Saturday, May 21, 2011

I'm grateful for....Being sick

The weather in our part of the world seems to change from Summer to Winter in one week.  We literally have 7 days of so called "Autumn" in which you marvel in the warm days, clear skies and crisp air and then 
out come the socks, heaters and Strepsils.  

Every year as the summer sun fades, the winter air brings with it the dreaded "Teacher Flu".  The lost voice, scrtchy throat and thumping sinuses.
This is one of the unfortunate side effects of holding hands with a 5 year old that has probably just blown their nose on it or tying up the shoelaces of someone who has just walked through the toilets. (It truly happens)  However it happens, I am sure it has nothing to do, with the fact that I probably yell talk too much. 

At this point in my life you think I would just, suck it up, take some meds and get over it?
But here lies the problem.  
For the past few years, being pregnant or breastfeeding has meant that I have not been able to take most cold and flu tablets!!!!

So this is where the confessions start....
Little Miss A is fourteen months and still breastfed.
She still wakes 4-5 times a night.
and what do I do? I get up and feed her.
That's right I am a BAD mummy.
I have tried self settling/controlled crying/ignoring the screaming baby, 
but it is just so much easier to get up, feed her and put her back to bed.
We have a few times managed to do it for a whole night, but the following night we fall so easily into bad habits and the wake and feed routine continues.

Until now......

I am a wreck.
I am beyond tired.
I am sick.
I am desperate.

The poor pharmacist who had to face my haggard pleas for something, anything to silence my pounding sinuses.  
So with a little packet of hope firmly in my hands,  I left,  on her advice that I would "simply" take the miracle workers straight after feeding Little Miss A.  
Put the baby to bed.  
Don't feed her again until the morning. 

Sure.  Simple.

So here we go.  Feed.  Tablet.  Bed.  
Like clockwork,  she woke at 10.30pm and cried. 
Doesn't she know that tonight things have to be different?

Well cried really isn't the right word. She screamed.  I lay in bed feeling guilty.  How could I do this.  Ignore her, putting myself first.  I can't feed her, I have just taken the drugs, what was I thinking! Surely the neighbours will call the police?  What if she is hurt, or scared?Then silence.  I looked at the clock.  It had been a whole 4 minutes. 
4 minutes. It felt like 20, at least.  She was asleep. 

12.30am we do it again.  But this time not so loud.  More of a whinge.  But its worse.  Much worse.  It sounds like she is saying Mumma.  I am sure she is calling me.  She knows exactly what she is doing.  Is it possible that a one year old can manipulate their mother? The cry is persistent, unwavering.  After four minutes, I go and stand at her door and.....she stops.  
She is asleep.

I tiptoe back to bed and sleep.  I sleep, like I have not slept in years.  The drugs have kicked in.  But its more than that.  I have a silent satisfaction that I did it.  I let her "self settle" and she did it!!!  

I is 6.30am. 
WHAT! 6.30am!  This is a miracle!  
I have not had this many hours of uninterrupted sleep in at least 3 years.  
I wake in my own time.  Not because her calls have woken me.
I am up AFTER sunrise.  Considering, how I felt the day before, I feel GREAT!  

I may be sick but I am NOT TIRED!

Without being sick I would not have taken the drugs.  
Without the drugs I wouldn't have had the motivation to "really" ignore her.  
Without trying to teach her to self settle, would I have had just another night of broken sleep.

Four nights later, we barely hear a peep all night.
It may be a fluke.
Tonight may be different.
I am not touching wood, because it doesn't matter.
For these few nights we did it.
She did it.
We know it can happen.

So this week I am grateful for the "Teacher Flu", grateful for being sick, grateful for miracles in small child proof packets, and the hpoe they brought in the form of sleep but most of all, grateful that I finally had the willpower to teach my daughter something she had to learn for herself.


Linking up to


  1. Wow! thats amazing! I know where your coming from I have been either pregnant or breastfeeding for the last four years and I don't drink or do medicines! Btw I don't think your a bad mummy for going to her during the night! mine are the same and I figure when they are old enough it happens easier (if your willing to wait a few years!lol) We have the vomit bug in our house this week and I'm so thankful I'm recovering as now its my poor 10mth old turn but atleast I can look after her!
    Congrats on your new found sleep!

  2. HUGE CONGRATS TO YOU!!! Yes I am shouting that. I know all to well the feeling of OMG they slept!!!
    Hope you are feeling better, then you could experience the feelings of not being tired or sick all at once!

  3. Congratulations. I loved reading that. Its so difficult to get through some of the stages but you did it!!

  4. You are a trooper! Kudos to you for turning a negative into a positive. I love how you called it the "Teacher Flu." Hope you feel better soon :)

  5. Yippee! I know how hard it is to 'work' a non-sleeper to sleep. I hope I'm not going to jinx your success by saying 'yippee!' again!

    BTW, I'm glad you're successful but how are you a bad mummy for breastfeeding your baby back to sleep? What's the problem there? My motto: whatever it takes!


  6. Hi There, just found your blog over at Maxabella's grateful posts and I'm your newest follower :o)
    A lovely blog you have here and WOW, what a post this one is! Well done on the sleeping front. There is nothing worse than little or interrupted sleep, it can change everything in your life and not for the better.
    Sorry you've been sick, I suffer with sinusitis also and it's the pits.
    We have also been in the 'sickness cycle' here for the past few weeks, it's rough.

  7. So great to hear this story of 'accidental' success. sometimes the world just has to help a little bit, doesn't it? ;o) I'm sure it will continue to get better, with ups and downs of course! wishing you a great weekend full of sleep and recovery!