Nothing , and I mean nothing, prepares you for the complete zombie-like state you are in when you have a new baby. I look back to those days and wonder how I even functioned. I could have starred in the Night of the living Dead with those Uncle Fester’s I was sporting. Yikes.
As soon as that little babe arrived, nighttime became this whole other dimension. All of a sudden you are responsible to protect and keep this small little bundle alive and well! And for me, looking at that darned moniter became an obsession!
I had never really worried about time or bedtime then all of sudden my life, sleep and well being all was dependent on this little one sleeping! I had no flipping idea how much HER sleep or lack there of actually affected my existence. So pardon me, if I was, and still am, a bit overkill and sensitive about her sleeping! My whole world revolved around sleep. I seriously would look at others and think, I sure hope YOU enjoyed YOUR beautiful, comfortable and uninterrupted sleep. Uh, resentful much Jen? I did not mean it, but I could not help but feel sorry for myself. 💁🏼♀️
Like, what did I actually expect?! I was going to bring this baby home and she would just sleep and when I wanted her to? Well, seems like is what happened for other generations. “Oh, we never had that problem…our babies slept well since birth”. Hmmmm, awesome for you, but it made me question what the heck I was doing wrong. Anddd, made me jealous too! 🤪
At first, when baby sleeps , like all the time , you think..hmmm, I got this! No big whoop. Then , in the weeks to come all of a sudden this little peanut wants to sleep all day and party all night longggggg. Oh boy, that is when the real fun starts.
I can remember waking up to choking on my own saliva, no doubt snoring like a bloody steam locomotive. Or I would have those many panicked wake ups, thinking my child was still latched onto me. I would come to and realize that this was the one time she wasn’t, unlike the 100 other times she was.
In the beginning, we supplement with formula as Toots was underweight. This was bees knees, I tell ya! This gave daddy some special time with Holly in the evenings. And I am not going to lie to you, as soon as I passed her over , I high tailed it upstairs and floated into the bed to catch a few extra zz’s. Even if it was only 30 extras minutes, I was going to take advantage.
Most times I would be dead to the world by the time she was carefully tucked into her bassinet. Ohh, and let me empathize the CAREFULLY tucked in. I think most parents can relate to the sweating inducing, heart pounding transfer!!!! Ohhhh, this was the most crucial part of the whole bedime sitch. It was like strategically trying to tuck in a bundle of dynamite. One wrong move…KABOOM!!
You see, I was totally guilty of nursing Holly until she was practically in a comatose state (after we stopped using the formula in the evenings). My arm would be trembling as I tried to keep it absolutely still. As I would carefully carry her to the crib, my heart would be racing. If I screw this up, BAM..an awake crying baby. Yesssss, I would have her down, now the tricky removal of your hand. I would literally take minutes to move my bloody hand from under her. Success, now to get out of her room with NO noise. Ok, knees get it together. No cracking. And, if crawling was necessary you bloody well crawled. No chances were taken!
I can remember the many times I would just lie her down and the dog would bark or the flipping doorbell would ring. Like the flip of a switch, I would morph into Linda Blair ( The Exorcist). I swear if it was possible smoke rocket out my ears and my head could turn all he way around whilst spewing green goo!!
I seriously almost wanted to run outside after the garbage truck and scream, “Hey you dinkus, don’t you know I just got my baby to sleep”!!!! Could you imagine?!! I had officially turned Nelly the Neurotic Noise Police. Awesome. Full disclosure I still am. 😑
Then there were all the sleep phases. Just as things were getting better…bing bang boom, things got inherently worse. Like, I am talking really s#%*ty! Yes, I am referring to the spit on your neck, kick you in the crotch sleep regressions. These were real tests to your sanity and caused crappy naps ( sometimes lack of naps) and nighttime wakings like crazy. Boooooo!!
These were the days of having to go for drives or just letting them nap on you , while you were in THE most uncomfortable position ever. Sounds nice to have them have a nap on you, right? Well, not always when you are starving and might just pee your pants. I did enjoy most of those sleepy snuggles and took about 1000 pictures, I swear.
Things of course did get better, and there were nights when she sleep through the night! And , how might I have slept those nights, you may ask?! Oh, I had the most restful sleeps. Uhhh, NOPE! Like, a stalker I would wake up every few hours and stare at the moniter. What is wrong with her? Is she ok? Why isn’t she waking up?! Like, are you frickin’ kidding me! What the eff was and is wrong with me!!! I guess I had gotten used to the frequent wakings? Like, get a grip Jen!!! My god!!!!
Oh well, you know what. I guess the saying, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I truly did get through those nights when babe was up every hour ( period that lasted for 5 weeks straight). And, when you are deep into it, it seems like it will NEVER get better, but it slowly does. I had to see it for myself because hearing it for others did not make me feel less tired. God bless them for trying to encourage me, I did appreciate it.
Thank goodness babies are so darned adorable eh?! It makes every sleepless night worth it when you go to get them up in the morning and are greeted with the biggest smile! Okay…I forgive you. 🤪