On SleeplessnessPosted: March 14, 2012
There are many things I do not understand yet. Like how people have more than one child. How meat eaters can hold a baby bunny and not feel sad. How people think drinking diet coke counts as a suitable fluid for hydration. But, as I’ve come to understand, life is a great unfolding, and it is alright that I do not understand everything yet. Or even close to everything. Or anything, as it feels like this morning.
My sweet baby, 20 weeks and two days old, does not yet understand how to sleep, which means this tired mum is awake even more than him. I think his longest stretch ever has been 4.5 hours. I think that most days I do not take my sleep deprivation too seriously, and thank my body for adapting when it needs to. I also think, that the last months of sleeplessness do sometimes sneak up on me, and slam me all at once. It is not so much fun. I’m trying diligently not to feel bad for myself, to remember that:
(I have at least a dozen friends with babies who all apparently STTN (sleep through the night), its hard not to be envious).
Someday I will look back on these nights with a wistful sigh. But right now, in the moment all I want to do is cry and go back to sleep. Maybe eat a big bowl of cereal, and fall asleep with my face in a book. And not wake up for ten hours.
I called my mom on the way into work this morning to try to get a little sympathy before I have to offer it right back out to library patrons (who are always, inevitably in need of compassion and attention). Most days I get a great rush from helping people–deriving a satisfactory sense of joy by helping people meet needs and achieve goals. But today….today I want to be the one who gets a kind smile and a laugh of commiseration.
I know I’ve never been a good sleeper myself. Just as I thought I had it worked out, pregnancy gave me restless legs that refused to let my body rest, and now my baby son just wants me all through the night. Ultimately rewarding and empowering (“yeah! I can go run 4 miles at 6am after 5.5 hours of intermittent sleep”)…and the gaze of unconditional love and happiness from my little boy erases my worry lines that I’ll never sleep again.