Let's for a minute discuss the phrase “sleeping like a baby”. It's used to describe a peaceful, deep sleep that you wake from feeling refreshed and ready to go. How on earth this came about is beyond me because now that I have a baby I know they don't sleep like that at all. A newborn wakes every two to four hours for a feed and when this is over there is always a bit of time to crap their pants and spit up a bit of milk. Screaming your lungs out because you've soiled yourself doesn't normally make it's way in to the “sleeping like a baby” image. These are what my nights (and days) are like right now.
Hubby is amazing. In the middle of the night after Tricky has been fed it is Super Dad who changes him and settles him back to sleep – or at least tries to – Tricky has his “witching hour” normally at 4:00am. No amount of nappy changes, singing, patting, rocking or cooing seems to settle him. Then just as suddenly as it all started... silence. Whatever was ailing him passes and he drifts back off to sleep making cute little snorty noises. The cuteness doesn't get rid of the bags under my eyes though, which are now too big for a standard cabin size and must be checked through to the cargo hold.
We are taking comfort in the fact that this stage doesn't last forever. His stomach is currently the size of a walnut and he can only have a little bit to drink before he is full to the brim. Add to this that breastmilk is so easily digestible that it can pass completely through his tiny little system in just over half an hour and you have a recipe for really frequent feeds! Soon though it will expand and the time between feeds will gradually lengthen. Which means I will be able to sleep for more than 45minutes at a time. Pure bliss!
As tired as I am, I cannot get angry at my little Tricky. He doesn't know what is happening – doesn't know what the pain in his tiny little tummy means, doesn't know that the hand pulling out his dummy is his own (yes, I'm a terrible mother who gave her child a dummy – we call it his plug). At this age the only way he can communicate that there is some sort of discomfort is by crying. I try to remember that no matter how frustrating it is for me to not be able to comfort him and get no sleep, how frustrating must it be for him? The poor little tacker is still getting used to this big world.
In the not too distant past, at time like this a dummy was dipped in whiskey to help junior off to the land of nod... turns out though that some people still do this – a woman in the United States has just been sentenced to eight years in prison for giving a nine month old she was babysitting a sippy cup full of wine to help the little boy go to sleep. Whilst it is not something I would choose to do, I can actually understand why some people would dip a dummy in alcohol, but how this chick thought an entire cup full of wine would be anything other than extremely dangerous is beyond me. The little boy had a blood alcohol reading of .33 – that is SIX TIMES the legal driving limit in Australia!!! According to Wikipedia, readings of .35 and above are associated with coma and death and 50% of cases reaching 0.40 will prove fatal. In my mind what makes this worse is that the woman was only in charge of the child and his siblings for five hours – she had not endured days or weeks of a screaming child. How could you be so impatient with such a tiny, innocent creature?
So I've had my rant and thanks, I feel a bit better. I will continue to have sleepless nights for a while but it could be much worse. I have a healthy baby, a supportive family more than willing to cuddle Tricky for a few hours so I can have a nap, and a wonderful husband who does not “babysit” - he cares for his child. I'm luckier than a lot of people out there, and that thought gets me through... well that and a bit of chocolate.
What got you through the sleepless nights?