I haven’t had a proper nights sleep for one whole year.
During my last three months of pregnancy, I woke up at least once every two hours (by the end, it was more like at least once every half an hour) either to go for a wee, to push / shove / kick / punch) Dad2babyinsomniac in the hope of stopping him snoring, or to wonder / worry / freak out about how on earth I was going to get this baby out of me.
They say this happens to prepare you for your babies arrival, well not even that could have prepared me for my babies arrival. Iyla was born at 21.58 and we stayed in hospital that night where she lulled me into a false sense of security by staying asleep for most of it. If only I could have done the same, the drugs wearing off meant I was beginning to experience the most pain I had ever been in and the hospital ward I was on made me feel like I was in a scene out of a world war 2 disaster movie. There were sirens going off, babies screaming, nurses running up and down the corridors and curtains being pulled open and closed, not making for the best sleeping enviroment.
The only good thing about it was having a button to press for help, I used it a lot, each time it went something like this -
‘Did you call?’
‘Yes, my babies woken up’
‘And I don’t know what to do’
‘Have you checked her nappy?’
‘No, I can’t move’
‘Okay, I will do it for you’
I could have used one of those buttons at home.
For the first few weeks I didn’t sleep a wink, if Iyla did let me put her down (which she rarely did) then I would spend the whole time checking she was breathing until she woke again. Something in those early days just helps you get through it, hormones, adrenaline, excitement, being so overtired that you are incapable of sleeping, who knows but it’s another way in which mother nature amazes me.
If you follow my blog then you will know about Iylas initial sleep problems and you will also know about how I spoke to a sleep expert who helped me come up with a plan.
The last update I gave on the sleep situation was after carrying out the plan that the sleep expert gave me and it did work, things are 90 per cent better in that Iyla now goes to bed in a cot, in her room and can fall asleep on her own. But it’s the night wakings that are a problem as they are quite frequent and she can’t go back to sleep without me.
Well I say me, more like my nipple, yes nipple as in singular.
Iyla only likes one of my boobs, the right hand side.
I went through a piercing stage when I was a teenager and for some stupid reason had my left nipple pierced, as well as my lip (twice), my tongue and belly button. I have taken them all out now but as a result I have a maggot looking bit of skin hanging out the bottom of my tongue, two holes in my bottom lip, a whole in my belly button and a damaged nipple.
If someone had told me this at the time then I would have laughed in their face and told them I didn’t care, but at least I would have known what to expect in years to come. I can’t say for sure that this is why but it doesn’t produce nearly as much milk as the other one. It’s got worse over time as now she won’t even feed from it at all. As a result my poor right breast is doing it all.
Anyway Iyla has been teething and has had a cold the last few weeks so the waking has increased, but as if that wasn’t enough, someone clearly thought I was still taking more than my fair share of sleep so to add to it, I have now been struck down with insomnia. I don’t think there is anything worse than being tired but not being able to sleep. Last night, I didn’t have insomnia but Iyla did, she woke up at 9.45, 1.05, 3.15, 3.45 and then 5.45 for good. So it just seems that there is always something to stop me sleeping, sleep has deserted me and I want it back. I need it back, lack of sleep is not good for my anxiety, it makes me miserable, snappy and makes my heart beat too fast. Not to mention the fact that I need to eat lots of sugar to try and keep me awake.
I know I need to tackle night feeds like I tackled getting her to go to sleep at bedtime but I’ve been putting it off as it’s so much easier to just feed her. But I have reached the point where I need a proper nights sleep, I wake up feeling pretty good after 5 hours sleep but I want to know how much better I would feel after a full stretch, ideally 8 hours.
So as soon as Iylas cold / cough has gone and her tooth has come through, I am going to tackle the night feeds.
I am on a mission to help us both get a full nights sleep.
I am on a mission to be able to call myself Mum2formerbabyinsomniac…….