Slowly, I backed out of the room and closed the door as gently as I could. I didn't realise I'd been holding my breath until I'd crept half way down the stairs on tip toes and once I was back in the lounge I let it out, thankful that he was still asleep then just as I collapsed into an exhausted heap on the sofa, I heard the all too familiar sound of crying that made my heart drop and tears of frustration and tiredness fill my eyes and threaten to fall... he was awake again.
You see, my 7.5 month old son didn't sleep... ever.
Night after night, I'd sit on the sofa with him on my chest falling asleep. I'd think, ‘yes okay this is it, he's going...’ but ten minutes later he'd start tossing and turning. This carried on for hours until my husband and I brought him upstairs into our bed where he would sleep for a few hours and then wake up again.
With a 2 year old to also look after, life was becoming incredibly hard. I spent all day holding/tending to him and then he'd sleep for ten minutes or an easily disturbed hour and it HAD TO BE IN MY ARMS! I was down, easily upset and fed up.
I craved to have an evening where I could just sit down and have a moment to myself. I wanted to just read or watch a film with my husband and just have my hands free to do whatever I wanted and the more I needed that, the more desperate I became until, faced with another dreadful night of no sleep and a restless baby, my husband Wesley came home to find me crying in despair.
We knew I needed to get help. Not the kind of help a shrink or therapist could offer but someone to train my son. I needed someone to help me bring back my life and create some balance.
Introducing Diane. Her colleague recommended I contact her and I did... a long garbled outpouring of desperation in an email and she understood fitting me in as soon as possible. I was so relieved. The next few nights whilst we waited were some of the hardest and one night standing in the kitchen so tired I could barely see in front of me with an awake baby in my arms, my husband told me ‘help is on the way’. I knew it was, but I couldn't see beyond that night... I couldn't imagine my life being any different than it was now. My son didn't sleep. Surely I was mad to think that someone was going to come in and change the way my son had been for 7.5 months of his life. It was just wishful thinking, wasn't it?
But I was completely wrong.
Lovely Diane came to stay with us for 36 hours... a breath of bubbly fresh air and my children loved her. She asked me questions, listened and then we went to work implementing the plan she constructed for Alexander. She knew and understood his needs and the fact that he was a tough cookie to crack. My son's stubbornness didn't faze her at all and she was right there, every step of the way guiding me.
The first night he was put to sleep in his cot and he slept!! A miracle!! He woke up once and that feeling of solid sleep was bliss. I felt energized and renewed. My husband commented how happy I seemed. That day, he actually went down for his naps and I sat at lunchtime with nothing to do for the first time in months. That night he slept in his cot again and I was shocked that this was the same boy who only days before had been so restless and unsettled.
Diane had changed my life overnight.
I went from an over tired, weepy, fed up mother in despair to one who had time to do all my household chores, play with my two year old and enjoy every second of my son. Both of my children now go to bed at 7pm thanks to Diane and I have my evenings back. I can watch a film with my husband and read a book, write and just RELAX AND BREATHE!
To any mums out there who right now feel how I felt, who are sitting up in the early hours of the morning with a baby who won't sleep and every part of your body aches with tiredness and desperation, contact Diane.
I would recommend you to have her come into your home and for just one night, let her change your life and help you to start being YOU again. You deserve it. I'm writing this in bed, my husband is next to me reading and it's 8.30pm. My house is silent and my two children (thanks to Diane) are in bed fast asleep. My marriage is thriving and I'm at such a happy point in my life again after months of hardship.
I just wish everyone struggling could read this and understand that you're not alone. Help is on it's way... if you want it.