Rafe: "Think we should let mum get some sleep Little Oz."
Elijah: "Ok mate, leave it with me......."
It’s like I have a different baby. Don’t get me wrong Elijah can still can cry like a drill but in the last week he has started to sleep so much better. And yes it’s only been a week but in sleep terms that’s a lifetime! I would say for four solid months it’s been horrendous (no exaggeration) so 7 days of some stretches of 4-6 hours is an actual miracle. These few months it’s been a mix of hourly wake ups, literally no sleep, having him co-sleep most nights, no time in the evening to do anything but settle him, crying – both of us. It’s just an exhaustion that nobody can really prepare you for. We hit a real low when we were away in the Lakes for a long weekend. He did have a viral rash and was obviously unsettled from being away but he literally screamed for three nights solid. Like SCREAMED. No lie. I had three hours sleep over three nights and just had to sit with him in my arms. I really felt at breaking point and really didn’t know what to do. And I just kept doubting myself – what am I doing wrong? I was running on empty and felt desperate. But thankfully, things have taken a turn for the better. I wish I could say this is what I have done - it will work for you. And I'm aware 7 days of better sleeping doesn't make me a sleep guru and it all could change but still wanted to share what I have done that may have helped. I honestly can't put my finger on the exact thing – it could be a number of things. He’s still not exactly sleeper of the year but compared to the constant wake ups he’s soooooo much better. Best night he went down at 7, (cuddled to sleep), did wake up an hour later but settled him, slept through till 1am, had a feed, then back down till 6.15. If anyone who has been following my blog/social media you will know this was like a lottery win. (Though Rafe did wake at midnight and need settling and the bloody dog decided to bark and wake me up but hey, you can’t win them all!).
So here’s some of the changes I’ve made...
It’s so hard as I would read so much about babies and sleep and Google the shit out of sleep programs and then I’d read about babies sleep being developmental and how they will sleep better when they are ready. And when they’re ready to go into their own room. And I forgot that Rafe eventually settled better as I was just so locked into the exhaustion with Elijah and I felt like waiting for this to happen, well it was never going to happen. I wanted miracle cures! Maybe it is all just a case of time with Elijah, or a mixture of all these changes have helped. And like I said earlier, it could all go tits up next week but right now I’m just holding on to this week for DEAR LIFE and hoping it continues. I’m sorry that I haven’t given definitive, life-changing answers but I hope I’ve given some hope!
Cripes, I’ve written a lot here. I could write another blog post on my absolute dread about going back to work, how Rafe is just a joy right now and how I wish I’d done more pelvic floor exercises but I’ll leave it here for now. Massive thank you for everyone sharing all their own experiences and advice with me, it has helped so much.
Till next time,
Royal Marine Wife. Mum to Rafe.