I’m exhausted. I tweeted someone on Saturday asking for her secret to getting her baby to sleep through, mentioning that after nine months of insomnia whilst pregnant and fourteen months of broken sleep, I was now feeling desperate. Make that an understatement. I may as well have asked my old self because I was once in posession of one of those babies that slept. The big one never murmered from the age of around six weeks. I’m ashamed to say I thought that was normal. I never knew what hard work a baby could really be.
My son and I have ‘enjoyed’ a rocky relationship with sleep, its fair to say. In the first days, he would sleep for only forty minutes, day and night, before waking and screaming for a couple of hours. As he got older, and medicated, he slept for longer periods but then I started to suffer more and more from anxiety. I actually became obsessed with how much sleep I would get. After settling him back in his bed, I would calculate how much sleep I was likely to get if he woke four hours later. And then it would be an hour later so I would adjust my timings and before I knew it he was awake again and I hadn’t slept a wink. I quickly became quite ill and, perhaps sensing it, the baby started to sleep through!
For two glorious months, he slept quite literally like a baby. Cue insomnia. I would wake at ridiculous times and worry that I had heard him cry. I would check on him and sometimes accidentally wake him, letting myself in for a couple of hours worth of screaming. I learnt to stay in bed when I woke and instead, tried to calm myself with the thought that at least I was resting, if not sleeping.
Just as I was starting to relax- and sleep- he stopped sleeping. He stopped eating. He started getting a virus here and a tummy bug there. Today I have been told he is once more getting over tonsilitis- his third bout. He isn’t napping. He is clinging. He is refusing to eat. He is waking two to three times a night and wanting milk. And guess what? When he’s back in bed I’m back to worrying about getting to sleep.
Viscous circle? Will it end? How can I be a mum today when I feel like a paper doll, just floating around the house instead of making footprints?
I know that tomorrow is a new day… I just wish it had some rest before it.