My Heart, Your Home: Tresillian - The sleep School   

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Tresillian - The sleep School

Hi, my name is Jess and I am a sleep-a-holic. Its been three and a half years since my last sleep. I haven't been able to contain my cravings or limit my desire. I spend my days waiting until I can have the next hit, but I have three little people who have made it their life mission to steal it away from me. 

I havent spoken much about Asher's sleep patterns, mainly because my biggest struggle has been watching Evelyn's nightly battle to head off to sleep. But the combination of three children and there constant fight with sleep had finally taken its toll on me and it became apparent that Asher was, in actual fact, the worst of them all. 

I had a week, about a month ago, where this sleep deprivation had wreaked havoc with my body and my mind. A throat infection that I had been fighting for months had travelled its way down and caused pneumonia and all I really needed was to sleep for a week, which was impossible. I was completely exhausted that I began to forget things. Things as simple as what day it was, my shoes, drink bottles, commitments I had made, important events in friends lives. But on this particular day, I forgot the most important of all the things. I had dropped the girls off at a girlfriends house so that I could go to the Drs and have my chest checked. I drove to the  Drs, I got out of the car, into the waiting room, sat down and sighed relief that I didn't have the children with me. It was then that I realised that I did actually have a child with me, only I didn't. I had left him behind in the car. I ran out to the car and had retrieved him in less than 5 minutes. But, I had forgotten him.

It was at that point that I realised just how broken this lack of sleep had made me. I never thought I would be the person who could forgot my child. But there I was, sitting in the Drs waiting room, in absolute shock. So while I was in the Drs I broke down and asked for a referral to tresillian and then I held my breath and waited for admission. Two and a half weeks, I only had to survive two and a half weeks.

On Monday the 17th I packed my packs and Asher and I left the family to spend four nights learning how to sleep. Walking into Tresillian (willoughby) was like walking into your Grand Mothers house. It felt like a big warm hug. The nurses greeted us with smiles, they were gently spoken and empathetic. We sat down and went through a welcome interview, telling them about what our patterns and habits were. I advised that he wakes every 30-40 minutes over night. I wasn't worried too much about his day sleeps. But his nights were an issue. We had been surviving the nights by pulling him into bed with me, feeding him and then co-sleeping. It was the only way I could ensure that I, and the house, would be able to get some sleep. 

So when Monday night arrived and he went to sleep without so much as a complaint, I worried that I would appear to be lying. However, within 30 minutes he started to wake. Waking four times between 7 and 8:30pm. He finally settled for a short two hours and then the party began. I was so shocked by just how bad it actually was. He was loud, he screamed, he was wide awake. At 3am the nurse removed him from my room and tried to settle him in the common room while I tried to get some sleep. I slept from 3am until 5am, when Asher was due for a feed. It was horrible, I was emotional.

Night two, we had the same experience. Asher was again removed from my room, just so I could get an hour or two sleep. The nurse, Michelle, who looked after him was so gentle and beautiful, towards both myself and to Asher. I felt safe and comfortable to return to my room and get some sleep. 

I woke the next morning and I was truly disheartened, I could not imagine that this was ever going to change. That this was to be my life, from here on in. It was so defeating. The nurse that morning readmitted me to return the following week, as Asher was just so impossible. Night three rolled around and I felt so extremely anxious and apprehensive. I didn't want to tackle ANOTHER night. 

I put him to bed at 7pm on night three and I sat on the lounge and I couldn't help but I cry. The hope and faith I had put into the magic that is Tresillian was quickly leaving me. I was surrounded by others Mothers who were just short of Angels, they were loving and supportive and encouraging. I took myself to bed in preparation for another night of torture. Asher woke as I entered the room and I gave him a bottle. It took him 1 and a half hours to settle. I drifted off into a nervous sleep and when I was woken by Asher's cry, I couldn't help but think "here we go again". Until I looked at the clock and it was 5am! Amazing! I was all smiles!

Night four came around and I found myself convinced the night before was just a fluke. But, he proved me wrong. When went to bed at 7:30pm, he woke at 2am and then slept until 7:30am! We woke up and had some play time and he rolled from back to tummy for the first ever time. I was able to cancel our re-admittance and come home positive that we will be okay!

Tresillian is the place that sleeping angels are made from! The support, the company, the sleep, the kindness, it is incredible. I left there feeling calm, confident and strong. I will be forever grateful to the women who supported me through what was such a highly emotional and physically draining week. I will remain confused about what we really did to change his habits. Other than stretching out his feed times and his wake times, I really do not know what the magic cure was! 

Last night, all three children were asleep at 10pm (the girls sharing a room for the very first time and Asher in his big man cot!). Anthony and I crawled into bed at 11pm and we weren't woken until 5:30am. 

Hi, my name is Jess and I am a sleep-a-holic and I think I may just find my hit in the next coming days!

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