Both ankle biters are pretty good sleepers now but there was a time not so long ago when this was not the case , I was pulling my hair out and looked like an extra from the walking dead. I would have had Rick Grimes after me , not a bad thing though eh ? Ha ha. I also know friends who are still in the grasp of a sleep thief or two.
I still don’t know how we survived or functioned over the past two and a half years as it’s only in the last 4/5 months we have started to get some decent sleep. What I do know is that I would never have survived if it wasnt for James helping with night feeds and being a 50/50 equal parent. The fact he had work at 6am and was dealing with a crying baby at 3.56am was just amazing and didn’t phase him.
From the first night in the hospital Archie was awake all night only sleeping 20 mins at a time. Then over the next few weeks waking every hour or two hours for feeding. He eventually slept through a handful of times around 8 months old then again would wake every hour or two hours. Every day was a sea of coffee and truck load of cake and junk just to keep me going , hence why I put so much weight on!
We were living in Abergavenny in the early days and by the time Archie was 6 months old I was pregnant with Frankie.I didn’t have one single mummy friend there, the days seemed lonely when you got up anywhere between 4/5/6am and would be so long. James getting home at 5.30 seemed like a lifetime away. We filled our time I took Archie on walks , baby groups etc. Baby groups were lovely but nobody said hey let’s go for a coffee or lets meet up for a play date which would have made such a difference.I’m a friendly , chatty and sociable person and always found it so easy to make friends but there was already a click and no space for new comers.
Anyway back to the sleep thief’s, Frankie came along and for the 1st three weeks she seemed to be a good sleeper only waking once or twice at night in fact she was just lulling us in to a false sense of security as she was a bigger thief than Archie !! I was so tired as was James we just seemed to be up all night sometimes not even in bed for a solid hour. Then having to fill the day with a busy toddler and a baby. The sleep deprivation was making me so ill, my hair was literally falling out and my mouth would be full of ulcers. The amount of coffee I had to drink to survive would give me horrendous heartburn , I was a mess.
When Frankie was ten weeks old we moved to Pontypool. Before we moved I researched every baby group in the area and found one that instantly attracted me- happy hands and twinkly toes. We went to our 1st class it was such a change from the groups we had been to before. Loads of lovely chatty mums and after the 2nd week someone did say hey let’s go for a coffee and this is where my life as a mummy changed. I’ve met life long friends from this baby group so have the ankle biters. Lauren who runs the group she’s just an angel in disguise looking after all us mummies and babies she is just fab at bringing us all together and saying hey lets all go for a coffee and cake – the kids love it and happy kids equals happy mummies.
Sleep deprivation seemed much easier to deal with knowing I was going to happy hands or that I was going to meet some mummy friends at a play cafe or going for a play date. You would chat and realise that everyone was going through the same things as you , that you were not alone and not a failure. These were my baby group saviors.