Sleeping like a baby…
In my world that means waking up every hour, demanding to be fed, then falling back asleep until the next hunger pain hits. Paddy was a terrible sleeper starting from about three months all the way until he was nearly two years old. We foolishly thought his sister had to be better at sleeping than he was. But guess what?!? We were wrong! She is worse! So much worse!
I over heard the Mister reading to Paddy from his national geographic book at bedtime (this book teaches him about a lot of different topics including sleep) and on the sleep page it mentions that when humans go without sleep they become “Sad, angry, and confused”. Check, check, and check! To elaborate, I am unable to regulate my emotions as well as I would like to. I have little patience with anything and I am easily irritated by everything. Most days I am unable to come up with at least half of the words I would like to say. For example, just the other day I was standing in the kitchen frantically pointing to the dishwasher because the only word I could come up with was “box”. And while technically accurate, that doesn’t quite help my dear sweet husband know where I want him to look for a dish.
I read an article recently where a couple was considering having children and thought that parents must be exaggerating the lack of sleep they experience… how could they work and take care of their children if it were really that bad? Talk about triggered. Let’s see…
…to name a few of the things that keep us performing. But even with all of that, things suffer. A lot of things. I find myself in a foggy haze when the nights are really bad. My coordination is worse than it ever was, and don’t even get me started on typing. Having retyped the same sentence 27 times just to correct one word.
Don’t get me wrong, my children are bright spots in my world, they bring me endless joy, but when it is 2 am and the baby has already been up seven times, I start to question why we ever thought we could handle two.
Add to that the fact that my babies have both been breastfed, exclusively, and you get the added strain of having the responsibility of every. single. night feeding. When I was still nursing Paddy, I came across a quote that stated “while breastfeeding may not seem the right choice for every parent, it is the right choice for every baby” and it really stuck with me. This is not a statement to shame those who are unable to breastfeed. But I am able. To deny my children the benefits is not something I am willing to do, even if it means no sleep for me.
I know that eventually the baby will sleep, but when you get to the point that you are begging your infant to just let you get one REM cycle, the next 12 or so months seem like an eternity.
So, I guess, in closing, to those around me, thanks. Thanks for pretending that there aren’t dark circles the size of hubcaps under my eyes. Thanks for pretending that you understand what I am talking about when I lose track of what I was saying mid-sentence and just wing it until I remember what I actually wanted to say. Thank you for going along with the facade of normality during day-to-day interactions. Thanks for dealing with me while I try to maintain hope that one day I will know what it feels like to sleep for longer than 2 hours again.