Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Infantile Delusions or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Lack of Sleep
The last time I left you, I mentioned how I envisioned my life after the doctor would hand me my daughter. Posed as if we were photographed, myself, husband, and child would all look up into the yonder and from then on live a wonderful life.
Well, when the nurse handed me my daughter, my life has been drastically different than what I envisioned. There was no yonder to look into, just the hospital ceiling tiles; and the first three months of this wonderful life was filled with tears, self-doubt, and visions of hurting my husband.
When I first told people about my pregnancy I was fed many lines of: "OH!! IT'S GOING TO BE TERRIFIC!!" "ENJOY YOUR DAUGHTER WHEN SHE'S A BABY, IT'S GONNA BE THE BEST MOMENT IN YOUR LIFE!!" and "BABIES ARE SOO EASY TO HANDLE!! Of course you're gonna be a little tired, but you won't even notice it!!" Then, I would read pregnancy books that showed happy couples changing their babies together. Publications that encouraged me that Of course it'll be a little hard getting used to, but after a few days you'll be fine. Even the nurses, that no matter who was in the room or what time it was, would unfasten my gown and pop my...feeding mechanism in my daughter's mouth would tell me the exact same thing.
All of these people can't be wrong!! When we brought our daughter home, she slept like an angel... then an hour later, she woke up and wouldn't sleep for the rest of the night. The milk that my body produced for her was no longer up to her standards, and panic began to set in. "ED!! SHE'S NOT EATING!! GET HER SOME FORMULA!! NOW!!"
Everything seemed so easy at the hospital, and with a small change in location (and I mean, EXTREMELY small location change, I live so close to the hospital that I walk there sometimes), it seemed like everything changed. My daughter no longer slept during the night... or during the day. The helpful nurses that were at a button's call was replaced by my tired husband, who after asking him to get up would...after twenty minutes. The calming and serene hospital ambient noise was replaced by my stupid neighbor playing the SAME Rick Ross songs for three hours while he got ready to go to... God knows where.
Like an atomic bomb, I felt like I could blow at any minute, and any and all people who would tell me: "It'll get better," were potential Soviet Union members. I didn't care about it getting better in the future, I wanted it to get better NOW!!
I kept on wondering if something was wrong with me. Why did it seem like it was so easy for everyone else? Why did she stop latching on, and then when I pumped, why did she not accept the milk? Why is it that the only position that she will fall asleep involves me sitting up against the wall, and her leaning up against me? Why do I dream of my daughter walking and talking, wake up and see that she's still an infant and burst into tears? Why does my neighbor think that Rick Ross is so good? (Seriously, Rick Ross, who are you trying to convince that you're a thug? Me or yourself?)
After a while my neighbor started listening to different music (courtesy of a new girlfriend, her thank you fruit basket is in the mail), and even with the lack of sleep, it did eventually get better. My daughter finally sleeps through the night, and I no longer feel like I'm a member of the walking dead.
Today, we're celebrating my daughter's first six months in the world, and I think back to moments when I had to encourage myself: "If you make it through the first week/first month/ first six weeks/ first three months, you'll be fine." Even though I love my daughter as a baby, I celebrate every milestone that signifies growth and maturity; and I know that if I can make it 'til she reaches preschool, I know that I can make it!!