I originally wanted to write a blog with tips for sleep deprived moms. But quickly I realized I can’t give those tips if I don’t follow them myself. Besides what works and helps a little for me may not work for someone else. So I decided to write to myself to encourage me to keep it up. Also hoping that some who read this might find it encouraging as well.
Background for you readers:
Lily has not sleep good for months now. I can’t even remember how many. My brain is fuzzy to a lot of details. Lily’s lack of sleep is medically related. Although at one time she didn’t have these issues she does now. I have to remind myself that it is only for a season… or two. Although Lily wants to sleep she has respiratory issues when she does. A sleep study showed mild sleep apnea but not enough to need any intervention other than continuous oxygen at night. Her muscles are so weak that she does not swallow correctly in her sleep causing saliva and mucus to build in her chest and throat. Although they help, medications and other interventions to cut back on her mucus are just not enough. So numerous times a night she either wakes up screaming or her pulse oximeter (that measures her oxygen and heart rate) alarm goes off waking me up because her oxygen has dropped below the comfortable stage that we want it at. This can happen every half hour to every two hours. When this happens I have to physically get her out of bed and help her cough. This can be invasive and is no fun at all. Sometimes it can take an hour or more to get her to finally cough enough up that she can go back to sleep. Needless to say this is physically and mentally exhausting for both of us. Not to mention the nights that she may have muscle spasms. Thank God those aren’t near as bad as they used to be.
Daniel is wonderful at trying to help out. Unfortunately he can’t really do to much since he needs to sleep good to be charged and ready for work the next day since he is our main source of income. It is encouraging to know that he is near and ready to help if I need him.
Hang in there. You CAN do this. You’ve done a great job so far.
Continue to surround yourself with scriptures. Post them up in Lily’s bedroom so when your up with her in the middle of the night you can read them and memorize them. Burn them into your heart. Just like when your in a doctors office and you constantly read the posters on the wall so many times you practically have them memorized. If it’s in your line of site you will read them. Turn those scriptures into prayers. You know God hears every cry out to Him through these tough nights. Dwell on those scriptures to more purposefully direct those pleas for help.
Call out God’s names. Refresh yourself with all of God’s names and what they mean. That way when you call out to God you can say:
God I know you are El Roi (God Sees) you see how exhausted I am and what Lily is going through. Please help.
God I know you are Jehovah-Rapha (God who Heals) you can heal Lily. I have faith that You can do so.
Through the day listen to uplifting praise and worship music or watch a good light hearted family comedy . It does your emotions good. Whatever you surround yourself with your emotions will reflect it. So as tempting as it is to sit down and watch a sappy chick flick while eating a bowl of ice cream. Put in that new Rend Collective CD and get up and dance. You can work on a little house work at the same time so you don’t stress about it later.
Drink more water. It’s easy to get lethargic and more depressed when you aren’t keeping your body hydrated. I know you are an emotional eater and drinker so you just want to go for another diet coke or cup of coffee. Try making a point to drink a glass of water before you reach for another can. You will find yourself not wanting it as bad and deciding you didn’t really want it in the first place. Same thing goes for those sweet snacks your craving. Try to go for something more healthy first.
Remember to not get irritated when someone randomly tells you they are tired and exhausted. Even though your immediate thought is “You have no idea.” you really don’t know their circumstance and what they’ve been dealing with. Their situation is as real to them as yours is to you. So show mercy and grace and don’t try to make it all about you. Pray for them instead.
Remember to think before you speak. You don’t want your emotions to control what you say. Being exhausted can really make what you say come across the wrong way. No need to hurt others just because you let your emotions speak before your brain.
Be quick to apologize when you do accidentally let those emotions speak first.
Stomp on the Devils head! Literally get up and stomp if you have to. God’s word gives many examples showing that we can stand against Satan and in Jesus name he MUST flee. So when those dark times come, out loud (because he can’t hear your thoughts) tell Satan to get away from you and take anything that is not of God with him. He can’t steal your joy, in the name of Jesus Christ GET OUT!
Then remember to praise and thank God after so you put the focus back on God where it should be.
Be more patient with Lily and others. No need to take it out on someone else when it is really your thoughts and emotions that are the issue.
This is only for a season and you know it. God can and will change your circumstances and will heal Lily so she can sleep better again. You will get used to the longer stretches of sleep and eventually not get up every hour automatically whether she is up or not. You will look back and wonder how in the world you functioned on such little sleep. Then you will remember it’s only because you didn’t let your emotions control you and instead took charge and relied on God’s promises.
When I said, My foot is slipping, Your mercy and loving-kindness, O Lord, held me up.
In the multitude of my [anxious] thoughts within me, Your comforts cheer and delight my soul!
-Psalm 94:18-19 (AMP)
You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on YOU, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.
– Isaiah 26:3 (AMP)