Friday, May 15

the last sleep

The night before, I didn't get a wink of sleep until after 5am. And was then woken 4 times after that until she was ready for the day. And that night came after my usual nights of waking 4-8 times throughout.

If you've ever been pregnant, there was a time during your first pregnancy when you had your last decent night's sleep.

After that sleep, you entered the most uncomfortable time of your pregnancy. No position was comfortable. No amount of pillows would help. Then the baby arrived and that was that. You will never have a full night's rest until the child is married and has a home of their own. Maybe.

Since my Last Sleep, I haven't slept longer than a two-hour stretch.... on a good night. That is now approximately 15 months.

But you never know it's going to be the last one at the time.

You never get the chance to kiss it farewell. Like a good lover from the past, it haunts you. If you had known the connection at the time, you may have appreciated it more, loved it more. Savoured every delicious feeling afterwards.

And as when a loved one passes suddenly, you never got to say goodbye properly. You never got the chance to grieve it, to mourn the loss of it. Because at the time, you thought foolishly that it would return.

So I say it now.... goodbye Last Sleep. Though I have no definite recollection of you, I know it was sweet while it lasted. You'll always hold a special place in my heart.


  1. Funny how now, even when the wee one is 7, I still wait as if almost on call. Had I only known then what I know. I surely would have treasured it with great bliss. Alas! Thanks for the post, it was lovely.

  2. It will return! One day when you are not expecting it, it will return (as unexpectedly as when it went away). It does sound like you're having a horrible time though. In fact I am continually amazed that you can put together great posts like this on so little sleep.

    It makes you wonder how mothers go back to full time jobs so soon, doesn't it.

  3. I agree with Cave Mother. I never thought I would get a good night sleep again. And then it returned - regularly.

    And now it's my cat that tortures me at 5am, and sleep hath left me once more.

    So. The moral of this sad little tale is that you will get a good night's sleep again, as long as you don't get yourself a psychotic feline.

  4. My dd will be ten in a month and I still don't get decent sleep. It's become a habit. And what with a restless dog, a budgie who talks in his sleep, and a manic blackbird who sings furiously outside my window at dawn, I don't see my habit breaking soon!

  5. What a great post! I, too, mourned sleep for a long time. My first was a brilliant (by infant standards) sleeper but my darling Moon Baby..well, let's just say, at 4 1/2, he's still something of an oddment of sleep.

    But, I agree with the others, it does come back...ever so gradually...but it's not quite the same as I remember it before kids - you develop the Mama-Sleep where you can go from comatose to instantly awake in a nanosecond and the tiniest peep from your Little One...

    Thanks for visiting and for your insight...I agree...let's do away with V-Day...I LOATHE that wretched holiday!! Reading what you said, it dawned on me, it's so simple - we simply don't NEED a special day...they're all special around here so......

    ~brightest blessings~

  6. Oh, I hear you. I remember someone imploring me to sleep, sleep, sleep in my last months of pregnancy (during which I remember sleep being so inconsistent!), and I thought, "Wha?! But I'm so EXCITED!!" Little did I know...

    I wanted to thank you for coming by my blog and commenting - it has been lovely to have a look around here, and I'm glad to find you!

  7. Oh no, no. Please do not tease me dear friends. Do not entice me to believe that it will return. I have wished that lover a sad farewell.

    Besides, I'm bound to get a psychotic feline or canine at some point...

  8. LOL, Great post! I would have written it myself..if I had any talent for writing. ;-)
    My little Princess is 6.5, and I still don't sleep...I miss it too.

  9. when nursing ended i started getting more sleep. it's still not a full uninterrupted night, but it's definitely more than 1-2 hours at a time. i do think it gets better and you won't have to wait until she's 18 :) unless of course you get that cat~

  10. Oh I know how you feel. I joke that I've been sleep deprived for 12 years:) Wonder if I'll ever get back on the sleep track. Sleep is a wonderful luxury for us moms.

  11. bloody hell, Mon. I don't know how you do it. I'm a wreck without 9 uninterupted hours!


  12. Ah yes - true, so very true. We wake each night, sometimes once (!), sometimes rather more often, and I can't remember the last sleep either. I think I was about five months pregnant, so that makes it about eighteen months ago (I had SPD which came on at about twenty weeks; after that, 'comfort' became a highly subjective term). But, like you, I remind myself that it will come back, some day. And, for now, that's enough. :)

  13. When I was pregnant, I slept. I slept, I slept, I slept. Of course, I was really sick and had no energy, so it was about the only thing I could do right at that point. I pretty much hibernated while I could. My biggest fear about having a baby was the lack of sleep. I am one that needs LOTS of sleep to function well, and I didn't know what kind of sleeper of a baby I would get. Even though he sleeps pretty well, I still find myself tired a lot. I can no longer nap these days--I'm too eager to get stuff done when he sleeps, since he naps so much less than he used to. But everyone warned me to get my sleep while I could, and I DID. I savored it, oh yes.

  14. I think once kids are in the house there is not much good long sleep for mom for about 18 years or so! ;)

    While I sleep more now that the boys are not up every 45 minutes (thank goodness for co-sleeping and breastfeeding or I would not have made it through!), I still am up a few times a night. Bathroom breaks, kids changing beds, a 4 year old laying on my throat... I do remember when I used to sleep more though, more than 4-5 hours a night...ahhh.

  15. Oh my gosh! This is so true! I remember after my first son was born I hadn't slept in 36 hours. After all was said in done I was getting into bed and I was exhausted. I said to hubby, "Oh, I'm going to sleep for 11 straight hours" and I was serious. As I finished saying the words I remembered my midwife telling me to not let the baby go more than 4 hours without nursing and I realized that meant no more than 4 hours of sleep. Then I remembered all the times I've heard parents complain about no sleep and that's when it hit a load of bricks---it would be years until I slept 8 hours uninterrupted again. And indeed it has been years.

  16. My kids are so-called 'good sleepers', and past the baby stage, but still this is so true. There is always a part of me listening for them, connected to them, even the few times I have been away from them overnight. I have a friend with a thirty-five year old daughter and she still feels this way! So it's a forever thing (although I think the sleep WILL get better...)

  17. I am laughing and enjoying this post so much. So true. So tired. So unbelievably tired at times I didn't even know how tired I was.

    So many things shift with the arrival of the babies, how will we know where we will be and what it will be like?

    I keep a subtle list (I don't write them down, it's just a noticing) of all the things I do now that I could never anticipated, and it is a nice list, all the differences, like saying, "Yes, that is how it is now."

  18. :)
    the Sleep does return...slowly...over oldest began sleeping through the night at 2 years. it just happened one night so suddenly. i woke up and realised "OMG! i just slept 6 full hours. uninterupted!" my second child, however, at 3.5 still hasn't really slept through the night. but slowly each night he sleeps just a bit longer. but when he wakes up he immediately snuggles into me and says something like ,"mama, i need you." :) need i say more?

  19. Thanks for this post, it's lovely.

    Sleep has been a challenge with both my girls. Ironically, I suffered much more with my first, because I kept thinking that if only I found the right approach, I could FIX it. My second has really been much more challenging sleep-wise (at 4.5, she is just starting to sleep through the night), but it has been much easier for me, as I've been more at peace with this as a phase that will pass in its own time.

    It's glorious when the veil starts to lift, though. I remember this with my older daughter, and am just starting to feel it with #2.

    And of course, part of me mourns the loss of those middle-of-the-night snuggles. That's motherhood for you!


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