I haven’t wanted to admit this as I fear saying it out loud may jinx me, but I think my children now sleep through the night!?!?!
This is, as it is for pretty much every mum in the land, a long time coming and a big fat relief. For me the sleep deprivation started nearly 4 years ago when I was pregnant with Miss 3.
Pregnancy insomnia is so stupid!
Why our bodies do this to us is beyond me. People tell me that it is the body’s way of preparing us for the sleeplessness that comes with caring for a newborn.
I mentioned it to my Obstetrician at the time and he just laughed at me. So I am guessing there is little scientific proof to the theory.
There is however, proof that as an older mum (I was 40 when I fell pregnant to Miss 3) you get a lot more tired than your younger counterparts. So being a clinical geriatric mum, suffering pregnancy insomnia and newborn baby related sleep deprivation and having a mere 7 months between pregnancies left me slightly (understatement) bonkers.
There were days where I had such little sleep my vision blurred, my bones ached and I just wanted to fall in a heap and cry. Every night I would go to bed and pray that tonight would be the night that I got a refreshing night’s sleep. I even went to the doctor to talk about coping strategies, but sadly there are none. Sure, I could take a sleeping pill and let Daddy look after the wake ups, but I was so overwrought with lack of sleep that sleeping pills didn’t work very well and the girls would generally wake me up before they’d every wake Mr Heavy Sleeper.
So, in the end I decided to do the only thing I could do, suck it up! So suck it up I did. I tried my hardest to ignore my blurred vision and aching bones and stop moaning about it and just get on with it. Don’t get me wrong, it was easier said than done, but complaining about it just made it worse and focussed on the negative.
During this time, I also continued to work on teaching the girls to sleep. The older one was taught how to think positive thoughts to self settle. Thoughts like if she ran an ice cream factory what flavours would she make, or how she could build the biggest sandcastle in the world. You know, fun and happy stuff.
With Miss 2, who is my greatest challenge, I tried the sleep school style patting and shooshing, the slowly walking out of the room and shooshing, sitting at the end of her bed and shooshing, sitting on a footstool and shooshing. Now I am the loudest and most powerful shoosher in town!
But somehow it all worked!! My efforts over the toughest of years paid off. Plus time.
So now it has been over a week where I put the girls to bed and they fall asleep and wake up AFTER the sun rises.
For all those mums out there who aren’t quite at the this turning point, let me just tell you, it is a wonderful feeling getting a good nights sleep night after night. One night is lovely, but lots of nights in a row puts you in a different dimension. Everything just seems brighter and happier and shinier. I would also like to say that you too will get there, and whenever that time is, I hope you feel as thrilled by back to back good nights sleep as I am.
So it’s happy days for me right now. Very happy days indeed.