Thursday, 15 November 2012

Who's Tired?

Hands up if you're tired?

If the thought of summoning enough energy to raise your hand made you just say "meh" then congratulations - you really ARE tired!

We are all. In fact I bet I'm more tired than you! There is a definite competitivie edge to tiredness - are the husbands REALLY as tired as they claim - after all, they get far more (uninterrupted) sleep than we do?

A lady just brought her 14 month old boy in for a browse and told me he hadn't ever slept through - and it brought back all the memories of when T was a baby......he literally didnt sleep and I couldn't make anyone understand how....exhausted doesn't even cover it.........I was.

No doubt I was doing everything wrong - in fact, after an emergency C section, birth plan out the window (hours! HOURS! I spent on that!) I felt like breast feeding my son was the only part of childbirth I had actually got right.

So I fed him on demand. Exclusively, with no formula, for the best part of 18 months. No doubt this caused him to associate feeding with falling asleep and compounded the poor sleep patterns, but I was powerless to resist his anguished screaming. I read all the books, talked to all the health visitors.........but I couldn't let him cry it out.

I felt like a drama queen, when faced with all the other mothers, who were smugly relating what a great relief it was to have "cracked it". Well, I never managed to "crack it." I think T was 7 by the time he finally went to sleep in his own bed, without a fuss and stayed there til morning.

I read a report around that time which dealt with sleep deprivation. It informed me that after a year of broken nights, where the minimum amount of "deep sleep" was consistently not achieved, the number of braincells which would die would leave me borderline retarded.

No shit! I could barely remember whether I had put on underwear in the morning. I do remember my hands used to visibly shake and I received precious little sympathy from the husband, who was clearly of the opinion that he had it bad having to go to work every day and at least I was at home all day long.

So, should I have been tougher? Did it have had a detrimental effect on my son to have such a tired mother? Or did he massively benefit from the bonding and extended breast feeding?

I am, orf course, going with the latter - he's now a big strong 15 year old boy of 6'2. And do you know what the real irony is?

Nowadays, I can hardly get him out of bed!!

This is a really relevant article researched in America, based on a family similar to lots of ours - its worth a look.

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