Sleep deprivation is a b*tch
I have eye bags under my eye bags. I’m part of #teamnosleep, that elusive group of people who stumble through life on little or no sleep. And when I say stumble…I really mean it – I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve walked into bookcases…tables…chairs…due to that little lack of shut eye. And it’s not little – it’s a BIG thing. Sleep provides you with energy to take on the day, get through the crying, soothe the teething and get dressed in the morning. And at the moment I’m getting nada. Zilch. A big fat zero. It’s amazing how well my body has adapted to the lack of sleep. My sad sorry eyes say otherwise though…anyone got any good wrinkle cures?
I often think of other mums up at night…looking at their little offspring with such love but such desperation. I wasn’t prepared for how hard it would be especially at the beginning. When Beau was just a couple of days old I was too exhausted to breastfeed so my partner had to sit behind doing it for me – one hand holding the baby, the other holding said breast whilst I was fast asleep sandwiched in the middle! We spent ages on the internet at 3am googling ‘Why won’t my baby sleep?’; spent a small fortune on a moses basket (never used), gorgeous crib (at least it looks pretty), Ewan the sheep and a Sleepyhead (both useless). We found the only way to get him to sleep is through co sleeping; which works out great for Beau and I and less so for my partner who often finds us both spread out on the bed with little or no room for himself. Luckily we have a comfy sofa…
The lack of sleep is definitely the hardest thing about being a new mum and I don’t feel I was told enough about this when I was pregnant by my midwife. But it does get better. Beau only wakes up 4 times a night now! Sometimes, I feel like he is trying to talk to me with those big blue eyes. ‘Mum I know it’s 3am, I know you fell asleep with me at 8pm (without fail every night), I know this is the third time I’ve woken you up but all I want is to feel your warmth and loving embrace – feel your heartbeat next to mine like I did all those weeks ago in your tummy. My stomach is only tiny and my hunger wakes me up. Oh and I’d like a pint of milk to go with that, please.’
Daytime napping is just as hard. After a feed he loves to fall asleep on me and will wake up if I try to put him down. He then startles all confused and scared – I’ve often seen him laughing in his sleep (probably about milk) and also having some sort of nightmare (also probably about milk). Hey at least it gets me out of doing the washing up if I have a baby stuck to me all the time!
At the moment he has changed from being very calm to extremely unsettled as he is going through some particularly painful teething. That little bit of extra sleep would be great help right now as seeing his tiny little red face all screwed up in pain breaks my heart. Not even Sophie la Girafe can help. I’m currently reading The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley (here), as recommended by a friend. It’s nice to hear a sympathetic voice as every mum has been through this at some point (apart from the lucky ones whose babies sleep through!) It is hard work but we will come through the other side. Until then I’ll just keep on walking into things, starting sentences and forgetting halfway through what I was talking about and generally speaking absolute nonsense. And making an appointment to fix those eye bags is definitely on my to-do list. I’ve definitely killed more than a few brain cells with having a baby…but I wouldn’t have it any other way. #teamnosleep