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Letter to Luella: Eight and nine months

Fat Mum Slim /

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Dear Luella,

I once did some management training {I was pretty bad manager – not tough enough, not good at delegating, not good at, you know, managing} and they shared that when you’re telling someone some bad news you should always start with some good news and try and finish with it too. I guess it’s kinda like a bad news sandwich, placed gently between two pieces of good news.

So I’m going to start with some good news…

You are pretty much the cleverist baby I’ve ever met. I’m not exaggerating, you truly are. I’m like the grandma who brags about her baby to all the other grandmas at Bingo. Except you’re MY baby {and I don’t play Bingo}. I know with second babies they do everything quicker, but the rate at which you’ve gone from sweet newborn to clever standing-by-yourself and I-can-walk-two-steps-by-myself baby is mind-blowing. Yep, last week you took TWO steps by yourself.

You can also speak. Well, in a language that perhaps only I understand {kindly pointed out to me by Dadda} but you can say bath, bye, Mama {that one is clear}, Dadda, and hello. You are so very clever.

You love to do swimming lessons. You go underwater without a care in the world. I hope you keep up the water baby business. You love to be with me, preferably in my arms as I try and do everything that needs to be done one-handed. You’re like a little koala attached to my hip. You are so very cute.

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So you are so very, very clever at most things… except sleeping. I don’t blame you. I blame me. I’ve made myself the human dummy. I’ve never taught you to sleep. I’m a big softy and hate to hear you cry. I should know better, you are just doing what I’ve taught you.

Sleeping has never been great but more recently it’s taken a turn for the worse. Some nights I get just 2 hours of broken sleep. Some I get more. And yes counting sleep is an obsession when I’m sleep-deprived.

I hope that when {if} you have your own children that you teach them how to sleep, because the nights are lonely and long when you’re in the midst of sleep deprivation. The other night I held you out in the lounge room, overlooking the other houses in the neighbourhood. Each of them was black, not a light on. I knew they were all sleeping. I felt jealous, and sad, and lonely… but most of all desperate. I didn’t know when the next bit of sleep would come, or how I could muster up what very little energy I had to fight the sleep battle… to do what it takes to get you to sleep.

And what a waste it feels to get you to sleep, only to have you wake two minutes later and do it all again.

Sleep deprivation is the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. And this is my second time around. I now remember why I waited so long between babies.

When morning comes I rejoice. The nights are over. I try and forget how tired to the bone my body feels. I just celebrate the battle being over for another day, until the anxiety creeps in mid-afternoon as I realise I need to gear up to do it all again.

I love you my sweet Luella. But I owe it to the both of us to get you better sleep. I went and saw our lovely doctor, as well as our favourite midwife, and asked begged for help. We talked about options and the best seemed flying down to Sydney for sleep school. But I’d have to wait, of course.

On Saturday night, after I couldn’t get you to sleep until midnight and then you were awake not long after, I decided that I couldn’t wait. I found a local lady who’ll come to our home and help us out. She’ll stay through those long, lonely nights and help you sleep. So this week we learn how to sleep. This week is the week.

I’m sorry. I know it’s not going to be fun for a while. She promises no crying out. I told her I can’t do crying. But I know there will be whinging. But it will be worth it. I think we just don’t remember or know what good sleep feels like. We will soon.

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My sweet Luella. I love being your Mama. I love your sweet kisses, even though they’ve become more hazardous now that you have two sharp teeth. I love the way you giggle, and sometimes get into a laughing fit over the most ordinary things. I love you from your sweet strawberry hair, to your teeny tiny toes.

I just love you. So so much.
Mama. xx

@Fatmumslim