Having written about emotions last time, I’ve come to realise something (probably fairly obvious) this week. I am so much better at coping with everything when I am well rested.
I’ve had a few late nights recently, and I find it leaves me in such a fragile state of mind. When I’ve slept enough, I can keep things in perspective, write a reasoned blog post and get on with life. When I haven’t, I spend the day with a cloud of impending doom hovering over me and dissolve into tears at the slightest thing. And that can be hard to explain to outsiders. If they notice that I’m not being myself and ask what’s up, I have a choice. I can burst into tears and blurt out and say it’s nothing specific, ‘just everything’. Or I can blame the redness of my eyes on contact lenses that I’ve just put in, and to be honest that’s probably the easiest.
Recently I heard someone mention sleep deprivation after a few late nights. I didn’t comment!
I used to be a ten-hour-a-night girl. I lived in Sister’s house until Niece was a year old, but I would put ear plugs in and sleep undisturbed. When I got together with Hubby he could get up in the morning for his walk to work and I would roll over and sleep longer. If I had a late night, I’d be tired but knew I’d catch up with sleep the next night. I never questioned that luxury.
Then I had my own children. Everyone knows the theory – babies wake up all the time, but you get used to it, and eventually, sooner or later, they sleep through. And the sleep deprivation eases. I bought into that illusion. And yes, it did work with Twiglet. When he moved to a big boy’s bed (aged two and a half) we did have a few broken nights, but on the whole he sleeps like a log.
Pudding on the other hand…
Part of the problem I know is that since becoming a mother I think I simply don’t sleep as well as I used to. There is a small area of the brain that just stays on alert the whole time, listening out for the slightest sound, the slightest hint that your child needs you. And boy, does it get a work-out with Pudding!
Since he was a very young baby, he just hasn’t slept as well as ‘normal’ children. (Something I now know is common in MPS as well as other conditions such as autism) Every night he will wake up, perhaps at 9pm, perhaps at 2am, and have what I can only describe as a party in his cot. He’ll laugh and kick the bars and shout ‘You!’ at the top of his voice. He always sounds happy and goodness knows how he can have so much fun in the dark by himself, but I’m grateful for that at least.
Melatonin has helped. His wake-ups don’t last quite as long now – often more like half an hour rather than two hours. But in different surroundings, such as the hotel room in Manchester or the hospital ward, it can be difficult to persuade him back to bed once he’s awake and decides it’s time to play.
At home he has always been contained in his cot but this can’t continue for ever. With his size and slightly increased flexibility (a benefit from his weekly treatments) there is now the very real possibility that he could climb/fall out. So we need to move him to a bed. We’re currently in the process of clearing out the office so he can have his own room, as Twiglet probably wouldn’t be appreciate being jumped on in the night.
I’ve no idea what is going to happen. Will he stay in bed? Will he spend all night banging on the door to get out?
Wish us luck! And expect some more emotional sleep-fuddled posts from me in the near future….