Friday, 17 September 2010

Sleep and deprivation

A little while ago I can remember being able to sleep. I could sleep in until whatever time I liked or I could stay up all night out of choice.

Oh how the tide changes.

In a heartbeat my sleeping abilities changed. Drastically. Almost overnight if you like!

Once pregnant, I was uncomfortable and hot. Once my little T arrived, sleep was for the weak. Many a night we spent up doing the night-shift together. Taking it in turns to change the moses basket after my little darling threw up most of his feed (this now has the tag of "reflux" which wasn't a term in vogue when he was born!), or our bed as we were so bleary eyed it got pee'd on! I would feel guilty that the baby woke daddy and he would feel guilty that I should have to do it all. So we both did. Fair's fair.

As luck would have it by 4 weeks old we could get him to sleep an 8 hour shift. By 3 months we could get that 8+hr shift going through the night and then we were laughing. Even teething didn't really seem to disturb him too much sleep wise.

Until just after his 1st birthday that was. Baby number two had sent us a little blue line message and then the fun and games with pregnancy insomnia started pretty much immediately. Working part-time left me flat out exhausted and day time naps were a delight. Night time brought a new realm of uncomfortableness.

We introduced lots of pillows into the bed. The largest was nicknamed "Pedro" by my husband as it took the place of him in the bed!

The most difficult pregnancy comfort wise was followed by a baby that just wouldn't sleep. Colic was the bain of our lives and our marriage took a serious dent. This child was breaking us. Or was it the sheer lack of sleep? At 12 weeks we prayed for the day our child would sleep, wind free, throughout the night. It never came. I was broken through being up nearly all night with a baby that wouldn't be soothed by his father and up all day with my now toddler energised eldest son.

When J was only 4 months old, we had another blue line event. Yes I was pregnant with our third child. Not just a little bit pregnant either. Working back, baby 3 was conceived when J was little more than 8 weeks old. How we had time to do THAT I'll never know. The opportunities to sleep were far outweighing the need for any other nocturnal activities!

My third pregnancy was a little bit of a revelation. Not only did my second born suddenly accept and bond with his father, but my mind and body slept through the discomforts of pregnancy. I'll never know if either had a choice in the matter or if the over exertion of 2 lively little boys left me with no choice but a coma-like state at the end of each day.

I have debated in the past that perhaps, just perhaps, the hormonal differences between carrying boys and girls may have had an effect on the different pregnancies I experienced. During this pregnancy, however, I didn't care. I got to sleep. My second son didn't, and neither did my husband.

When baby no 3 arrived, a girl and named V. She came home the following day and low and behold my second born slept. through. the. night. OH HALLELUJAH!

So did she. Well, until 5 am but who's fussy?

So the subtle differences in baby's sleeping habits certainly realm at different ends of the spectrum. It is evident that no 2 babies are alike. The waking habits are also very different. My eldest is up with the lark, day in, day out. Nothing can make this child sleep in.

Four years on, nothing has changed. Apart from one small but significant factor. He now asks to go to bed when his is tired. This is certainly a revelation on my part having battled them all into bed for most of their tiny little existence. My lovely daughter will happily indicate that she is tired or fall asleep on a clothes line, idyllic springs to mind. My boys need constant stimulation and activities and still never tire. Until now.

I love school.

1 comment:

  1. My children, all four of the little darlings, hit 9 months of age and decided that this was as good a time as any to ditch the daytime naps.
    Dispite my desparate begging and pleading, this 'family trait' would only lax if the child/ren were ill.

    Energised like a Duracell Bunny, my kids just didn't and still don't stop, from the second they wake in the morning to the minute they fall asleep in exhausted heaps on their beds.

    School didn't faze. Neither did daytrips, long walks or any other activity I could think up.

    Nowadays they are still no better, they will arrive home from school exhausted but will keep running about the house until their bedtime surrender.

    You have my sympathy! x