It’s 4 PM and I’m still in my pajamas.
Since Miss Sass has been going through her 4 month sleep regression, I thought I would dedicate today’s post to sleep.
You know how they say absence makes the heart grow fonder? Or how you never really know how much you love something (or someone) until it’s gone? I’m sure “they” probably weren’t talking about sleep, but “they” probably weren’t sleep-deprived first-time parents either.
I never realized how much I loved sleep until it was gone.
I should have listened to those nurses who told me to try to sleep during labor. “You’ll need all your energy for pushing!” What they failed to mention was that I wouldn’t be sleeping for the next two months.
At the hospital I probably slept a total of five hours during our two-night stay. And as we headed home, I thought, “Oh, it’ll be nice to finally get some sleep in my bed now without those nurses coming in every hour!” Foolish.
I’m fairly certain that during those first two weeks with baby home I was running off of pure adrenaline. I was so thrilled to be with my daughter and have her home. In fact, during one of my first middle-of-the-night feedings I wept as I stared at my beautiful baby girl. I was so grateful, and having experienced a miscarriage with the first pregnancy I knew that being able to carry and deliver a healthy baby was nothing short of a miracle. Two weeks later, I was crying for other reasons.
Even when by some miracle my Miss Sass was sleeping, I could not sleep. Perhaps it had to do with my funky brain chemistry or hormone levels after childbirth, but my anxiety levels were off the charts. If she slept for two hours during the day I would think, “Wake her up, she’s not going to sleep tonight!” Or if she slept for 30 minutes I would think, “Good God, why is she not sleeping?” If she cried while I was nursing, I would wonder, “Is she still hungry? Did she eat too much? Is the milk coming out too fast for her? Or maybe it’s not fast enough?” If she pooped a lot it was, “Does she have diarrhea? Does her tummy hurt?” If she pooped too little it was, “Is she dehydrated? Do I need to feed her more? Maybe she’s constipated?”
What didn’t help was when well-meaning doctors or moms would tell me to just sleep when the baby sleeps. Or, “Gee, you really need to rest.” Ya think? Oh, just sleep when the baby sleeps, that’s all! Thanks for the tip!
When you are not sleeping, each day feels like an eternity and you begin to wonder if you’re going to be able to live another day with a little life-sucker attached to your chest. And you look at every mom you know with wonder and amazement and ask, “How on earth did you survive this?”
Because moms are amazing, that’s how.