Dear people who sleep on a regular basis,
This is not a post for you…you may be very confused at times while reading, feel free to ask new parents what’s up…maybe just give them a coffee first. To give you a clear picture I used to be a person who enjoyed sleeping in on the weekends. I even recall times when I was in high school falling asleep after school only to be told it was dinner time. I remember every Monday morning when my high school French teacher would demand what I did over the weekend, the only French phrase I still remember to this day is “J’dormi dans”. Little did I know that these were the days of good solid sleep. Sleep where you actually feel rested, sleep where you wake up and think, wow, I feel great. Sleep where you don’t wake up panicked because of all of the screaming or panicked because it is too quiet. Sleep where you don’t wake up and go eff it’s already 6:00 am. Sleep where you wake up with a bed full of small children.
Not to get ahead of myself here, in July of 2008 my husband and I started thinking about having petites and like all people venturing out there into thinking about kids its exciting and terrifying and just something so fun to think about and your thinking yeah babies don’t sleep but that doesn’t last forever right? Honestly, I didn’t really think about the lack of sleep I was think about all those cute little onesies and baby names. Fast forward to July 2009.
Our beautiful petite has arrived and her first night on the outside is spent crying and very awake. My hubby walks her for hours through the hospital wing (being careful not to pass the line on the floor that sounds the alarms and lockdown). The nurses kindly assured us this happens all the time they have their little nights and days mixed up etc. This is the part where you will recognize the foreshadowing. The petite did not sleep through the night until she was perhaps 2 and a half years old. My hubby and I would walk around like zombies, we learned very quickly to drink lots of caffeine try not to think about how tired we were and never, NEVER engage in conversations with other parents about how their child was sleeping. On the occasion where we did have conversations about sleep with those horrible gloating “oh my brand new baby sleeps through the night and has been a perfect sleeper since they day they were born” type of parents; we would both leave feeling like they were basically full of shit or gloating because when their darling little Rip Van Winkle had something to make up for…slow to sit up, colic, general mal content…whatever. When our petite finally started sleeping through the night a funny thing happened, I was so used to the wake ups that I wasn’t able to sleep through the night and would find myself bending over her cherub little face feeling for breath. All the while hoping I wouldn’t step on that squeaky floor board on my way to the door.
So I ask you what does any logical person in my place do once their petite finally and I mean finally starts sleeping through the nigh? Pretty obvious right? You start to think about having another petite. Jump ahead… now we are preggo and as you probably know, have heard about, or really can relate, pregnant people don’t sleep well at all. Even more so people lucky enough to sleep in the same bed with them, even on one of those mattresses where you can bowl and drink at the same time, a pregnant woman is no match for that, you see there are sound effects, moaning, under the breath swearing, sometimes in my case team lifting situations happening (we have an ungodly high bed, literally it’s almost 3.5 feet off the ground), which could sometimes result in a giggle followed by a swearing fit. So you know sleep is already a totally wishful thing. Now it is getting close to petite #2 arriving and petite #1 starts waking up in the middle of the night again! WTF. You might be thinking well she just said she is writhing around in bed, getting lifted to and fro, etc., she’s already awake – well no, because as people with kids know it never ever happens at the same time.
Baby #2 arrives and this little petite can sleep, she is the cutest when she sleeps, little pouty lips, sighs all of it. She sleeps so well we are shocked, so well we have to wake her to eat. So well, in fact, that we refuse to answer the question are you getting much sleep with any sort of real answer, “oh yeah you know”, “she’s great”, “wow, I’m so tired”, all the while thinking HOLY SHIT she sleeps so well don’t tell anyone we’ll jinx it. Then after a while you kind of have to embrace it, this petite is amazing. It must be comeuppance since her sister slept so shitty for 2.5 years.
We got used to our good little sleeper, the big sis got sorted out and was once again sleeping through the night and we were rested, like well rested, functioning with only moderate coffee intake. Ironically enough my hubby and I spent the night in a fancy hotel sans the petites and we kept waking up throughout the night hearing phantom cries – it was not a haunted hotel – it was a Fairmont.
What I will say is that life is short, sleep is great, and you need it, people who tell you to sleep while you’re re pregnant before the baby comes need to know that’s not helpful. People who knowingly gloat about their good sleeper to a sleep deprived parent are just plain rude. But hopefully like all things with petites the sleep will return and in the meantime, map out the nearest Starbucks and get a really great concealer to hide the bags under your eyes. By the by, I am still in search of a great concealer for those pesky under eye dark circles, if you use a great concealer let me know what it is in the comment section. The one I use is no match for my eye rubbing come 11 am when I am wishing I could curl up somewhere and take a nap.
I laugh because when I started writing this my little one was an awesome sleeper and now, well, she is starting to get her first tooth, it’s not here yet, but it is coming. For those of you not pregnant or without kids, or with kids who sleep take a nap and bask in the pure bliss of sleep…just don’t tell any of us sleep deprived people.