A blog post a day…
Every day I write a blog post in my head. I’ve been thinking about some really interesting things – like how it takes generations to create a family and how real, genuine love is inconvenient. I’ve been thinking about motherhood and anger and how we dismiss it too often and too easily.
But these blog posts have taken up resident in my sleep-deprived brain; locked away until the magic moment when I can drink enough coffee to actually make me feel awake or behold, I get to sleep uninterrupted.
Three weeks ago I took Bear to the pediatrician absolutely desperate for some sleep for our whole family. We arranged a temporary approach and I made an appointment with an ENT specialist – three weeks away. The same day Bluey was diagnosed with chicken pox (which the hospital doctors later told us hadn’t actually been chicken pox at all) and he was poorly and unsettled overnight for most of that week. Then we ended up with him up in hospital with bronchiolitis and I was either sleeping on a hospital couch or doing quick overnight stints at home to sleep while he was in ICU. Neither of those options make for good sleep. Since we’ve been home he’s been readjusting (read: sleeping horribly overnight) which culminated with him sleeping in 45minute blocks on Friday night. The Architect and I finally experienced what countless parents have experienced before us – a baby that simply would not sleep without being held.
While I love sleeping with Bluey it’s not a good long term option – he doesn’t sleep that well when he’s in with, The Architect sleeps terribly and my sleep is very broken. We all just need some true rest.
We live in a small house and our kids all share a room. There is not a parenting resource anywhere (that I have found in my admittedly fairly limited research) that provides advice and recommendations to families in this situation. Every parenting and sleep resource I have assumes that your child has their own room (or is in your room).
Last night The Architect was found for the second night in a row driving him around the streets in the middle of the night to get him to sleep. He got him home around 2am, brought him inside and the moment he went into his cot he promptly woke up (of course!). Bear was already awake having had a coughing fit, so given that the worst case scenario (Bear would wake up and then be awake for hours) had already happened we decided to let him cry.
I gave him the occasional cuddle and pat as well as a feed and nappy change to be sure he was comfortable and then I stayed with Bear (a whole 1.5m from Bluey’s cot) and snuggled with him and kept him quiet. Of course, when Bluey finally started to drift off, Bear would comment on it nice and loud which then set Bluey off again. So Bear and I got up and snuggled in the lounge room reading books giving Bluey the space he needed to drift off. (Bliss was a champ and slept through the whole thing, even when Bear decided to squish into bed with her when I stepped out of the room). All in all it took 45mins for Bluey to get to sleep and he then stayed asleep IN HIS OWN BED until 7.30am.
But of course, dear Bear – once he is awake he is awake and so it wasn’t until after 4.30am that I managed to crawl back into my bed.
While these past two nights have been the most extreme, I wish I could tell you that they were isolated moment.
I almost wrote this brain dump at 4am this morning while I sat desperately praying, willing Bear to go to sleep. I don’t even know how to pray about sleep anymore …there’s a whole blog post about my reflections on prayer and sleep that one day might escape the locked up box it currently lives in in my mind. The idea that one day I might actually get to sleep again is beyond my ability to imagine at this point.
My parents are going to look after the kids for a couple of nights in a couple of months so that we can go away for our anniversary. I am holding on to that moment sooooo tight – we just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other until then.
This week our three weeks are up and instead of having had three weeks reprieve from a toddler that doesn’t sleep we have just swapped him for a baby that doesn’t sleep. I’m too tired to be sure but I think we are in a worse position now than we were three weeks ago. This is nothing that hasn’t been experienced by parents all around the world but it doesn’t make it any less crappy.
Are you getting much sleep at the moment?