Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The post in which I sdilsdfajilsdfzzzzzzz........

One of the things that new parents seem to like talking to pregnant women about is sleep. If I had a buck for everytime someone told me to "enjoy your sleep while you can!"....well, I'd be spending even more money on useless frilly baby clothes than I already am.

The sleep comments always annoyed me. I mean, what was I supposed to do? Stockpile sleep? Freeze it like breast milk and thaw it out for a rainy day? And wasn't my sleep already crappy enough, what with the 7-pound bowling ball sitting on my bladder? Surely the sleep situation with a baby couldn't be that much worse, right?


Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I have to say, as a person who has always enjoyed a solid 7-8 hours a night, topped off with a lazy morning or two on the weekends, that having a baby has COMPLETELY changed my relationship with sleep. And not in a good way. And not just because the Edward Cullen dreams have all but disappeared.

It wasn't just the newborn phase -- sure, it was tough with the frequent baby waking and the bleeding and the soreness/pain and the hormones and the general recovery from bodily trauma. Oh, and the fact that you hear every single dingle noise the baby makes and OH MY GOD IS SHE STILL BREATHING? Let me check.

Even though the Chicklette has been sleeping, more or less, through the night for the last few weeks, it's STILL hard. It's the sheer unpredictability -- sometimes she'll have a night or two where she'll wake up or just be so grunty that it's hard to not lay in bed counting the minutes until I'm going to have to go in and feed/change/soothe her.

Most of all, and especially since I've gone back to work, it's the fact that the days start so early and are soooooo looooong. It's up at 5:30, sometimes 6 if it's a day my work schedule permits and she actually sleeps until 6. I'm lucky to be in bed by 9:3o or 10, which would actually work if I wasn't still getting up in the middle of the night to pump. Which only technically takes 20 minutes, but sometimes turns into more if I can't get back to sleep, or the baby wakes up, or (as was the case last night) I fall asleep, boobs in horns, and wake up an hour later with a crick in my neck and 3-inch long nipples.

So, yeah, life has changed. And most of the time I can deal with it. Except when I can't, and I'm struggling to make it through the day without falling asleep in my office or doing something stupid. Thank God for the pumping breaks so that I can catnap....but after last night I'm a little scared I'm going to nod off and not wake up until the night janitor comes to empty the trash can.

I guess I'm doing better with the sleep deprivation than I thought I would, but it's still not fun. And the fact that it may be YEARS before I can sleep in at the same time as my husband on a weekend morning makes me want to weep.

What all this means is that every time I talk to a friend who is expecting, or see a pregnant woman on the train, or talk to my former self (which, yes, I sometimes do), I can't help it. I don't say anything out loud, but in the back of my mind, a little voice is saying:

"Enjoy your sleep while you can, beyotch!"


ana said...

sooo true. to tired to write more....

Mush said...

I laughed my head off at the 3 inch nipples! V funny! Lack of sleep, or lack of any good sleep is hard. I would like to say it gets better but I'm not sure it does.

I'm really bad though, I always say I'm going to get an early night but as soon as 7pm hits and the kids are in bed, then "my" time starts and I just can't give that up by going to sleep. As soon as I go to sleep, I wake up and the next day is there already!

Very true blog, very funny. x

kdactyl said...

It has been two years since I embarked on the new parent sleep deprivation. We got a good sleeper and were on a great schedule by 8 weeks...but it is just as you say...unpredictable! And even though the baby is sleeping are not...there are noises, and worry and just needing to check on him/her one more time. There is no sleeping in (unless you redefine the words to mean..6:45am) THAT is sleeping in at our house!

We are now 7 weeks prego with number two and I am already dreading the upcoming sleeplessness on top of the fact that for 2 years we haven't come close to regaining our "pre-child" patterns. I'm worried it just might be compounded interest or something.! AHrg.

Set your cell phone alarm while pumping during the day to save you from the night time janitor! LOL at the 3 inch nipples....too freaking funny!

But so glad the Chiklette is doing well and you are having such a great time. It really only gets better and better....sleep deprivation and all.


Elle said...

Oh, so true! I fantasize about returning to my pre-baby life for a weekend -- or just a few hours on a Saturday morning. Sleep is without a doubt the #1 thing I miss about my old life.

And it's not even like I didn't appreciate the sleep back when I was getting it. The whole time I was pregnant I kept telling myself, "Enjoy this -- you're not going to be getting much sleep for the next few years." But even so, I don't think I comprehended how bad it was going to be.

Someday, like in 10 years, I'll be able to sleep in. And then I probably won't want to. :(

Ashley said...

That was one of the FUNNIEST posts that I have EVER read!! The sad part is it was funny because you just said every thing I was thinking!! I never believed anyone that told me to sleep while pregnant..I said I wake up every hour to pee how bad can having a baby be!! My parents watched her last Thursday night and I had the most amazing sleep...I felt like my old self again...for a split second!!

PS. The line about 3 inch nipples made me LMAO;)

Brooke said...

Aaaah yes the sleep conversations and comments. I wont tell you how my little guy sleeps because you will hate me. I did really love how people would say to a 9 month pregnant women to get lots of sleep. Ridiculous!

Ben & Anne said...

Omg -I have done that with the pumping and the nipple thing too, they looked like on one of those monkeys at the zoo, so scary!!! You are doing an amazing job, esp getting up to pump and then having to work, I resent the middle of the night pumping enough and I'm on a nice extended mat leave! Love your blog.... I have a 5 mth old via ivf, your observations on parenting are hilarious!