OK...I did well for...what? Two days? And then the clock struck 9:30 pm last night, and I found it just a little harder. Nothing life changing. Nothing terrible. Just the nuances and nuisances of every day life.
9:30 pm Watching Biggest Loser and trying to get sweet baby girl to go down for the night. Just about get her there...eyes are getting heavy...ahhhh...time for the old stand-by, the one piece of baby equipment that we could not do without....the swing. She falls asleep every night in the swing, and then we just make the transfer to her bed when we go to bed for the night. Stand up...still, her eyes still heavy(yes!). Walk to swing...eyes still closing (YES!) Put her in the swing (YES! YES! YES! I think, doing my best Meg Ryan in Harry Met Sally impersonation). Turn swing on. NOTHING HAPPENS! So for the next thirty minutes, I lay on the floor, pushing the swing back and forth, while Hannah lays on top of me wiggling and fidgeting, trying to get comfortable so she, too, can fall asleep. (No lectures on good sleep habits please! :)) At this moment, I think of all the reasons I should be thankful. I have two beautiful girls. I have a warm house. I just cleaned the carpets, so I am not inhaling dog hair. I have the money to buy batteries in the morning. All is good.
10:00 pm The switch has been made, and I am off to take my first bath since Charlotte was one week old. Last time I took a bath, I got dizzy, ended up in the emergency room, and discovered that I had high blood pressure. So in all of my hypochondrical (is that even a word?) logic, I vow...no more baths. Now that I've got my blood pressure under control, I decide to risk it. A long hot bath with a book. What a perfect way to wind down. After cleaning out the tub of all of Hannah's toys, I turn on the water, and busy myself until it is full. Book? Check. New Body wash? Check Towel? check Hot water? ummmm....half a check? For it is only warm. I decide to get in anyways and run the hot water only to make it a more pleasant, more sleep inducing temperature. Turn on hot water and well...you can guess. How is it that three teenagers can take twenty minute showers back to back and still have hot water, yet I cannot even get enough to fill a tub? But still....I am thankful. I have water. I have a big tub. There is no danger of overheating and getting dizzy.
10:30 pm In bed. COLD. Can't get warm. Can't sleep. Hey, at least I don't have to get up and go to work in the morning. At least I am in a house that is 68 degrees instead of out on the street, really really really cold. I pray a prayer of thanksgiving and fall asleep.
12:30 am The door flies open, jarring me awake, and soon, there are little cold hands and feet in bed with me. Hannah. Who usually makes her journey downstairs sometime after 5. She rolls around and tosses and turns for a good half an hour or more. On my side of the bed. but still. I am thankful. I just slept for an hour and a half. I have a child that I prayed for and waited for for three and a half long years. Our slovenliness has finally paid off...we have her old crib mattress still in our room, propped up against the wall and the laundry I have not put away contains two blankets and a pillow. Problem solved. Back to sleep.
2:30 am Charlotte, who has been sleeping from 7pm to 4:30 am every night(and then drifting right back to sleep), is awake. And it is my night. I feed her, change her dirty diaper, and put her back in her bed, but she is having none of it. She is awake until 5:00am. But still, I am thankful. She is healthy. We have a recliner that rocks. I don't have to go to work, so I can sleep a little later. I have a husband who takes turns with me so I know that tonight...it is his turn.
5:00 am Crawl back in bed, only to find Hannah in there with Daryl. So sweet, she looks, but hey...my bed, my pillow, I.need.to.sleep. So off to the pallet on the floor she goes. I get warm and cozy, say another prayer of thanksgiving and drift off to sleep, thankful that the insomnia that so often hits me at times like this, is not.
5:30 am Yes....you are reading that right. THIRTY MINUTES. The child slept for thirty minutes. I was at the worst expecting 7:00...two hours to sleep before she got hungry again. But still, I am thankful. But can I just say that it is not so easy this time. That I am totally saying words in my head that I have not said aloud in decades (and oh how sad that makes me to realize that it has been twenty years since I was young and stupid--when did I get old?) I am in tears. I am already planning how I will beg Daryl to take her for just an hour or two so I can sleep. I would like to say I immediately thought of all the reasons that I am thankful....I would so like to say that. but I didn't. But I am...really, I am. Thankful for this child that God has sent to us. Thankful that she is up because she is ready to start her day, and not because she is sick. Thankful that I am not breast feeding and can hand this job off to Daryl tomorrow night.
This attitude of gratitude? Easy, when life is good. Harder, when things get rough. And heaven knows that I am extremely thankful right now that a sleepless night is as rough as it gets!