The things we miss most, or at least I miss the most, about five years ago isn’t my fun social life, or the extra money to spend on whatever I want. I don’t miss the days spent lounging around doing whatever I wanted. I don’t miss dating, or going to a party to meet new people. What I miss, and I know for certain any mother, especially mothers of multiples misses, is god damn uninterrupted blissful all night long sleep. It has been five years, FIVE YEARS people, since I have slept an entire night.
In the months leading up to that positive pregnancy test I was in college on an extended sleepover at my then boyfriend Sean’s house. A sleepover that, well let’s face it, was really just me moving in without any of my stuff. I spent the nights drinking, the early mornings studying Sean, and the rest of my day in class and at work. It was a rotation of events for every day. The best part of it all though was I had control. If I wanted to skip the drinks, skip a class, sleep in later, go to bed earlier I could.
Pregnancy arrived (too much studying with Sean) and soon after that test turned positive I was up all night to pee. Oh hey, I have to pee, get back in bed only to have to pee again. Repeat until labor. Hey, let’s push this baby out and you’ll lose blatter control forever. On top of that, let’s give you a person who for the rest of your life will never allow you to sleep the same again. She will scream, she will cry, she will poop, pee, puke. She will want to eat, all the goddamn time. This will lead to your decision to co-sleep. Two years of this and your body will have adapted. You’ll no longer need to sleep for longer than hour segments at a time, and you will learn the balancing act that is sleeping in a side plank all night long.
My brilliant partner decides we should transition Evie to her own room and bed, I agree. Within a month we are pregnant with Millie. Nine months of insomnia, lots of peeing, the added stress and worry because of her health conditions, and a screaming two-year-old who hates being in her own room drug on until before I knew it here was another little person determined to never let me sleep again. I won’t go into the time she spent in the NICU that is a story all on its own where absolutely no sleep occurred, so we will skip to her at two months. Here I am at home with Millie and Evie. Evie crying every night to sleep with us, Millie lasted a whole week in her pack and play before we started co-sleeping. Somehow, Sean and I continued to “study” and wound up pregnant with Livie. It became clear that my new mission in life was to prove that humans truly do not need sleep. The next nine months of pregnancy, a newborn, and a three year old…. Well it’s a torture technique used in other countries.
Fast forward to present day. I have a four- year- old Evie, a 19-month-old Millie, and a 7-month- old Livie. Every night, at least one, usually two, sometimes three of them are up at night with all of their needs and crying. This was our night last night.
7:00 We start getting Millie and Evie ready for bed. Typically this should take ten minutes right? PJ’s and brush teeth, we took baths the night before.
7:45 The kids are in their room, Evie is yell-singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to Millie, who is now yelling for us to come rescue her as I’m sure her ears are beginning to bleed.
8:00 Livie starts that fun routine of I want to nurse scream-cry, so I nurse, only for her to push away from me and scream-cry because how dare I think she wants to nurse.
8:15 Screaming continues, and Evie comes out of her room dehydrated, starving, and questioning why the world exists.
8:30 Sean loses his patience and forces Evie back to bed, has to calm Millie down and then comes to my aid because I’m debating putting Livie outside in the snow.
8:45 We begin to binge watch some TV
9:30 I beg Sean to let me sleep a little bit before he goes to bed. A desperate attempt for me to be asleep before his snoring begins.
9:45 His snoring is so loud I think of all the ways I can stab a person in their eye without killing them, because let’s face it sometimes he is helpful.
Somewhere around 11:00 I finally doze off, Sean snoring, Livie latched, side plank on point.
1:00 Screams from what I can only imagine is a bloody massacre coming from Evie’s room.
“I need mommy, I miss mommy, where is she, I need her, she is my family, I love her.”
Sean is arguing with her to get back in bed, offered her water, and is trying to help me.
I climb out of bed because of that part of me that changed forever the day she was born, well it told me “Oh your sweet baby needs you! what if she is sick? What if she had a bad dream? What if you don’t spend enough time with her and she really does miss you?” Against all of Sean’s reasoning, I climb back into bed with Evie in hand. So now, my side plank not only serves the purpose of safely feeding Livie all night long, but acts as a protective barrier from Evie’s flailing limbs. I close my eyes and feel Evie’s sweet innocent hands press on my arm and a tiny kiss on my temple. I watch her kiss her sister Livie, then Sean. I’ve been manipulated by a four-year-old, but in the sweetest way.
3:00 Push Evie back towards Sean, re-latch Liv.
5:30 Millie is up and wants some milk, she goes back to bed
6:00 give up, cry a little, climb out of bed quietly trying to keep everyone else sleeping. Start the Keurig
6:15 kids are up and in the kitchen with me, my coffee is getting cold
7:00 threaten Sean if he doesn’t wake up
Oh sleep, one day I will find you. Probably not, but a girl can dream right? Not literally dream, because that requires REM sleep, but the kind of dream you do when you your on your 5th cup of coffee and its only 8:00. #athomewithjulie #coffeeconfessions#momof3 #tiredmomma#mykidshatesleep