Wednesday, October 27, 2010

To sleep or... well, not to actually

Okay, let’s get this out of the way right away so we can start again with a clean slate, sleeping when you have a baby just doesn’t happen. People who tell you their babies sleep through the night at five weeks are either: a) lying; b) delusional from lack of sleep; c) the exception to the rule; or d) one of those people who consider sleeping through the night as sleeping between four and five hours in a row.
I, on the other hand, am none of these things, so I will tell you how it is (or, in any case, how it’s been for me). I used to love sleeping, if I didn’t get my full eight hours, no interruptions, a night I was one grouchy gal. I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in almost three years. The most I’ve managed to sleep uninterrupted is five hours. Now, I know that some people sleep five hours a night and are perfectly happy and totally functional, that, however, is not and has never been my case. It’s all relative, you see. If you’re one of these people, you can stop reading now, this post does not apply to you.
As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I stopped sleeping three years ago, cause I was in my third trimester and peeing every thirty minutes, then my first baby, the Boy, was born. He ate twice a night for the entire first year of his life, he then reduced it to just once a night until he was 18 months, by then I was in my third trimester again with the Girl and peeing… well you know how it goes. But I’m not writing a negative, poor little ole me post, I want to give you hope, because you see, I may not be sleeping much, but nothing terrible has happened. I tire a little more easily, sure, I’m not as reactive as I once was, not as quick on my toes, my memory can be a little foggy, but I’m fine and the kids are fine. A little lack of sleep never killed anyone, parents have been raising kids on very little sleep for a very long time and here we all are, the human race, healthy and thriving as can be.
The other thing I’ve come to realize is where children are concerned nothing lasts, nothing is writ in stone. And this heartens me to no end, because I know, I know that sooner or later I’ll start sleeping again. In fact, I know that sooner or later I’m  going to be the one waking them up and that is going to give me so much pleasure! In fact, I’ll let you in on a little secret, sometimes when one or the other wakes up crying and I’m nursing or prepping a bottle or changing a diaper at 3am I fantasize about the day when I’m going to wake them by crying for pancakes in the middle of the night, and they damn well better come with melted butter and maple syrup.
So the point of this post is, be prepared, resign yourself to the fact that the first few years you won’t be getting much sleep but that’s ok cause you’ll survive and that first full night’s sleep you get, that first night when no one wakes you, not even your own overly neurotic brain that wants to make sure the kids are ok since they haven’t made a peep yet, that first night will be magical, glorious, fabulous. It gives me hope and I am so looking forward to it…


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