April 29, 2017

A Full Night’s Sleep


My first birth story

When we had our first child, my husband and I were over the moon excited to welcome a big, strong, beautiful daughter into the world. “Wow, have our lives changed!”, we thought. After a rough start to my pregnancy (throwing up from week 6 to week 21), we educated ourselves on just about everything, reading about the size of the baby and learning how she was developing and growing. What a miracle it was to have a little human growing inside me!

Our due date came and went with no interruptions or signs of this baby wanting to be born! I remember calling my parents and crying when I was 4 days overdue, telling them that I wasn’t even nesting and that this baby would never come; ridiculous, I know!  They assured me that I couldn’t stay pregnant forever (thank God – right!). Having had five children of their own, I figured they knew the right answer.  LIttle did I know, my husband was the one nesting!  Just as he finished organizing and cleaning the basement, as he sat down to relax, my water broke.  “This is it!” I thought, “This baby will be born in a matter of hours!” Wow, was I wrong.  As you know, the process, for most, takes a while… A lot longer than I had ever thought.  We drove to the Calgary South Campus Hospital to get checked out. They reassured us that we could go home and come back in the morning. Contractions started at 2 AM. After “sleeping” that night and listening to my husband snore away, we left for the hospital at 7 AM. I was determined to eat a bowl of Cheerios (yes, through contractions) before we left.   All was going great, I was “progressing normally” and had a great nurse by my side.  After pushing for 2 and a half hours, the OBGYN came to talk to me about “options.” Though there were no serious threats to myself or the baby, the delivery process was taking longer than expected and the doctor’s concerns were beginning to build. The OBGYN said I could push for another hour and see if baby would come, or I could have a C-Section. At that moment, the thought of pushing for another hour sounded terrible. I was exhausted. I was angry that I couldn’t do what I thought all women were supposed to do: Deliver a baby naturally.

Through tears and contractions I signed the papers and I was prepped for a C-Section. I can’t remember the exact details of the next several minutes, but at 7:21 PM, our 9 lb 8 oz, perfect little girl, Madeline, was born.

I tell you my birth story because, in my mind, I was going to have a ‘perfect birth.’ I actually don’t know what a perfect birth would be or what it would look like. But, in my mind, a perfect birth was what I was going to have. The months, weeks, days and hours leading up to delivery… I really thought I knew what was going to happen. It was plain and simple. I was going to give birth to a baby. I was open to a natural, unmedicated birth, but I knew deep down that probably wasn’t my reality.  A C-Section crossed my mind only briefly because I was sure I wasn’t having one. Then I had one, which wasn’t so terrible after all!

Similarly, I thought I was going to have a perfect baby who slept. I LOVE sleep, so why wouldn’t my baby? Days, weeks and then months started to blend together. I fell into the trap of getting my child to sleep in whatever way I needed. Bouncing, dancing, jumping, singing, humming, feeding, swaddling, swinging… you name it.  I very quickly started to instill bad habits, which I knew I was doing, but I didn’t care because I needed to sleep more than anything in the world. My husband and I struggled for 10 months to get our child to sleep longer than 3 hours in a row, with naps that were few and far between. I dreaded nights, I remember waking up to my child crying, opening my eyes and looking out the window, hoping that it was morning. I so badly hoped that tonight was going to be the night that Maddie slept through the night.  NOPE – never!

The truth is, I didn’t know- what I did not know!  I had no idea I had to train a baby to sleep. I had no idea a baby didn’t just sleep. I mean sleep is natural right?!   It took a long 10 months to realize that sleep deprivation did not have to be our reality.  We knew we wanted another baby- but that could not happen until we had a baby (and mom) who slept.

I can help you answer your questions and help you get the sleep you need!


Our second child

This pregnancy went much like our first. I was violently sick for the first 17 weeks. I was VERY thankful that our oldest child was sleeping a solid 12 hours a night. Her sleep gave me the chance to sleep, and boy did I!   After about week 20 I was sailing through the pregnancy. I was happily working as a classroom teacher and a mom.  The time came for my husband and I to choose whether or not we were going to schedule a C-section. With much debate, we decided to go for a C-section but we only told a few people so the birth of our second could still feel like a surprise.     

Evelynn was born September 24th, 2015. Determined to have restful nights, Steve and I used the knowledge we had learned from our previous mistakes to instill healthy sleeping habits with Evelynn. We were very careful not to fall into any sleep traps! To this day, we have two healthy children who go to sleep and stay asleep. This means our family has SleepFull Nights.

Whether you have a newborn, a toddler, or a child in between, I can help your family get to sleep and stay asleep.


Madeline and Evelynn

New baby on the way…