Now that I have another child I realize how much I’ve forgotten about the early days with my firstborn. I attribute this to evolution. The perpetuation of the human race and such. What other explanation can there be for me forgetting the complete and utter lack of sleep that comprises these first few weeks of new motherhood?
I didn’t completely forget per se, I knew on an intellectual level that babies wake up frequently, poop copiously, and cry for no discernible reason; but I forgot how you can prepare for this reality by knowing all about it, but the wading through the reality of it is difficult.
And sleep deprivation? It’s really really hard. Trying to not dwell. Reminding myself that it is what it is, focusing on the tiny toes and fingers, and absorbing that this too shall pass– but seriously? sleep deprivation? It’s real. It’s painful. Its used to torture prisoners for good reason.
Compounding the lack of sleep is breastfeeding. I’m sure there are some women who bask in the warm maternal glow of nursing and truth be told I thought that would be me on the next go round, but no, its still hard. I still mostly hate it. It didn’t help that he had breastfeeding related jaundice that made the going particularly rough, but even now, as we leave those days behind us, dreams of dancing formulas in bright pink tutus still waltz through my head particularly on those days I’d like to get more than 90 minutes of contiguous sleep. I know it will get better. I know to take it one feeding at a time. But it was a struggle then. It is a struggle now.
It is also a struggle to have a phone conversation. I intend every day to call back my friends but then in the ten minute snatches of time I end up sleeping, or staring out the window at the squirrels bouncing from tree to tree, or watching an episode of Judge Judy as she explains the particulars of why Joe Schmoe can’t pay back his girlfriend [spoiler: it’s usually because he doesn’t’ have a job]. It’s hard to think too hard when you haven’t slept in days but if I owe you a phone call, I haven’t forgotten. Please don’t give up on me. I miss you. I will call you.
And if this post makes little to no sense or has bored you to tears, I’m sorry for that too.