The Sleep(less) Games

Forget arenas and hunger and battles for survival. Just throw a grown woman in a house while she is pregnant with one baby, trying to raise two others, and don’t let her sleep for say, well – forever. And then see what kind of fun ensues. Now that could be a book/movie that falls in all categories – (dark) humor, drama, and horror.

Seriously. We just can’t seem to catch a break on this sleep business. We finally got HD to stop coming in our room at all hours of the night, only to have Little Miss start a horrible new early rising trend. For the last week, Raegan has been waking up at 5:30. Sometimes 5:45, but you can’t really tell me that’s any better. Sometimes she makes just enough noise to wake me/us up and is then quiet until we do Good Mornings at the still early but much preferable hour of 6:30. That is, if Harrison doesn’t come wandering across the hall into our room before that asking to either go to the bathroom or if it is in fact time for Good Mornings yet, waking her/us up again. Other times she screams/cries until we give in and get her (and him) up, which we don’t do before 6:00, in hopes of not making this an actual habit or something.

It doesn’t help that mid-week RL developed a runny nose which manifested into a cough during her sleep that just so happened to start at 4:30 on Sunday morning and not stop until 6:05 (and you can guess who came in at 6:30 to ask about GMs!!)! On a side note, if you go to Walmart at 7:30 on a Sunday morning, you can have a lovely and fast shopping experience, even with a squeaky wheeled cart. Just saying…

And I’m just saying because I am trying desperately to cling to something positive right now. But my body and my brain are sooooo tired that positive really isn’t where my thoughts and moods go. I am surviving on coffee alone, some days, and while I’d prefer to be off caffeine entirely during my pregnancy, I don’t know what I’d do without my one-two cups a day. I tell myself, at least it’s not one-two pots. Right?! Besides the fact that it keeps me awake, it keeps me happy(ish) and that alone is reason to keep it at all. Because something has to help me stay sane right now.

Even on the nights when the kids cut me some slack and stay quietly in their beds, I seem to struggle. Of course, even if I ration all liquid intake after 5 p.m., I still have to get up to pee during the night. This baby is SO insanely low, he/she is going to be giving my bladder fits from now until July. Sometimes I can get up and just go right back to sleep. Other times, usually when the clock shows 4:something, I struggle, mainly because I know I only have thismuch time before someone starts waking up the whole house. Last night was particularly awful though because I thought my 2:30 bathroom break was going to be a right back to sleep moment. Instead it turned out to be the start of my day. I officially got 30 more minutes of sleep, shortly after 5:15 before Raegan started in for the day. Unbelievable! And, because I have to teach tonight, by the time I get home, I will have been up for 18 hours (that 30 minute bizarre dream filled “nap” at 5:20 doesn’t count as sleep) and on duty in some form or another for 14 of them. Have I said Unbelievable yet? Trust me – my words could be so much more colorful, with very little effort. I’ll take the fact that I’m able to censor at all as a good sign that my mind isn’t totally gone, but how much longer before it is? I mean, really. It’s not like our sleep is going to improve come summer, so how do I get through this?

I’ve mentioned this before, but it warrants repeating because I keep seeing the same advice, or some form of it, everywhere – books, blogs, etc. To start your day off right, give yourself just a few minutes in the morning to collect your thoughts and start out the day with the right/positive outlook. Lovely, right? And I’m not even mocking it – I really do think that is a lovely sentiment and probably does start the day off well for folks who can do it. But when you have absolutely no say in what time your day starts, not to mention the fact that it often starts out while you are huddled under your covers, wishing with every being of your body that the crying baby would just go back to sleep, I don’t know how to accomplish this simple practice. I mean, I’m trying, trying, trying to Wake Up and Choose Awesome, but my awesome feels like a little less with each passing and exhausting night.

So, that’s all, really. Sorry to be so whiny. Perhaps, like me, you’ve seen that little poster that says: “Without sleep, we are all toddlers.” Consider me there, which at least explains the tone, even if it doesn’t excuse it.

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