Tuesday, June 14, 2011

to sleep....replay

It was a dark and stormy night...with interrupted sleep. I tried to offer it up...so here's a replay and I promise something new for tomorrow!

Read any diet or health book. From Atkins (mostly protein) to the Hollywood Cookie Diet (just cookies?) to Oprah's latest find, there is controversy even over the amount of water to drink. The only directive they have in common is: get 8 hours of restful sleep. Since my first wonderful child joined us 12 years ago, I have not had 8 hours of restful sleep. In fact, lately the baby- who will be 2 in the summer- wakes up 2 or 3 times a night needing a bottle. Even when her father takes over responsibility, I still wake up. I can feel my heart racing every time she makes a peep. So how does a mom get 8 hours of sleep for her health and well-being? 
And it gets worse...for those women that follow the Sympto-thermal method of NFP, one of the important markers of monthly fertility and infertility is a shift in morning temperatures. One must take the temperature at the same time every morning, preferably with the same amount of sleep being had. I know for myself, I can never anticipate the amount of continuous sleep I will get. I have friends with many more than 4 kids with the baby and toddler stages going on for two decades, and I do wonder about the affect these years of sleep deprivation and disruption has on our health.
Being a mom is the most important part of my life; to have the shared responsibility over four young souls is an awesome responsibility. I am well-aware of what blessings they are to me and the rest of society. This past weekend, however, has been especially difficult with minor (thank God!) illness that has made sleep even crazier. Saturday was the performance of Macbeth that the big girls have been working on since October. They had to forgo Saturday evening Liturgy, and the rest of us missed the other classes' works, but we made it to Macbeth. Father had to leave after awhile; the little kids could handle the weird sisters but not the spooky music while Macbeth was speaking.  This past Monday, priest-husband and I were to give a two-hour presentation on the married priesthood in the East with a former Anglican priest, ordained Roman-rite priest with his wife. But we couldn't find a babysitter. So I stayed home and will remain a woman of mystery to the 150 people in attendance. So I can't really blog about the talk because I wasn't there. I surmise that much of it was about the fact that we aren't Orthodox and that a priest cannot be married (order of sacraments) and many of the questions were about money...so it was a wee bit frustrating that I couldn't be there. Perhaps it was for the best; I can be opinionated.
"To sleep, perchance to dream"- Hamlet, my favorite melancholic, said this a long time ago and in very different circumstances. I don't want to rush my children into growing up, but maybe I would like to rush the little one into sleeping through the night. So- to help my attitude, I am offering up this struggle for some blogosphere 'friends'- one pregnant with twins (wishing her many years of sleepless nights!) and one with a little one in the hospital.


  1. My daughter recently turned 3. She didn't sleep through the night until she was 3 months shy of 3. We still have nights that she does wake frequently--nightmares of late have kept us up a little. But I had forgotten how blissful sleep could be. That means we should have another soon. God willing! I love the blog and will have to come explore again, but adding you to my reader feed. Thanks for stopping by earlier, though I don't know how you found me!

  2. I know this won't make you feel any better. But, my parents never slept in ever. They said that once you become a parent you never sleep again, because when they grow older, you still worry about them. Plus teenagers sometimes don't come home on time and so forth.

    But, I personally know about those times when we have lots on night wakings and sleepless nights and it seems we will never sleep again, and we're feeling older by the second. Then we get a few good nights of sleep and we suddenly feel human again and everything is right in the world again. That is what you have to live for--a good night here and there.

    As far as the sympto-thermal. I gave up the thermal part after the last baby. My husband likes to call it glorified birth control anyway ;-) He never could think of a grave enough reason in our lives to abstain. But, as I recall if you still take the temp at the same time and you get up through out the night at similar times you should get consistent temps. Or if you get 2-3 consecutive hours before you take temp, it should be consistent. I would use my tummy as my gage. If I started to feel hungry while waking up I knew that my temp had gone up because my body was burning enough calories to make me feel hungry. Therefore, that temp was not to be trusted...

    Here are some prayers for better sleep.


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