May 09, 2006

Sleep deprivation…

…is definitely a form of torture. The night before last I found myself almost in tears at 4am begging this frustrated, unhappy, kicking little bundle to go to sleep, having spent 5 solid hours feeding, rocking, singing, cuddling, holding, winding, nappy changing… You name it, we tried it. Eventually he dozed off at 4.30, giving my husband 2 hours sleep before he had to get up for work, though he woke up for a feed around 5.15, went off to sleep again about 5.45, woke up again at 7.30 and decided it was time to get up for the day at 8am. When the postman came with a parcel around 11am and looked at me quizzically in my dressing gown before saying "Are you still not dressed?' I could have taken a swing at him. All manner of answers went through my mind, some of them unrepeatable, but I started politely explaining that I hadn't had a chance before coming to my senses, realising I didn't have to answer to him, rolling my eyes and shutting the door.

That's probably the worst night yet, though it isn't affecting me as badly as it used to. At least I'm over the baby blues which hit me a couple of weeks after he was born. Somehow, when he laughs or smiles at me, I forget how rough I feel and everything is right with the world again. Mother Nature isn't stupid – this has to be the way, otherwise we'd never reproduce. It still amazes me though.

- 4 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Some people say give babies a little water instead of milk if they're waking up too much for the security of a feed so that they learn that it's pointless yelling if they're only going to get water. Feeding on demand is all very well but it shouldn't turn into blackmail/extortion!!

    How are you fixed for family close by? They can help out by giving you a break. An afternoon to yourself to give yourself some attention or to catch up on sleep can do wonders for you. As can giving your husband the baby at weekends. It will be worth it for him, too, if you both catch up on sleep. (This probably isn't the place for a debate about Mother Nature in the Age of Consumerism!!)

    And then there's Calpol, the magic elixir… though maybe your little one is a bit too young at the moment!

    But… (please don't get cross with me here) don't be afraid to admit you're knackered. These days, Mum's are meant to be some kind of super women from the word go. But that's not how it is, though how many people will admit to it?

    One day (oh happy day), you will think it really was worth all the bad nights when they do something really aawww inspiring! Look forward to that, it will be worth it.

    09 May 2006, 15:42

  2. Hey, I only have 7 days of sleep left before my first rears its head into the world :)

    I know you are only joking and that all babys everywhere sleep 9 hours a night, poo once and are sick only every other day after you have managed to get a muslin towel ready.

    And as for that nightmarish fairy tale of baby poo being runny like peanut butter; I am sure that cannot be true. I expect they are just little parcels of love :)

    09 May 2006, 16:07

  3. Seriously though, as Richard mentioned, we noticed there is still a tendency to overload the mother.

    It doesn't help that all the eldery folk seem to think they all managed to raise their 15 children on 3p a week, keep the house shiny clean and have the washing, ironing and cooking done by the time the wage holder walked through to door to sit in his chair with his pipe, slippers and faithful dog.

    I think such people are in even more a fairy land than my previous post :)

    If you can, please take a break. It will be good for you, your baby and your partner.

    09 May 2006, 16:11

  4. Fortunately I go out at least one evening a week which gives me a bit of time to regain my sanity, though my family are a good 2 hours drive away, so less useful in that respect, however, it does mean that when I go down South for a weekend I can have a bit of a holiday. It's a bit far to go for a babysitter though! I am happy to admit that I am knackered, but the sun has got his hat on and I'm much cheerier now than I was. Old folk do make me laugh – sooooo many little old biddies have tried to give me advice – even random strangers in the street – it's a whole new world.

    Good luck Colin – you'll love it. Or something. Even now I can already say that the runny poo, sick and sleeplessness are worth it, so enjoy it – I'm already wondering where the last 9 weeks went.

    10 May 2006, 18:04

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