Monday, 23 June 2014

Sleep deprived

All I wanted tonight was to go to bed early. When I say early I mean some time before midnight. I can't remember what it's like to find myself tucked up in bed, every task for the day completed, not scrambling to do last minute jobs, carelessly dozing off before the beginning of a new day. I also can't recall life before coping on an average of five hours sleep. Oh, how I long for those lazy Sundays spent hanging out in bed in my pjs, taking a long afternoon nap only hours after a late breakfast. I miss those days. I don't think I truly appreciated those days until now. 

Gracie has hit another rough sleeping phase. Can you tell? We just had ourselves all sorted out with a fabulous routine and then BAM, we're starting from scratch again. This time around it's hard.  Sleep digression at this age feels personal. It feels like rebellion. She fights so hard to stay awake. She claws and bites and cries.  And I have really taken it to heart. I have felt useless. How can I not settle my own child enough to ensure she gets adequate sleep?  I have felt cranky. Why can't it just all work the way it used to? I have felt depressed. Will it ever get better?  I don't think I'm cut out for all this! I have gotten so inside my own head. And right now it's not the shiniest, most uplifting place to be. 

I recognised this darkness almost immediately and I reached out. I reached out my big sister, who reassured me this was all normal and that all babies go through sleep patterns, several hundred times over. And that it's ok to feel horrid, as long as you're still talking about it and asking for help.  I also reached out to a group of fabulous parents-post-infertility bloggers, who shared with me some really helpful articles and advice for coping with this rough patch.  Through reading these articles I learned that our little Gracie is just adapting to her new memory function, object permanence. She has learned how to miss us when we're not around. And how confusing that can be when you don't understand it. She is also in the middle of a major growth spurt, which has be prompted by her desire to be an early walker. And on the eve of her turning eight months old she's also teething again.  Through every long night and frustrating bed time all I could think was "why is she doing this to me?"  And yes, I know how illogical that sounds considering I am the adult and she is the child. But sleep deprivation does that. It is a nasty, cruel form of attack on your mind and your body. You don't think logically. All you can think of are ways to become unconscious as soon as humanly possible, and anyone standing in your way is the enemy. Relationships suffer. Warmth becomes cold.  I was feeling like a shell of my usual self and I did not like who I was becoming. 

I am thankful I have people to cry out to, people I can call day and night to cry to and ask for help.  I'm not sure how I would coping if it wasn't for them. Parenting is so hard! I love my daughter so very much. But I am not a perfect parent and some days are not fun. And that is something I am learning is ok. That is something I am reconciling every day, because to think it makes me feel guilty.  We did everything in our power for three years to ensure that this little girl existed, and now I feel like this.  It is a hard reality. But it is a true reality that I am sure many others would agree with. And I am working on it. 

I am tired. I am tired because I am her Mother. And if she is awake and unsettled there is nothing I care about more than making sure she feels comforted and safe. I am tired because I give her my everything.  I am tired because on top of being her Mum I am also a wife and I am doing my best to not that that relationship fall by the wayside.  I am tired because this is all so new and terrifying and exciting. But it's ok to be tired and it's even more ok to admit it and ask for help. 

We have a long way to go to perfect sleep. And it's only going to get harder before it gets easier because introducing new routines can be so tricky and exhausting.  But I've even told it's all worth it and everyone will benefit in the long run. 

I hope you have someone to talk to when you need it most. 
I hope you know it's ok to say things are a bit too hard and you need help. 
I'm sorry it's taken me so long to write a post, but I'm sure now you understand why. 
Reach out, let me know you're still hanging in there. I'd love to head from you! 

1 comment:

  1. You know I am here. I hope things are getting better. She will go in cycles. At 18 months, cooper is still going through them. At his age now though, I feel comfortable letting him work out the issues before bed. He can usually get over my leaving him to sleep, but if I have to go back in to kiss him I will. You are doing the right things. Keep reaching out and get a sitter if you need one. <3