Today is the day we go to sleep school.
The car is packed. I have a queasy feeling in my gut. I am hoping beyond all hope that this is the solution to our problems.
How did we get here?
My sweet little lady (who is 9 months old) thoroughly dislikes shutting her tiny eyes and getting some sweet zzz’s under her belt. She fights us for up to three hours every evening, resisting sleep despite being utterly exhausted. This has resulted in her sleeping in our bed every night for the last 4 or more months. She often hosts a party in our bed at 3am, which consists of slapping our faces, kicking our spleens and sitting on our heads. It sounds funny but I promise in the small hours of the morning it most certainly is not.
I’m plagued with guilt on the odd occasion she gets looked after by one of her Grandmother’s over night because I know what they are in for. Yes, it’s selfish but after all this time I do feel that once in a little while my partner and I are entitled to a night alone to be us and not ‘Mummy and Daddy’.
Put simply, it is no longer working for our family and I need a better solution.
During dinner I had been able to maintain the delusion that this was a nice little holiday in the suburbs. My baby girl was so bright and happy I thought she would just nail this bedtime thing straight up. No cooking, no cleaning and dessert with every meal. Plus I’d smuggled in wine and chocolate so this was basically a girl’s weekend.
At 6:30 I said goodnight to my sweet lady and exited the room. Crying ensued and then all out screaming. Not just distressed crying. A guttural scream that echoed ‘I hate you’ or at least that’s what it felt like. I stood at the door to our room feigning stoicism, tears prickling my eyes just beneath the surface. The dinner I had bragged about being so fabulous (for hospital food) threatened to make a re-appearance as my stomach churned.
As I looked to my left I saw five other Mums just like me. Heard five other babies just like mine. All of us poised at our doors as if waiting to enter The Hunger Games.
TAP ON THE IMAGE for a step-by-step guide of how to do Midwife Cath's Wrap if you think it helps (Post continues after gallery)...
Fifteen of the longest minutes of my life passed before a miracle occurred. I watched on the monitor as my precious girl lay down and went to sleep, all by herself. No rocking, no shushing. Whilst my soul was a little crushed the pieces were doing a victory dance. I assembled in the kitchen and slowly one by one my comrades joined me. At this point I very much wished I’d had the foresight to get the bottle of Merlot I’d smuggled in from my room. Actually, that’s not true, at that point I sincerely wished I had smuggled in hard liquor.