Friday 7 July 2017

10 things I do during night feeds

In all honesty, I was dreading the night feeds the second time around. I don’t think I’ve caught up with my sleep debt incurred from my first born. She used to feed all night long and I was left sleep-deprived. In truth, at times, I felt completely insane because of the lack of sleep. This time around, things have been easier. That’s not to say I haven’t done my fair share of night feeds. Babies feed in the night, there’s not much you can do to change that.
Perhaps it’s because I was prepared (read: shitting myself) this time or because I have the benefit of knowing that it won’t last forever. One day, I might even manage a full eight hours again. Maybe. Hopefully. One day. In the meantime, I’ve gotten pretty good at keeping myself occupied at 3 am in the morning. Here are some of the things I do during night feeds:

1. Buy shit
The government always bangs on about mums not contributing to the economy, but I’m pretty sure mums are the only thing keeping the economy going. Well, if my bank balance is anything to go by, anyway. I am always ordering crap at 1 am when I’m up with the baby. I buy matching outfits for the kids, I order loadsof books, I buy everything. And then I forget I’ve ordered it and it’s a nice surprise when the delivery man knocks at the door. Or, sometimes, a terrible shock when I check my bank balance.

2. Resent my husband
Is there anything more detrimental to marital bliss than the inequality when it comes to boobs? I sit there awake, breastfeeding, glaring down at him as he sleeps peacefully beside me, totally unaware that his child has stirred. He can sleep through cries, he has never been forced to get up and provide sustenance for either of our children. It’s so unfair. With my first, I would wake him up. I would make him put something on TV so we could suffer sleep deprivation together. This time around, I’m smarter. Now I let him sleep but then make him get up in the morning while I ‘catch up on my sleep’. I wonder if I will ever actually catch up on all those missed hours of sleep?

3. Need to pee
This is the most infuriating thing in my life. I get woken up by a hungry baby and then feed her whilst I try not to piss the bed. If I run to the toilet, she wakes up properly, crying out for me (whilst my husband continues to sleep right next to her head). It’s pointless. I just have to wait it out and hope I don’t disturb her when I eventually do get to run to the bathroom.

4. Work
The early hours are a good time for coming up with article ideas, it seems. I wake up with a mind full of ideas and quickly jot them down in my phone. If I don’t, they disappear, evaporating into nothingness in my tired mind. I have a phone full of 3 am ideas for posts I’ll probably never find the time to write. But at least jotting them down gives me something to do, the illusion that I am multitasking even when I am really just trying to stay awake.

5. Wish Twitter wasn’t crap
I don’t know what happened to Twitter. I don’t know if it’s my feed that is the problem or the fact that it’s full of companies trying to sell me stuff I don’t want. It used to be my 3 am haven. When I was up feeding my first born, Twitter was full of other mums doing night feeds. We’d chat and the world would seem less still. Now, there is nobody there. Only scheduled tweets flogging old blog posts or promoted tweets talking crap at me. I miss the olden days when other breastfeeding mums lived in my phone.

6. Pin loads of things I can’t afford to do
Pinterest, it’s a maze I often get lost in at 2 am. I end up pinning loads of hallways I don’t have the money to recreate. Or creating a board of craft activities I’ll never get around to doing with Ebony. It’s the place I store the life I wish I had, filled with time and money and beautiful things, away from the chaos and disorder of real life.

7. Look on Rightmove
And while I’m planning hallways I can’t afford, I may as well look at houses I can’t afford, too. I look at huge houses with acres of land tucked away in remote places and wish I lived in them. I look at the most expensive houses Rightmove has to offer, wondering who, in their right mind, would spend that much on a house.

8. Obsessively check how much sleep I’ve had
My Fitbit is my favourite thing in the world. It tracks how much sleep I’ve had, even splitting it into light and deep sleep. Spoiler alert: I get basically no deep sleep. And it shows. I don’t know whether knowing how much sleep I’ve had makes me feel more or less tired, but I like knowing all the same.

9. Talk to my sister
My sister is in New Zealand so night feeds are the perfect time to message her. If I message her in the day, she’s asleep. But if I text her during night feeds, she replies! It is the one gift night feeds give me and it’s totally worth the sleep deprivation. You should all send your sisters to New Zealand so you can appreciate the time difference. If my sister was in the UK, she would not reply to me at 4 am unless she was very drunk and this would be no good for my sleep deprived mind.

10. Sleep
The best thing about co-sleeping is that I can sleep and feed. It’s amazing. Some nights, I don’t even know she’s woken up because I’ve been too busy sleeping. I latch her on and then drift off. I don’t know how people cope without co-sleeping. I would hate to have to get up and wander down the hallway to feed my baby. I like sleep too much.

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