Tag Archives: sleep
The Buggyboard, the electric pump and the tumble dryer.
If you took those things away from me right now, I really would fall into the abyss. You know, the one whose edge you dance around as a new mum? Yesterday morning I was clinging onto the edge by two fingernails, with sore boobs, red eyes and a pickled brain, having had three broken hours sleep. I’d also STUPIDLY had a curry the night before so every feed was making KD crankier and crankier. I didn’t get near the shower until midday – and even then he was in the bouncer seat by the toilet wailing.
THANK GOD for the electric breastpump. I had only found the window to use it three nights previously, having finally pried off the limpet that is my second son, so three bottles of that white gold were sitting in the fridge. And they were non-curry flavoured. A bottle of that, as my hair dripped all over him, was the magic cure, so that he actually lay quietly in his pram while I whipped up scrambled eggs and ate them. Hot! AND put the dishes in the dishwasher afterwards.
Of course I then realised I had nothing to wear. I’d been so busy washing baby clothes in non-bio, towels and sheets for visitors and the Wee Man’s soiled clothes separately (the potty training has reversed since KD came along, though it is improving every day) that all my laundry was still heaped in the basket. I pulled on a pair of joggers that bit into my 6 week post natal belly – a cruel reminder that ‘getting fit’ was yet another thing to add to my endless list. I pulled all the leggings out the basket and chucked them in a quick wash, then tumble dried them, delighted to be able to breathe properly again.
The final trial of the day was collecting the Wee Man from nursery. The rain had eventually stopped so, mindful of the Jogger Incident, I walked up to collect him. I had dreaded this task throughout my pregnancy. He is always knackered after nursery and likely to scream, throw a tantrum or just plain run off into the sunset. I’d tried every bribery tactic and restraining gadget in the book (and often just driven the 500 yards) when turns out all I’d needed was a Buggyboard. Now he kisses KD, jumps on the board and yells “BRRRRRROOOOOOOM” all the way home. I bought it for £25 from a woman on Gumtree who’d never used it and it even came with a little lead to clip it up and out the way. Amazing invention. I’m grateful for it every day.
Oh yeah – and there is one more thing you couldn’t ever take away from me. I mean I suppose I could manage without those three things, if there was a power cut or something, but this thing must always be in my cupboard. There must also always be the two things that go with it, otherwise I’d just end up sitting in the corner rocking and mumbling “twinkle twinkle”.
The muse has temporarily deserted me.
I used to really look forward to writing a new mum blog post, those days something funny happened or life taught me a valuable lesson. It would be a treat to open the laptop, upload the photos and indulge my creative writing hobby while the wee man slept.
Maybe that’s been the problem – the lack of sleep.
The naps – those wonderful oases in our crazy days – are long gone, and this summer the 12-hour-straight slumbers from 7.30pm have also disappeared. Some nights it’s been 9pm before he’s finally conked out, only to be up again three hours later. Those nights there’s just time to eat something before passing out ourselves.
But something else pretty big and important has taken over my life recently, and it’s no exaggeration to say it has totally floored me. Pregnancy.
It’s been a totally different experience from first time round. I haven’t enjoyed it at all. I’ve felt generally under the weather the whole time – bone tired, over-emotional, nauseous, achey and completely lacking in energy. I’ve fought it, of course. I’ve taken the supplements, eaten healthily, drunk lots of water, tried to stay active (even though my pelvis has had to be realigned and I’m doing physio every day) and clung to my perspectacles. I’ve made huge efforts to stay rational, to count my blessings that the baby’s been growing healthily, to control the tears and rages, and to continue to be a good mum to the wee man. It’s been a huge effort, especially for a woman with no energy.
My business, meanwhile, has taken off. It’s been the best trading year yet. It’s been my escape, living three days a week in a world where success can be measured and to do lists can be achieved. I’ve formulated and delivered effective strategies, returned to some proper journalism, met interesting new contacts and received praise for jobs well done. I’ve felt in control and successful, a nice contrast to toddler battles and a body that challenges me in some new way every day.
Now though, I am four weeks away from my due date. I have finally, and reluctantly, gone on mat leave. The wee man has moved up a class at nursery and now goes three and a half days, which are more evenly spread out during the week. We have found a second babysitter – a trainee paediatric nurse who lives locally – and who the wee man loves. The sleeping has improved – though he is still up once or twice through the night – and even I have to admit that the headspace freed up by not working has allowed me to relax a bit.
I’ve bought myself a new notebook, glued the scan pictures into the first pages and started writing lists. Baby names, suggestions from other mums, things to organise before the wee one arrives… and I’m excited! I’m looking forward to having time alone at home to nest. I can’t wait to go through all the wee man’s old baby clothes and wash anything white, yellow or green. I’m delighted the joiner is coming to build a fitted wardrobe in the baby’s room and paint the whole place white. I’m even up for the challenge of scrubbing the pram and car seat.
I feel a sense of achievement already. And maybe the muse is returning…
It shouldn’t be actresses, models or TV ‘stars’ on the cover of magazines – it should be mums. We are so freaking fabulous we deserve people to gasp when they see us. We should be sent free handbags, be placed at the best tables in restaurants and have treats showered upon us.
This morning I woke up thanks to a headbutt from the three year old I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to get back into the habit of sleeping in his own bed. My eyes were puffy from crying at 4am when his endless screaming, kicking tantrum broke me. My curly hair was a fuzzy mess from tossing and turning my six-months-pregnant bulk. I spent the morning in a daze and was so pathetically grateful when my husband handed me a lovely salad for lunch that I burst into tears. Again.
This cannot continue. I am not this woman.
I have been Googling. I cannot understand why my son has turned into a screaming banshee just because we took him on holiday and he had to sleep in a few different places.
So far the reasons I’ve come up with are:
1 he’s acting up because I’m pregnant
2 he’s having tantrums because he can’t express himself verbally and he wants to be in our bed
3 he’s having night terrors
4 he’s asserting his independence
5 he’s overtired
6 he’s going through a growth spurt
Well, I can’t do anything about number 1 or 6.
Number 2: yes, but too bad, he’s not getting his way.
3: OK, apparently the way to deal with this is to note when these happen, wake him ten mins before with a drink and reset the sleep pattern. [sigh].
Number 4, yes I understand that, and it’s probably linked to number 5, so I will redesign the bedtime routine slightly.
I’m also aware that letting him come into bed with us at 6.15am, after resolutely returning him to his bed twice or three times during the night, is probably confusing matters. My reasoning is, at 6.15, I only have two options: Get up for the day or Bring him in where he’ll fall asleep immediately, sleep for two or three more hours and be much more manageable for the rest of the day.
I mean, what would you do?
I am already dreading tonight. My patience is shot to hell. I’m tired. I’m pregnant and therefore overly emotional. I’m also back at work tomorrow. But I will dredge up some strength from the depths of my bruised soul and just have faith that this too shall pass.
If anyone wants to send me a handbag as an incentive, I’d be most grateful.
Summer cheated on me – it abruptly ended our brief love affair in a fortnight of gray skies and relentless rain.
At the same time, the wee man ended his love affair with breast milk. A few days of fussiness led to a day of complete rejection. I tried one more time and he bit me. My mother-in-law grabbed her own boobs in horror, I gasped like a landed trout and that was the end of that. To top it all off, he had a rare sleepless night and, as I was sharing a room with him at my parents’ house because Rod was in Aberdeen overnight, so did I.
As I trudged downstairs at 7am to make his bottle, I was grumpy as hell – and then I opened the curtains.
Glorious sunshine greeted me, beaming from fresh blue skies. Delighted, I packed him into the pram and headed for the park. It was like summer had to be properly washed away before autumn could assert itself.
The trees are just beginning to turn, there are still colourful wildflowers hiding in amongst the foliage and the ducks seem optimistic. So I will take my cue from them.