Words and pictures by Mama Emma @hangingwiththeheaphys
It is with a seriously foggy thought process courtesy of far too many sleepless nights that I write this post. Sorry in advance for what may be a disorganised mess featuring many brain fades but it is important to me that I keep my blog as real as possible and man is the current chapter of teething terror a very real reality for our family of three.
Sleep. Oh how I miss you. What I would give for just four hours in a row of unbroken shut eye at the moment, and for more than one night in a row if it’s not too much to ask. No wakes for a crying baby, a restless second very tall child who takes up 3/4 of the bed by virtue of his size and sleeping style which I call the starfish (my husband) or for my own annoying automatic waking mechanism to check that either Lottie is still alive or how much time I have before she is likely to wake again.
My Instagram post on 13 August 2019: “Hi. I’m Emma. This was me last night. It is an incredibly unflattering but real account of me for the last 8 hours. I’m not drunk. I’m just exhausted. I’m not happy about being awake. That’s just a pathetic excuse for a smile because I have manners. I didn’t bed share. That’s just where I had to stay awake and cuddle Lottie the entire night. Teething is well and truly upon us. Tuesday be kind”.
Without wanting to brag and be “that mum”, Lottie was a great sleeper up until the first tooth made its abrupt and seemingly painful appearance. She was self-settling and sleeping through the night. WHAT.A.DREAM. I could think straight, behaved like a normal person (well relatively) and could function with only two coffees a day.
The current phase, and with my unwavering love for my baby aside, can only be described as a never ending sleepless nightmare. Not only are the nights long but the days are longer. I find myself forgetting how to do the simplest of things. Let me illustrate.
A few weeks back I had just one of those days. I could not for the life of me workout how to fold up the pram. This was despite having done it thousands of times before and under crying baby pressure (which for the record is the worst type of pressure imaginable). We had gone to the supermarket to by baby Nurofen, baby rusks, baby teething rings, mummy coffee, mummy wine, mummy Nurofen and everything else classified as a sleep deprived mum’s godsend.
I don't remember how I got to town, how I got Lottie in the pram or why I put Lottie in the pram in the first place (as she loves sitting in the trolley). I certainly don’t know how I remembered the credit card pin. About one of the only things I do remember (likely due to trauma), is standing in the car park with Baby Tears FM blasting from the left hand side rare car window absolutely baffled as to how to get this whatever you call it (the pram) into wherever you load your groceries (the boot) while many nosy onlookers got their daily dose of “manic mums go public”.
My mind completely and utterly failed me, so much so that I almost re-enacted the opening scene of the Netflix series “Working Mums” whereby the main character, Kate Foster, tries to fit her fully assembled pram into the boot of her car with regular and somewhat aggressive pulsing foot jabs. Thankfully for me, but not for the public who would have had a real "get out the popcorn moment", I figured out how to use the New World free WiFi (as my data had typically run out) to watch what seemed like the longest tutorial online about the dismantling of the mountain buggy terrain. The pram is still with us and intact so I got there in the end. You have to take the small victories.
An uglier side effect of the current phase is my emotional being. I am a walking monster, capable of stirring mad with the most innocent of greetings if there is the slightest hint of (what sounds to me like) sarcasm or rousing livid with comments like "I'm so tired". Before you decide against greeting me next time, please know that I am referring to Mark. You are not at risk.
If my behaviour could not be justified by a complete lack of what is mandatory for a human to function, sleep, it probably could be considered a criminal offence. However, in no circumstances is anyone else able to say that about me. I dare you Mark!
No caption needed.
All I can say is that goodness for google. It has been my saving grace. Although I must say that my recent search history leaves much to be desired. Who knew that Randy Gardner set the record for the longest a human has gone without sleep at 11 days and 25 minutes (264.4 hours) or that the world record for the most coffee consumed by a human is 82 cups of coffee in 7 hours? I feel like I am a real contender for a Guiness World Record in either category at the moment.
Suffice to say that life at present is one big haze. With only two teeth making their appearance well and truly known, this haze is likely to continue for some time longer. I will continue to forget what day it is, where we need to be at any given time and what boob I used last to feed Lottie but I will never forget the beautiful moments captured between sleepy blinks throughout each day that make me grateful for the life we have and the privilege I have to be her mum. She is so worth every single part/moment/episode of this time which is nothing short of a tenacious teething terror.
Emma's website: https://www.hangingwiththeheaphys.co.nz/