Whilst our 1 year old baby has never been a good sleeper, she has certainly stepped it up a notch over the last few weeks. We are both sick which doesn’t help. Last night, when my husband kindly offered to do the night shift in my place, suggesting he sleep in the room with our little owl I jumped at the chance.
I would sleep (as usual) in our bedroom with our 2.5 year old who is a good sleeper however I wouldn’t have to get up throughout the night as I usually do which inevitably ends up with me sleeping in the babies’ room.
Words cannot express how grateful I was to him for this kind offer, ecstatic at the thought of a few hours’ uninterrupted and blissful sleep especially given I’m was feeling so poorly.
I went to bed placing my ear plugs firmly into position, snuggling down under the covers in excited anticipation of a wonderful, restorative, unbroken night ahead. In the words of Giggle and Hoot;
“Seeeeeee you in the morning”
Unfortunately it didn’t quite pan out like that.
First of all I couldn’t get off to sleep. Something I don’t tend to have much trouble with at the start of the night these days given I’m usually knackered from the night before. Not a regular user of ear plugs, it seems that with a head cold they make you even more aware of your Darth Vader breathing. Once I noticed my heavy breathing I couldn’t stop hearing my own thoughts spinning round and round in my head. I’m sure at least an hour had passed before I eventually must have drifted off to sleep.
“Nooooooooooooooooooo, stop it! I don’t like it”
I am abruptly woken. Startled I sit up and see our eldest is wriggling around in her cot shouting, obviously in the middle of a terrifying nightmare (probably involving her sister trying to steal her beloved pink unicorn or teddy bear).
She has had a few of these nightmares recently but usually earlier on in the evening. I remember the first couple of times I was quite alarmed by it and desperately wanted to pull her out of the cot, wrapping my arms around her to comfort her. However, I have heard that it’s best to leave them if they are asleep and on the few times she has had nightmares they don’t seem to last long before she appears to be back in peaceful Lah Lah land.
Once her screaming and fidgeting had stopped (it wasn’t for long), sighing I relaxed and lay back down. I’m pretty sleepy still so should drift off into a deep relaxing sleep easily and hey, one awakening is still heaps better than the usual 6.
I’m woken again, it feels like seconds later but I have no idea how long it’s been or what time it is. When it comes to sleep I have strict rules not to look at my clock so I don’t obsess about the amount/lack of sleep I’m getting. Having suffered with insomnia for a few months several years ago I’m fully clued up on what to/not to do when it comes to sleep.
‘’Dummy, dummy, dummy”
Dragging myself out of bed using my phone’s torch (I only recently discovered my iPhone actually has a torch feature, not sure how many years I have spent scrabbling around in the dark with just the light from my phone). I locate the dummy, pass it to her and hear her contentedly sucking away on it again like Maggie from the Simpsons
I crawl back into bed and attempt sleep again for the 3rd time of my so called unbroken night of sleep. I Feel myself getting slightly more stressed, the pressure building to get to sleep and make the most of my night off. Of course, I can’t sleep. This is exacerbated by the build-up of snot in my nose which is making it impossible for me to breathe (unable to take Sudafed whilst breastfeeding I stick to the old fashioned method of hankies and Vicks).
From this point on I drift in and out of a light and unsatisfying sleep, waking again for a sneezing fit and then again because I’d given up on the earplugs and heard the baby crying in the other bedroom. It’s now 5.30am.
Fearing the baby will wake the eldest (who usually stirs quite easily from 4am onwards if disturbed) and not ready to have her start her day yet, I admit defeat. I stumble across the apartment to the bedroom where my husband is trying to console the crying baby (she has serious attachment issues to Mummy that we need to work on).
And that was my night off, you can imagine what a night on duty is like at our house.
Fear not, my wonderful Mum is arriving from the UK on Wednesday and I shall be happily taking her up on ALL offers of help. Ensuring that both my husband and I get a few more nights off however minus any little people in the room.