Ever since September 3,1998, I have been a light sleeper. Six straight years of pregnancy and nursing will do that to a person. (FYI, exclusive nursing does not guarantee a hiatus from pregnancy.)
We never used a baby monitor. I woke enough with their hunger/puke/poop/ear infection/can't find my pacifier cries. I didn't want to be awoken every time a baby sneezed.
By the time each child turned one, he was a great sleeper. One would think that at the point they all were one or older, I'd finally get some sleep. One would be wrong.
My body was so used to getting up all night, I couldn't just switch it to sleeping all night.
Plus, even the best sleepers have occasional bad nights. Wetting the bed, nightmares, coughing fits, and lost blankies are going to happen sometimes. Multiply the number of kids times the number of occasional bad nights, and you have very few good nights for the mom.
Now, some of you may wonder, why didn't Hubby take care of some of the nighttime issues?
Well, because I learned early on that Hubby is useless in the middle of the night.
First off, he sleeps like the dead.
An example of how hard he sleeps:
One night, a baby cried and woke me up. As I was getting out of bed, I saw itty-bitty Buttercup sleeping on Hubby's chest. He was on his back, and she was stretched out on top of him, from his chin to his knees. This was very unusual, seeing as how we NEVER invite children into our bed in the middle of the night. I woke him up and asked, "What is she doing here?"
His answer? "I have no idea. I didn't know she was there."
Cross my heart and hope to die, that is exactly how it happened.
One morning he made the comment, "The baby slept well last night." He never made that mistake again. I basically ripped him a new one, screeching, "I go maybe four minutes of sleep last night! You just slept through it!"
So, on those rare nights that I just couldn't get up one more time, I would kick Hubby and say, "Your turn." and roll back over.
I almost always regretted that decision.
He sleeps so soundly, he is completely disoriented when awoken. Combine that with the fact that he cannot see a daggum thing without his glasses, and we have a hit, completely embarrassing Youtube video in the making. Except it's not funny at 2:17am, when I am muttering fortheloveIjustneedsomesleeptakecareofthissoIcanclosemyeyesfortenstinkinminutes into my seldom-used pillow.
If, by some miracle, he makes it to the child's room, he has no flippin' idea what to do. When the kids were babies, he'd try the pacifier or blankie, then give up. If it was a coughing child, he would just leave child, saying there was nothing he could do. No hugging. No cuddling. No lying with the child for a bit. Not because he didn't care, but because his brain just doesn't function when the sun goes down.
Heaven forbid there be a diaper blowout or vomit in the room of the crying child. At that point, Hubby just screams like a little girl. "Help! I need some help in here!" In daylight hours, he is no good with big messes. At nighttime, he just panics. Panics, I tell you. Like the poo or vomit is going to jump up and smear itself all over him, and he is helpless to stop it. I have to get up and calm him down, then give him directions on how to get it all cleaned up.
Bless his heart, he has tried. He tried and tried and tried. Finally I just gave up. I will be awake regardless, so I might as well let him keep sleeping.
Over the last few months, I have realized something about my sleep. If I go to bed at my usual 10:00, I will not be able to fall asleep easily after being awoken by a child or a couple of dogs trying to kill an opossum that wandered into our yard. This leads to exhaustion the next day.
However, if I wait until 11:00 or 11:30 to go to bed, I can fall back to sleep quite easily after a 2:00 Cuckoo bathroom run. Plus, I won't be dragging the next day. So, of course I've been going to bed later these days and sleeping quite well.
Yesterday morning, I mentioned to Hubby that the little boys have been doing well, not getting up to go to the bathroom or anything recently.
He looked at me like I was nuts. "Cuckoo has been up at approximately 2:30 every single night. You've slept right through it."
After 15 long years, my dues have been paid in full.
Hubby is now The Nightwatchman.
The kids may suffer for it, but at this point, I don't know if I care.
I'm getting solid sleep.
And It. Is. Awesome.
Have a lovely day!
Sleep is good! I used to always be the one to get up with the kids in the middle of the night, until I was on bedrest with one of my pregnancies. Then hubby had to, and we just never really switched back (with the exception of middle-of-the-night feeds). John's cure-all for all childhood nighttime wakenings was a glass of water. Amazingly, it seemed to work!ReplyDelete
I have found a water bottle next to the bed to be quite helpful. I guess bedrest has its perks, then?Delete
So glad you're now getting solid sleep. There are studies going on in the UK (and probably elsewhere too) but as I'm in the former, that's where I pick up these items. A recent study by the Univ. of Surrey found that folks who only slept for 5-1/2 to 6hours for one week (length of test) had 755 genes altered as a result. Now, multiply that by the years you've not slept properly, and think of the trouble you've been building!!!! Ignorance may be bliss - but apparently these genes are responsible for obestity (you don't look as though that's a problem right now), immune systems, diabetes likelihood and metabolism shake-up!!! Why do I know all this: have a child (now nearly 40) who hasn't slept properly for 26 years!!! Yup, and she's suffering from a fair few of these things! Think on!ReplyDelete
Found this post interesting - as ever.
Best wishes. Isobel: www.ColdhamCuddliescalling.blogspot.com
Yikes! Glad I'm getting sleep now. I hope it can be retroactive and fix some of the problems!Delete
Good for you! Get it while it lasts.ReplyDelete
That study from the Uni of Surrey sounds terrifying! I wonder if that'll make me go to bed.
I hope so! You need to get your shut-eye, Missy!Delete
Ahhhh! Blessed sleep!ReplyDelete
My husband and I had the very same conversation as y'all did when our son was an infant. One morning, my husband brightly announced how the baby had slept through the night. I gave him the death glare and said no, YOU slept through the night. The baby was up every hour, all night long.
My mom said she always prided herself on always waking up when she heard one of us as babies. Then, one night, she came out of a deep sleep to the feeling of my dad kicking her. Seems he woke up first pretty much every time one of us cried and kicked her awake.
Hahaha! Your parents are too funny. My parents simply turned a fan on in their room, closed the door, and paid us no mind until morning. They claim the doctor told them to do it. I'm skeptical.Delete
I enjoy hearing how other couples manage life's basic necessities like sleep. Everybody has their own system that works for them, and it sounds like you and your hubby have it worked out quite nicely. In my house, everybody knows if Mama doesn't get her nightly 10 hours-yes 10 hours- ya better stay outta my way or there will be serious hell to pay!!!!ReplyDelete
10 hours!?!?!? Wow. Did your family learn the hard way, then? Do you go to bed really early or sleep really late?Delete
LOL! I've known people who sleep like the dead too. Not good if you need them to have their wits about them at three in the morning, but on the plus side it's very easy to con them into agreeing to do things while they're still half asleep.ReplyDelete
It is also handy to play hilarious pranks on the sleeper.Delete