I know sleep deprivation all too well. I come from a whole family of people for whom sleep is a struggle.
Lil-lil struggled with sleep from the start, I had many, many, many long nights cajoling her into sleep. In fact, it's only in the past 5 or 6 months that she's consistently slept at night, finally after five years.
Goosey has also struggled with sleep, she had sleep issues when she was a one-year-old and then had sleep apnoea and now still wakes 1-3 times a night to climb into bed with me. I often return her to bed at least once or twice a night.
Skip also has times when he struggles to get to sleep or wakes in the early hours, I don't have to pat him off to sleep, but I often wake when he's up and feel so terribly bad for him. When I know he's struggling to sleep I often don't want to move a muscle in fear of interrupting that tiny window when he may be able to get back to sleep.
If I could have one wish, it would be to give my family long, deep hours of restful sleep. Once you have sleep, you can tackle anything.
Little D has been a good sleeper. I haven't written on this blog about it as I haven't wanted to jinx it. I have been so thankful and relieved at how well he's slept. I have savoured each and every night he's slept soundly and never once taken it for granted. I've prayed that he's like his mama who finds sleep easy.
The past week something has changed. Suddenly my good sleeper is awake. Many times a night. And it breaks my heart. I took him to the doctor this morning to make sure he wasn't ill and he's fine. I'm trying not to panic, desperately hoping it's a rough patch, a phase and he will go back to his sleeping ways. Although I'm so scarred from long-term sleep deprivation that I'm terrified.
I know the pressure that sleep deprivation can put on a person. On a relationship. On a family. On friendships. On work. On absolutely everything. It sucks the joy out of life.
As a family, we've pulled through this sleep stuff together, and I'm sure we can again. But it sucks.