I stay up late as often as I can. It’s ridiculous. For a mother of two who can’t get through one night without someone waking up at godawful hour, I should really be relishing ALL THE SLEEP. But I’m not. Part of it is just general insomnia. Not the horrible kind where you lie in bed watching the clock; that’s just piteous. I’m sorry for those who suffer that dreadful fate. No, for me, it’s the kind where you’re just not ready to head to bed until you’re pass out exhausted. And that usually comes sometime during the day when both kids are super-duper energetic and straight up crazy.
I want to sleep. I truly do. I loved sleep so much. I used to tell my husband that waking me from a nap was like kicking a priest in a church; it’s pure sacrilege. I know there are people out there so exhausted that they can’t see straight. They are a danger to themselves and others. In fact, I was one of those people for a long time.
When Sam first came home, he was miserable. He was fighting horrible pain and PTSD and medication withdrawals. Then on top of that, teething. What 4month old gets morphine for teething? (It wasn’t actually for the teething. It was part of his weaning off the narcotics he had post-operatively.)
But it still had little effect. I used to have to rock him, almost violently, and pat his little wee bum in order to soothe him to sleep. It was hours of this; standing, rocking, patting, singing and crying. Both of us. I used to ask myself, “Is this what heart babies are like? Will it always be like this?”
But of course it wasn’t. It took a long time before he could fall asleep independently. Even now, he needs to do a sort of roll call to make sure we are still there.
So now I stay up late, past everyone’s bedtime and I relax. I read, I write, I watch a little tv.
It’s the only time I truly have to myself. I’m still constantly listening for that cry in the night, and it comes without fail. I jump into action and soothe and cuddle, helping them drift off to sleep.
It’s not an ideal situation but at some point, they will sleep through the night. They will no longer need me to cuddle and sing them back to sleep. They will kick me out of their beds and rooms so they can sleep in peace, without my thunderous snoring.
But right now, they love our nighttime routine desperately. And honestly, so do I.