Have you ever had one of those moments when you realize that something you thought was going to be temporary has become permanent? I had one at three in the morning a few weeks back when I realized that Cameron just has horrific sleep habits and that this is no longer a passing phase. It was a bit of a crushing realization, but at the same time I’ve actually known its the truth for a while and have just been merrily rowing down that river known as ‘Denial’.
One of the possible reasons for my four-month long river cruise is that initially I thought Cameron was going to be a good sleeper. I read the Sleep Sense book shortly after he was born and it seemed so simple. When he started sleeping for a 6-7 hour stretch at three months, just as the book recommended for his age, I thought, ‘Hey, no problem! This is easy.’ In fact, when I saw on Facebook that a friend was going to a sleep consultant I even had the arrogance to think, ‘Shame, I wonder where it wrong?’
And then February arrived and with it Cameron’s growing appetite. In my quest to push through with exclusive breastfeeding until he was six months old, I just started feeding him whenever he woke. Which was every two hours. That’s where it all went pear shaped for me and four months later the situation is the same. My nine-month old is waking more frequently now than he did as a newborn and its really no joke.
You expect a level of sleep deprivation as a new parent and consequently I sometimes get the feeling that people aren’t really taking me seriously when I complain about being tired. But this is ‘tired’ on a whole new level, and the consistency of it over a period of months has left me utterly ragged. So yes, I may sound like a stuck record with my perpetual statement of ‘I’m tired’ but really, those words just don’t convey the extent of my exhaustion. And I’m too tired to think of ones that do.
I recently read a post on one of my favourite blogs, Science of Mom, called ‘Sleep deprivation – the dark side of parenting‘ and that, combined with desperation, started me on the process of getting out of that river. So I’ve found a sleep consultant. It is costing a fair amount of hard cash but my sanity and the health of Cameron and I is priceless. Oh, and did I mention that it’s the same lady my Facebook friend used? Now that’s humble pie, but I’m happy to eat it.
P.S. Our session with the consultant is only next week Wednesday so you’ll have to watch this space for a while.