Thursday, April 05, 2007

Six Weeks? Really?

And the honeymoon is over.

Sleep is a thing of the past. I’m at the point now where I’m actually staying up on purpose. Perhaps the dark circles will cover my face and look like a tan.

It’s really almost comical. The first four weeks lull you into a false sense of security; you bring the baby home and she sleeps. You bustle about, finishing things that didn’t get done before the baby came home.

The first 10 days or so, you stay indoors, marveling at the gorgeousness you’ve created. But no matter how beautiful your child is, you get a little stir crazy. So you dare to take the baby out.

And it turns out to be a great success. Primarily because all she does is eat, sleep, and poop. And you had the common sense to feed her and change her diaper before heading out.

Now you’ve got an attitude about your child. Your child is not just the best looking child, but she’s also the best behaved, which surely puts you in the running for the best parent ever.

Pride comes before the fall.

By week three, the newborn is doing a-m-a-z-i-n-g things – vocal noises, head lifts/bobbles, and the flail of an arm or two. Amazing.

But with new found skills comes new found needs.

By week five, the solid three-hour sleep intervals are punctuated by the occasional fit that can only be satisfied by cuddling. Awake cuddling. But no worry, it’s only occasionally and really, it’s special bonding time.

Suddenly, you find yourself knee-deep in half-hour ‘naps’ between the hours of 9pm and 6am. Your thoughts of perfect parenting awards are supplanted by fears of over coddling and creating a spoiled-rotten monster.

You find yourself catnapping at work; in your catnap nightmares, you’re on trial for terrible parenting skills.

And all you can think is, at least I can sleep in prison.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too true. The lack of sleep a baby brings to a household is criminal. I can remember being So tired that I could not speak lest I cry. It does get better, trust me.

4/05/2007 10:08 PM  
Blogger braiding mommy said...

I remember this sleep pattern change well... hang in there. You get used to being perpetually tired and learn to live without the sleep. :)

4/06/2007 6:37 AM  
Blogger Stacy said...

You'll learn to survive without the sleep. And, then, when you do get to sleep through the night and something happens to throw that off course, you'll wonder how the hell you ever made it through those first x months (I won't tell you how many years...umm....I mean months it was until we got to sleep through the night).

Glad she's keeping you on your toes!

4/06/2007 7:29 AM  
Anonymous Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

I clearly remember thinking (okay, fine, I have no clear memories from that time period) that maybe I could run away and get some rest.

4/06/2007 7:40 AM  
Blogger Evilynmo said...

Sleep deprivation does suck, but every parent goes through it, so don't count yourselves out of the running for best parents ever =)
You're doing great!

p.s. you can't "spoil" a baby til they're 1 year old =)

4/06/2007 1:06 PM  
Blogger Kila said...

Give lots of cuddles (it's important for their brain development) and, don't worry, you'll start sleeping again in a few years ;) I well remember those short naps, ugh!

4/06/2007 7:48 PM  
Anonymous L.A. Daddy said...

I read this and slap my face in horror, "What have I done?"

Mother Nature has a way of making you forget all this sleep deprivation so that you'll do it all over again and have another child.

And here I am with a 2nd one on the way.

Thanks for reminding me. I'm gonna go take a nap now.

4/08/2007 10:35 AM  
Blogger Mitch McDad said...

Pardon me while I chuckle at you. Isn't being perpetually tired twenty times worse than you imagined?

Read your new post at BF....very elegant and poignant. I can't imagine the surreal battle of feeling you two must constantly deal with. The juxtaposition of extreme joy and extreme loss must be very hard.

Now, tell that little pumpkin in the bunny ears to go to sleep. Who knew sleep would become so cherished?

4/08/2007 9:46 PM  

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