Sunday, 23 July 2017

Sleep...

When you have children you expect your sleep pattern to go to whack a little bit, but you look forward to that moment all parents long for - the night your child sleeps through. Now don't get me wrong there have been nights when Jacob has slept all through the night, but they are few and far between. When he was younger we co-slept and if he was due a nap through the day he would sleep on me and all was fine and dandy, then as soon as he learnt to roll over his sleep changed, and not for the better. 

We often joke that Jacob never stops moving, even when he is asleep. It's true. Jacob suffers with something called RMD - Rhythmic Movement Disorder. Without any knowledge of it when he is asleep he gets up on his hands and knees and rocks back and forth slamming his stomach and ribs on to the bed. He does it over and over and over again, his eyes can be open and staring straight forward but he's not awake, he doesn't know he is doing it and he doesn't know you are watching. I can only imagine this is exhausting, it certainly is for me when it keeps me awake or wakes me up. It's also made me a bit paranoid in case the neighbours hear the bouncing on the bed through the night and thinks me and my partner are sex maniacs or something. 

Another issue with Jacob's sleep is that he doesn't seem to need any. We can put him to bed and struggle to get him to sleep until as late as midnight only for him to wake up an hour or two later and be up and ready for the day and it's impossible to get him back to sleep, despite much trying. We've tried all sorts of things from certain bath products which are supposed to help relax and induce a sleepy state, to melatonin prescribed by the doctors, which worked momentarily but wasn't without issues. With Jacob being 4 years old and having no understanding of danger and risks it means if he is up then so am I. So as you can see sleep is not my friend. 

Lately though, Jacob's sleep has deteriorated even worse. Now we not only have to deal with struggling to get him to sleep, keeping him asleep and the RMD but we are having to deal with Night Terrors. Night Terrors are a bastard, they are one of the most horrible things I have had to deal with as a parent and I do not like them. Hearing Jacob scream out and cry, calling for me but then when I am there he can't seem to tell I'm there. Thrashing about like he is fighting demons, unable to be consoled. I've googled and read as much as I can about Night Terrors and everything says not to wake him, how much I've wanted to wake him and wrap him in my arms and tell him he is safe, Mummy is here. So I'm trying to learn techniques to help - talking softly sometimes singing not to wake him but just in case he can tell I'm there as a comfort to him. They pass, eventually. Only lately even though he has been dry through the night for a while he's started wetting himself, is this linked to the night terrors? I think so. So we have to then change him and change the bed but then he's awake and the day begins, and I'm exhausted. 

He woke at half 3 yesterday and we sat on the sofa under a blanket looking at books and playing games on the iPad trying to be quiet while Daddy slept, and I closed my eyes for just a second only to be told by Jacob ''Mummy can you keep your eyes open please?'' 

How I long for that mythical, magical event of 'sleeping through' 

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