Sleep Like A Baby

Published in Ruby Magazine

As I sit here on deadline day wondering what on earth I could write for you, something sparkly and witty to capture the last few months of my life since the last edition has been out, I was stumped. I started, I stopped, I started again and then I deleted the entire thing, ate some leftover curry and took a nap at 12pm. Which really, sums up my energy levels of late because as I type I am just over 3 months pregnant, with a 9 month old sleeping in the middle of my bed. And I couldn’t honestly pinpoint which one of the two is making me more tired!

Ah nine month olds. What gems. I had a pretty easy newborn – the normal eat, sleep, laugh, poop and make milestones too early for her age kinda kid. Delightful! Sleeping arms out, sleeping in her cot, sleeping through the night. Sure, we had our battles because, we’re parents. She had eczema that looked like we had dipped her in hot water, we had 2 weeks of gastro and we felt every single tooth cut through her gums with her. But on a whole, I couldn’t complain.

Recently however we went back to England to visit Chris’ family for a month for Christmas. Chris doesn’t really like going home – Australia is home now, and as an ex British soldier, he’s not one for sentimentality. I love England though, and I love traveling, and even though we took an almost eight month old to the other side of the world for four full weeks, I was looking so forward to it.  The pints! The pubs! The steak and ale pies! The possibility of snow! I wasn’t even that nervous about taking her on the plane – even if she was on her worst behaviour, its only 24 hours of our lives I figured. And rightly so, because she was an absolute dream boat on the plane, gloat gloat. The trouble it seems, started once we got there. At first the refusal to spend all night in her port-a-cots in various houses and hotels was fine with us – come into our bed! We don’t mind! We’ll share! Our naive (and tired I might add) parent minds didn’t mind an extra snuggle. But as the middle of the night whingeing turned into not going into the cot, or even asleep in a room without us at all we got annoyed. We wanted to come home. We found out we were pregnant. The promise of late nights at pubs with beams so low we had to duck, drinking warm English ales slowly disintegrated, and we were left with a cranky baby, a nauseous me, and a partner who wanted to go ‘home’ more than any of us.

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A horse and cart ride from the Guiness Brewhouse in Dublin.

Now, we find ourselves a month home and the sleeping situation has got worse – if that’s even possible. We blamed it on gastro. We blamed it on the top teeth, which have been coming through on what seems like a daily basis. But her untouched cot is gathering dust, our bed has never felt so small, and I just took a day nap I’d like to continue having for, oh another 4 or so hours.

Sleep regression? Some say separation anxiety – which I am keen to agree with at this point (though who knows why, I think I’m clinging to anything to explain this away), but whatever it is has left us with a baby who spends more time swaddled and laying with us on the couch or in our bed, than in her room where she has slept since day one home from the hospital.

But it’s OK. These fine folk thought having baby two would be a brilliant idea! Why wouldn’t we want to get pregnant after only 6 months since Evie was born (cue hysterical laughter). No, I kid. Although Chris woke up this morning and suggested putting Evie into a moses basket and floating her down the Barwon river, or leaving her on a church step (he was completely kidding – I think), we are beyond excited to have another babe so soon. I may be rethinking my four children idea, and Chris had mentioned the ‘Dr Snip, walk in, walk out!’ advert more times than I think is completely necessary, but a little chaos never hurt anyone right? Right?!

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