I’ve been sleeping, which is a great start, and if you read my previous post you will understand how marvellous this is. David and I night-weaned our little one last week – and I never would have dreamed on Monday last week that it would be possible for me to spend a night away from the baby by Friday, but that is what happened and it was a delicious treat! I took a book to bed at 7:15 and read undisturbed until I fell asleep. Then I woke up in the morning and kept reading – undisturbed. A full night sleep.
After such a long time of disturbed sleep, night weaning seemed like my only option, and it happened surprisingly quickly. David agreed to stay up with me for as long as necessary to support each other through the inevitable tears and screams that were going to come. Yes, we let her cry to sleep, but not on her own. She cried – and screamed and writhed in anger – in our arms – and we held her and hugged her and whispered and sang to her until she had no more cries left. It was challenging, and heart wrenching, but she was never left alone in her despair, and in fact over the next few days it seemed as if she was unable to go to sleep at all until she’d had her supported cry, as if she was asking for the opportunity to express herself. A release and a relief followed by a rest. She was sleeping through the night from the third night, and now her day naps are longer too. Now I can breastfeed her briefly, sing her a lullaby and put her in bed – and that is that until about 4:30am, when I am perfectly happy to breastfeed her again (she goes to bed at 6pm).
I’d been trying to do this on and off for months, but I just couldn’t bear the thought of her crying and I would feed her again to calm us both down – and to get some sleep. I remember it was like this with our other two children also – we had to hit rock bottom to be able to make a commitment. I felt confident that the three of us could support each other if we all understood the plan – and we did 🙂
So here is to sleep!! Hooray!!
It is a long road to feeling normal again though. My body is worn down and I am hyper-sensitive at the moment. Eczema is reclaiming my hand to the point that my skin is blistering. I am still very tired and still getting myself motivated … but it is coming. I feel as though I have stared into the eyes of my talisman, the red-bellied black snake, and she has said: move it or lose it! You don’t muck around with snakes. You take their messages seriously. So I am transforming, starting with my skin. I am going to shed this eczema and the pain that comes with it. Peel off the old winter skin and growing a new one. I have lots to share with you about this new journey that Spring has brought to me. Shedding this old run down winter body is going to be interesting!