My name is Renee and I need more sleep.

My name is Renee and I need more sleep.

When Poss can’t sleep we look for ways to make it easier. Some work. Some don’t. And frustratingly they can be the same ones just on a different day, or with a different anything.

And while we’re back on a good dose of Melatonin, sleep is still a battle that I feel like we’re losing.

When she was a tiny baby she didn’t sleep either. We rocked her, we held her. I sat by her cot for hours on end, with a hand on her back as she tried to sleep. Any movement would wake her in screaming howls. She needed to know we were there. Always.

Sleep school, sleep books, sleep experts. Control crying, cry it out, cuddle her, feed her more, feed her less, hold her at all times. Routine, routine, routine. Look for the sleep signs. Embrace the sleep signs. We tried it all with little success.

One day I pushed her up and down the hallway in her pram, hoping the movement would be enough. It wasn’t. I desperately needed a shower, so I pushed the pram into the bathroom and she screamed while I stood there, just letting the water run over my head, muffling the sound of her cries.

She doesn’t cry as much anymore, although that’s not to say she doesn’t cry. Sometimes the frustration she feels at herself for not being able to sleep results in tears. More often it ends in shouting. Her at us for not being able to help her. Us at her for not being able to help her.

So we’re at that point where it’s whatever works.

You want to sleep with every light in the house on? Sure. You want a detailed routine before bed that involves all three of us and 45 toys? Not a problem. Pillows (all of them) need to be arranged just right? Ok.

Let’s think of 50 things that are true, so we can help drive out those anxieties we make up in our head? Ok. My name is Renee and I need more sleep. There’s two things right there.

We do meditations with her. Breathing techniques. Push out her bedtime. We promise to move her into our bed before we sleep. She can’t handle the idea of walking down the hallway on her own if she wakes, when she wakes, in the night. We promise we’ll be going to bed soon.

The weird thing is that it’s just become our normal. There are times when it’s easier, but it’s one of the most constant things about her diagnosis. The lack of sleep that filters through each of us, progressively wearing us down. Made up for in short bursts when we can, fighting about which one of us will get the sleep in.

I speak to new parents and one of the first things that always comes up in conversation is sleep. Do the babies sleep? How many hours? When did they first sleep through? All of those questions are expected, wanted even. A way to bond between parents over a shared experience.

I guess I just didn’t think I’d still be answering them when she was nine.

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Comments

  1. I hear you.

    I was reading up on some health problems I’ve been having, the best treatment – good regular sleep patterns and reduced stress. Bwahahahah
    marita recently posted..Knitting to Save the ChildrenMy Profile

  2. We are lucky, we somehow missed the majority of the sleep issues. Sure, we dropped the day sleep at ridiculous months old, but as long as we stick to the rigid, long winded bedtime routine, generally we all get some shut eye. Food, on the other hand, is our arch nemesis…
    Jane@The Hesitant Housewife recently posted..I Have A Question, Mr Prime Minister.My Profile

  3. Oh boy. You’d have to love her hey?
    What a challenge and what a frustration for even your daughter by the sound of it. If only there was an answer. Wishing you all a change in the winds and many an easy night of slumber x
    Vicki @ Knocked Up and Abroad recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Stuck On The OutsideMy Profile

  4. I don’t want to jinx us, but currently sleep is good.

    I just smile and nod at strangers when they say ‘she looks sleepy’ in her pram. It’s easier than explaining sensory overload to (usually elderly people) who do not want to hear about it 😉
    Christie recently posted..Bliss balls for kids (with 5 ways to boost them nutritionally!)My Profile

  5. Ps. Sending sleepy time hugs
    Christie recently posted..Bliss balls for kids (with 5 ways to boost them nutritionally!)My Profile

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