Tuesday, 24 November 2015

When Sleep Deprivation and Illness Collide

So a couple of posts ago I apologised for my radio silence and promised to resume weekly posts as usual...then I went quiet again. This is my first post in 8 weeks. I'm sorry to say that motherhood plus self employment and blogging all became a little much for a while and something had to give.

We've had a lot of illness for a start. Not just Baby D but also me and Darling Husband too. Coughs, colds, tummy bugs, even impetigo! As a result of this illness sleeping has been hellish. Baby D has never been the best of sleepers, never the worst either. On a ‘brilliant’ night she’ll wake up once (happens once every few months) on an ‘average’ night she’ll wake two or three times but for a solid 3 weeks she woke every hour - she slept better than this when she was newborn. Bear in mind I’ve had about 480 days of sleep deprivation with the odd good night sleep in there somewhere I started to feel myself going a wee bit crazy.
Baby D is very much a Mummy’s girl when she’s poorly, upset or tired. It’s just the way it is. She’ll only stop crying or screaming if I hold her, Daddy won’t do if Mummy is in the house at times like this. Also with me breastfeeding it makes sense that I’m the one to calm her at night. I actually don't mind...most of the time. I'm thankful that popping her on the boob will never fail to calm her although when you're nursing a poorly child every hour it can get a bit sore. That said I'd go through agony quite happily if it made her feel better.

They say to remember that ‘This too shall pass’ when going through difficult times. Remembering this is so important for me. It’s times like this I believe people resort to leaving baby to cry and whatnot but there’s no way I’m going to do that. Even if my eyeballs are bleeding and my head is about to fall off I’m not leaving her to cry! I feel very strongly about this, but that's a post for another day.

Sleep deprivation is used as torture. No wonder it sends some of us parents round the loop.
There were nights where I’d sit there sobbing, or getting gradually more and more frustrated until it turned into anger then to tears. My poor husband! Luckily he was great and supported me through it. Although as he slept next to me some nights I’d want to punch him for getting a reasonable amount of sleep next to my meagre amounts! There were times where I honestly felt complete despair and the light at the end of the tunnel seemed so far away I couldn’t bear it. I felt like I was losing myself. I became snappy and unreasonable at times. I also started to feel like a failure as a mother and super emotional- crying at everything. And, due to the contagious nature of some of the illnesses we had I wasn’t able to reach out to my support network like breastfeeding group etc so felt very isolated. And of course toddlers still need as much entertainment as normal when poorly! Each day was a bit of a struggle to keep on smiling and trying to keep up the fun and games for Baby D. There were a lot of dog walks!

I'm pleased that I stayed true to my parenting ideals by being there through every tear and waking moment, it was worth it. Now Baby D is finally back to her bubbly, sunshiny self I've almost forgotten the pain.

So, what I'm trying to say in a rambling, nonsensical way is that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. It may feel miles and miles away but you will get there. 

Dawn x

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