Looking after myself – sleep

So we’re a week into the new year already, and for a change, I’m still sticking to my plan for achieving my 2015 goals. My goals that involve uni are still in the planning stages – I can’t really do too much with them until uni goes back next month. But I think planning plays a huge part in whether or not I achieve my goals.

What I have been sticking to is looking after myself, making changes to my lifestyle so that I feel and look better. I tend to take my health for granted, and when I startling self-care slide, I pretend to ignore how bleurgh I’m feeling until I can’t ignore it any longer. And I’ve hit the point where I can’t ignore it. There a few different changes I’m making to become a healthier version of me, so I’m going to write it out in two parts.

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When I was pregnant with Dylan and Mahalia, I usually only woke once a night to pee. I was pretty lucky. With Harry and Zach’s pregnancy, the night waking started pretty early and I’d be up multiple times a night. As frustrating as it was, I didn’t mind too much because there were two! babies growing inside of me. When they were newborn, and I was living surviving on 1-2 hours sleep a night, as I tired and emotional as I was, I knew that there was a reason for them to be waking and feeding so frequently and for such long times. It’s just that having two of them made the whole process take longer. And when they were six months old, as much as I longer for sleep, I knew it wasn’t unusual for babies that age to still be waking at night. And when they were nine months old they were teething and learning to crawl and had just started day care, and I knew all these things could impact their sleep. And from 9 until 16 months, we were on the never-ending cycle of day care colds, ear infections, teething, a couple of bouts of gastro, and learning to walk. We had a few good nights where one would sleep through. Usually they’d take it in turns having a good night, waking only once, while the other would wake two or three times. And with two toddlers, having existed without a full night’s sleep in almost two years, it’s easier to spend 5 minutes feeding a baby/toddler during the night than trying other means of settling that could end up waking the other one and having two crying children to deal with.

I told myself that if Harry and Zach could finally get rid of their colds, their sleep would get better. If we could just make it to the Christmas holidays, they’d have a break from day care, their immune systems could recover, and they’d start sleeping through the night. Except it didn’t happen like that. If anything, their sleep got worse. Not wanting to go to sleep at night, more frequent waking, until we had a run of about four nights where I spent the best part of the night just trying to get them back to sleep.

I woke up on Monday morning and realised that I’m almost at the end of my reserves. I can’t keep functioning on broken sleep. Being up for hours at a time during the night brings out the worst in me. If I want to be a better, happier parent and wife, I need sleep. If I want to enjoy my family, I need sleep. If I want to do well in my final year of uni, I need sleep. So I rang Ngala and told them I need help. I should have rung months ago, but every time I thought about it, I always told myself that there are other people who need their help more than me, and after all, what did I expect having twins? Except, if we need help, we need help. Just because other parent’s might be getting even less sleep than me, doesn’t mean that I don’t need help too.

We’ve been offered a date at the end of the month to go in for a day stay to sort out the our sleep issues. And in the mean time, the lovely nurse I spoke with gave me some tips to try to help get me through until we go in. I tried them Monday night, and it was shit. Absolute shit. It was probably the worst night we’d had in a week, and it had been a shitty week. But I gave it another try on Tuesday night. And hallelujah! BOTH Harry and Zach self-settled, and they BOTH slept through the night. I know they’re not miraculously cured of the cases of waking in the night. But having had my first night of uninterrupted sleep in 22 months, and knowing that they can actually sleep through the night? It’s topped up my reserves enough that it doesn’t seem like such a long wait for our Ngala day stay. The light at the end of the tunnel is shinning with strength of a thousand suns.

This year I will sleep.

Blogging and (lack of) sleep

I’m finding it really difficult to find time to write blog posts at the moment. I usually try and write blog posts when Harry and Zach are sleeping during the day. Since being sick, their sleep patterns are all over the shop. They get put down for a nap at the same time, but one will take a lot longer to fall asleep than the other, and by the time the second has fallen asleep, and I’ve managed to go to the loo, have coffee, spend time with the older kids, the first twin is waking. Resettling is really hit and miss. I’ve got so many half-written posts that I have grand plans for, but by the time I get back to them, they no longer seem relevant.

Nights aren’t much better than days. More frequent wakings, and waking at different times to each other. I’m so tired at the moment that by the time I get some time to myself at night, I struggle to write anything. Its pretty much veg in front of the tv for a bit, then off to bed before someone wakes (if I’m lucky, sometimes they wake before I get to bed). I haven’t run in weeks, I’m lacking motivation for just about everything and I’m just feeling blah. Oh, and my sinuses are STILL congested.

I’m hoping that the sleep thing improves soon, my brain needs it, my body needs it, and so does this blog.

And with that, someone has just woken from their nap.

I hope you have a wonderful easter, and that you’re getting more sleep than me.

Catch up

Chirp chirp.

Crickets, they’re the only things hanging out here of late. I feel like I’ve got so many things on the go, and not enough time.

We’ve all been sick, cycling through the family like a train set without an off switch. Dylan. Mahalia. The husband. Me. Harry and Zach. Mahalia, again. Everyone seems to be getting over it except me. Just when I thought I was on the mend, bang! Hello sinuses. Breastfeeding means I’m limited to paracetamol and nasal spray. Sleep has gone out the window with Harry and Zach being snot-filled and needing more frequent feeds. Thanks to baby cheesus, they’re on the mend. Pity party for one, happening right here.

I’ve decided to give up the 52 week portrait series, for this year anyway. It was meant to inspire me to take more photos, interesting photos of my children. Instead it’s become a bit of a chore, with me racing on Saturday to get some average photos taken, pretty much the same as the week before. I need to get out of the house more. Ha! I’m rhyming.

Autumn’s here, school holidays have started. Summer is still hanging around for a bit, we’re back in the mid 30s this week. We’ve got plans: the lego movie, a trip to the museum, hanging out at the beach, sinuses to clear. Please, please, sinuses to clear.

Down to my bones.

I am so tired. I didn’t realise just how tired I was until this weekend.

It’s been about 12 months since I last had a full night’s sleep. Part and parcel of having a new baby, or two as the case may be, in the home. The boys are only six months old, but I haven’t slept through the night since I was about three months pregnant with them. The rapidly growing belly, and the squished bladder meant I was waking at least twice a night, usually more, especially at the end.

Harry and Zach usually sleep pretty well at night, going to bed at 7pm, and waking twice for a quick feed, back to bed, and starting the day around 6.30am. I usually have enough in me to get through the day, plus run or do strength training four or five nights a week, before collapsing into bed every night, my head barely touching the pillow before I am asleep. I could go to bed earlier, but I wouldn’t have time to run. Running gives me my me time, and when my days are filled with caring for two little babes, I need that time for myself, to be myself.

Six month vaccinations were on Thursday, which means, going by the last lot of vaccinations, a week or so of more frequent night wakings, and a need to be held more, and less sleeping during the day. We’re about halfway in. I am getting through the day just. I’ve felt guilty for not tying my shoe laces and hitting the pavement the last few nights, I’ve just not had it in me. I’m tired down to my bones.

It hit me over the weekend, I’m running on empty.  12  months of broken sleep, and six months of mothering two babies, plus two school age children, mean I’ve got nothing left in reserve. So when and already low sleep tank is depleted more than usual, something has got to give. That something, this week, is working out. And that’s okay, because this too, shall pass. This too, shall pass.