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!"