CD - Enter to Win Your Copy!

I am convinced that if I’d had Jane Roman Pitt’s Midnight Lullaby CD back then, that her lovely lullabies would have shaved a few months off my sentence of sleeplessness.

I was given this CD, Midnight Lullaby, and I have listened to it in its entirety.  Several times.  And it’s everything that lullabies should be:  lovely, sweet, soothing, and effective.  Ms. Roman Pitt’s voice is warm and clear, and the top-notch production company that she worked with blended her vocals so well with just the right amount of instrumentation.  The CD is also a pleasant combination of lullabies I knew, a few I’d never heard before, including some Ms. Roman Pitt originals.

I’ve been listening to this dreamy music on my iPod nightly.  And for someone like me, who so desperately needs her sleep?  What a gift!

Giveaway!

When I was asked to review this CD, I checked it out on iTunes immediately to see if it would be something that you, my dear readers, would like.  When I realized the answer to that question was an absolute “yes,” I asked if I could have an extra CD to give to one of you.

My regular readers pretty much know how my giveaways work.  If you’re new here, or simply prone to memory problems (as I am!), here’s the deal:

You get one entry into the drawing for the CD for every action you complete.  Specifically, for each of the following actions, you get ONE entry into the drawing:

  • Head on over to iTunes or Amazon and listen to a sample of Midnight Lullaby.  You can also listen to parts of it on Ms. Roman Pitt’s website, Lady Lullaby.  After you’ve listened to a few tracks, come back here and comment, telling me which song you liked best.
  • “Friend” my A Broken Compass page on Facebook.  Be sure to leave me a comment below telling me you did that.
  • Follow me twitter.com/_abrokencompass. Be sure to leave me a comment telling me you did that.
  • Leave me a comment telling me one topic I’ve covered here on A Broken Compass that has entertained you.  In fact:  for each topic or post you tell me you’ve enjoyed (each in a separate comment, please), I’ll give you one entry into the drawing!
  • Share this link on YOUR Facebook page.  To do this,  just click on the little blue Facebook rectangle button that you’ll find at the end of this lengthy but interesting and informative post..  Again, not to be repetitive, but after you’ve accomplished this simple point-and-click action, leave a comment below to tell me you did that.
  • Subscribe to my RSS feed.  You can do this by clicking on the far right side of my main menu.  Leave me a comment that you did this (but realize I can verify who’s receiving my feed, so don’t try to get tricky!).
  • Subscribe via email by scrolling up and entering your name and email address into the white and purple box in the right-hand sidebar.

This contest will run until Thursday, March 31st at 11:59 p.m.  I will choose the winner of the contest using Random.org, and I will notify the winner via email.  If the winner responds within 48-hours, I’ll ship them the CD.  If I don’t hear from the winner within 48 hours, I will choose another winner.

See?  Piece of cake!  I WANT you to win.  Because I love sleep – mine, yours, your child’s, etc. – THAT much!

Disclosure:  I received 2 CDs from Beautiful Day Media, one to review, and one to give away.  All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rebecca Lasko March 28, 2011 at 8:42 pm

I can not imagine what those months must have been like with the colic. I will hold on to this story the nights I want to cry from sleep deprivation because I know it could be worse. My curiosity is now struck with your praises for Midnight Lullaby! If I don’t win, I am not going to waste a second buying it! Thanks Mel! XOXO

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2 The Knapps March 29, 2011 at 6:32 am

The song I like best was La Moora…very pretty sounding and soothing. We’re expecting so this would be perfect for our new baby :)

danielleaknapp at gmail dot com

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3 robyn ferrier March 29, 2011 at 7:14 am

I feel your pain! I was so thankful when we were able to wean Lauren so Kevin could help with her night time struggles. It took us 2 years to figure out what was causing so much pain. Our allergist was very sympathetic when discussing Lauren’s gastric issues. In his words, “this is what they’d call colic. I don’t believe colic exists.” He, like me, believed there was a reason for her near constant abdominal pain and was the first (and really only) practitioner to help us even though Lauren doesn’t have any actual allergies. Go figure. She was nearly 2 1/2 before she started to sleep reliably (by which I mean, not being up 5 or 6 times a night). Now I rejoice when she does like she did last night and sleep 12 hours straight!

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4 susan varney March 29, 2011 at 11:33 am

i like a broken compass on facebook
mverno@roadrunner.com

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5 Mary Preston March 29, 2011 at 11:11 pm

I subscribed by email.

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6 Tracey Novak March 30, 2011 at 8:58 am

A friend of mine told me that God only gives you what you can handle. Obviously you are quite a strong woman, and I am not, because Katherine & Kirstin were and still are wonderful sleepers.

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7 Jane Roman Pitt March 30, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Dear Melissa,

Thank you so much for wonderful review of “Midnight Lullaby”! And thank you for offering it in the contest—I hope the winner and his/her children will enjoy this music for a long time. I really enjoyed reading your site—such beautiful and funny and touching writing.

I loved (and related to) your story of how important sleep is, and how hard it is to get with new babies around. My advice to all moms is to take a few minutes whenever possible and close your eyes, and listen to some soothing music. It can really help revive the body, mind, and soul.

Sweet dreams, Jane

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8 monte March 30, 2011 at 10:43 pm

Love La Moora the BEST

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9 beverly mckinley March 31, 2011 at 7:56 am

i work graveyard and have a neighbor with teenagers that do everything during the time i need to sleep from band rehearsal to car rebuilding with welders and all. if i dont win it ive got it bookmarked so i can buy it. liked broken compass on facebook

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10 Christal Couturier March 31, 2011 at 11:40 am

Like a broken compass on facebook
as christal fuller couturier

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11 Christal Couturier March 31, 2011 at 11:40 am

shared this post on facebook

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12 Rachel March 31, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Liked La Moora, very soothing

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13 Ed Nemmers March 31, 2011 at 4:26 pm

I like “The Sweetest Gift”!

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14 Steph A March 31, 2011 at 7:24 pm

I like “Baby That’s Not All” from Midnight Lullaby.

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15 Steph A March 31, 2011 at 7:25 pm

I like you on facebook! stephanie a….

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16 Steph A March 31, 2011 at 7:25 pm

I follow you on twitter. gnwg

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17 Steph A March 31, 2011 at 7:26 pm
18 Steph A March 31, 2011 at 7:26 pm

I subscribe with google reader!

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19 Steph A March 31, 2011 at 7:27 pm

I subscribe to your emails!

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20 taylorbagels March 31, 2011 at 8:45 pm

I do Follow you twitter.com/_abrokencompass on twitter as electricisland
electricisland(at)gmail.com

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