Sleep Deprivation Sucks

No Sleep Is Hell
No Sleep Is Hell

 

Sleep deprivation sucks. That sums up the past nine months really. However I know you aren’t here for a three-word blog post so I’ll waffle on about how little sleep I have had in the past nine months below. That makes it sound so trivial, but it has been one of the most physically and mentally draining things I have ever had to deal with…

The number-one sentence I will never utter to a mum/dad to be is, ‘Sleep now, because you won’t when baby arrives.’ It was the single most irritating bit of advice I received and I heard it over and over again. Geez I knew I wouldn’t get much sleep, I would just nap when the baby napped right? I mean I am GOOD at napping (still am), disrupted sleep won’t be that much of a biggie.

But now I GET IT. I now get why parents say this.  Yes you might have experienced the tiredness of staying out partying before a 7.30am shift as a student, but hells bells that is nothing compared to the level of tired having a child brings. Every parent will have experienced this, especially in the new born days when you wake them up every 3-4 hours to feed. However (and I might piss a few people off by saying this) but I definitely think that some babies are worse at sleeping then others, and I feel like a bloody sleep  deprivation veteran after nine months with baby R.

I didn’t sleep for a full 48 hours after my waters broke. A fifteen hour labour was followed by a night in the ward where my baby wouldn’t sleep unless I was holding him. If I laid him in his plastic cot he would cry, none of the other babies on the ward were crying, so I sat up alone with him that first long, long night.  Naively I envisaged going home, having a long nap and then resting and looking after the baby, feeling a lot better.

Not the case. Baby R didn’t sleep for the first two weeks unless me or D were holding him. I usually would sleep for two hours in the evening, then stay up with him all night, before maybe getting another two hours either early morning or afternoon.

When D was preparing to go back to work, me and R camped out in a separate room so  D could get some sleep and I would try and lie him in his Snuzpod. I would excitedly regale D with the night’s antics every morning – ‘he slept in it for half an hour last night! and then another half hour later on!’. My nights would consist of breastfeeding, R sicking up, holding him upright for half an hour to try to keep some milk down, putting him in the Snuzpod, then snatching a few minutes sleep myself before he would wake up and we started again.

I drank a lot of tea and watched a lot of Netflix.

Around 3 am was my worst point, and I would wake D up to make me a mug of tea and a snack and beg him just to talk to me for a few minutes.

I was so scared that I would fall asleep with R in my arms that when I finally did get some sleep I would wake up convinced that he was in the bed. One night I woke up, jumped out of bed, stripped the covers off and was frantically searching for R before noticing he was asleep in the Snuzpod.

One night D woke to me banging my head against the headboard whilst nursing R, he asked me what I was doing and I said it was the  only way I could stay awake. He took R then, but he would only go for two hours before needing milk again.

I don’t know how I got through the first three months. I genuinely don’t. It drove me to the point where I was crying from sheer tiredness, crying because R needed feeding and crying when he cried. Then crying because I was crying and I felt like he shouldn’t have a mummy who cried all the time. Spoiler alert: I’m crying now, it does weird things to you this motherhood lark.

It’s not just being ‘tired’, its a bone aching exhaustion, your mind feels foggy, your body has just been through an incredible ordeal and really you should be tucked up in bed resting. Instead you’ve got a baby hanging off your boob, visitors left right and centre, and all the other usual life admin to get done.

A lot of arguments between D and I didn’t help either. Being tired makes me short-tempered and it was D I took it out on. And I can be a nasty little bitch when I want to. We really struggled to communicate. We barely saw each other as I would be trying to cram some sleep in on an evening when he got home from work, and then we would be straight into witching hour with R crying and one or the other of us pacing up and down trying to calm him .

Those were awful awful times, we both said horrible things to each other, and we hurt each other. Rather than pulling us together as a family there were moments where I truly thought having a baby might break us. But it didn’t. I don’t think there was one particular moment, but we gradually learnt how to get through it together. We talk more now, and if I am worn out and grouchy I tell D rather than snapping at him.

For those of you reading this think holy bloody hell, this woman is depressing me,  it does get better. R is nine months old now, we are yet to have a night where he sleeps through, but we are slowly getting there. At the moment we tend to only have a couple of wake ups throughout the night although the mornings do start between 5-6 am. The best thing is that me and D are so good right now, we have a better routine, we share the housework, and we pull together to make sure all three of us are rested and happy.

There’s still bad days, when I am so tired that I put the olives in the drawer and the clingfilm in the fridge, but we get through them – one mug of coffee at a time.

Speaking of, R is napping…time for a brew, B xx

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6 thoughts on “Sleep Deprivation Sucks”

  1. Oh god I hear ya! Jordan used to sleep on the sofa in the first few weeks (and he’s gone back to the sofa this week too) so he could sleep. He’s had a full nights sleep since Emily was born but I don’t think I’ve had one since finding out I was pregnant!
    Oh and the visitors as well! If I ever have another baby I’m putting my foot down. No visitors for 2 weeks, and if you are coming then you can fuck off home after an hour. I don’t know what it is about having a baby but people automatically assume you want them to come round all the time? No thanks. Maybe I’m just miserable?

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    1. I’m glad its not just me! My friends seem to be blessed with babies that do a full night and I’m over here like a lil’ zombie. Danny is having full nights at the moment .as he doesn’t hear R wake up and its just easier for me to do the settling. Does Jordan hear Emily if she cries? And YES to the visitors. I’m going to become a hermit if we have another baby, people can drop off food supplies and thats it!!!

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      1. Jordan can sleep through ANYTHING. It’s so frustrating haha! They sometimes disturb each other but they BOTH disturb me. Emily wakes up up to 8 times a night so you’re definitely not on your own!

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