I would like to be able to tell you how much sleep I got last night but it is difficult to quantify. Thirty seconds here, 5 minutes there. If I was lucky I may have got a 30 minute stretch but its all just a blur. In-between my attempts to sleep were the interludes of a screaming snotty, teethy, coughy baby. I tried everything known to desperate sleep deprived mums around the world…short of chucking him out of the window (I did very briefly consider it). As the night wore on I was like a Zombie trying to measure out 5 mil spoonfuls of Calpol in half light and spilling the contents of teetha sachets everywhere (It looks remarkably like cocaine but judging by my baby’s reaction, doesn’t have the same effect).
“For the love of God” I cried to no-one in particular APART FROM MY HUSBAND SLEEPING BLISSFULLY NEXT TO ME. It doesn’t help to wake him up though. Unless you want to repeat everything you have just tried but with a critique of how you performed it (grrrr). “Just leave him” says my husband and rolls over again. My husband has very bad hearing, he has had it since a child. He wears a hearing aid during the day and then when he needs to shut out the world he just takes it out – simples. I have slightly wonky hearing too, but not as bad. My right ear can only hear loud bangs and explosions. So If I lie on my left side I can muffle my left ear, which is almost as good as putting ear plugs in. When the ENT specialist talked about my right ear’s capabilities, he didn’t say that it would still be possible to hear a crying baby when I cover my left ear. For the first time ever I envied my husband’s hearing loss.
You can’t just leave him to cry. The rule is leave a crying baby for no more than 15 minutes and if the crying persists then go in and check. Well my son was just warming up in those 15 minutes. So I take him out of the cot convinced he is dying of something excruciatingly painful given the noise he is making. Once in my arms he instantly stops, makes a few big heavy sighs and hiccups and then gives me the biggest gappy toothy grin, aka Elton John. Almost all is forgiven. I rock him in the chair a while and then he finally waves the white flag. I glance at the clock – 3am.
Then I hear another noise, little voices whispering. Lack of sleep can do funny things to you. However it turned out to be my daughter and her sleepover buddy. “Girls be quiet” I hiss. They quite wisely obey. I then go back to bed fall to sleep immediately and then awake again to my baby boy’s cries – its still dark, still night and as I glance at the clock I realise its only 3:05. Then it all started again. When morning came I was like a vampire shying away from the light. Hubby was up feeding the little monster and fending off cries of “We’re hungry” from my daughter and her friend. I just about managed to get myself upright out of bed but then I was out of sorts the whole day. At breakfast I dropped my spoon and then hit my head on the table as I stooped to pick it up. At the toddler group I was in a corner being as anti-social as a hermit necking back espressos. I managed to grab an hour and a half’s nap in the afternoon while my daughter played and trashed the place and my baby boy FINALLY slept.
I am glad I have written this because I can read it if I ever get broody again. I would kill to have a good night’s sleep – so it’s right to say tiredness can kill!!! The best night’s sleep I had was last weekend when I slept on the sofa after a couple of glasses of wine. Maybe I will try that again………
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