The euphoria I felt upon bringing Jude home has turned into some kind of sleep deprived mania. This isn’t to say that I don’t adore my baby boy. I am so very in love with his sweet little face. But, the days and nights are beginning to blend into some kind of bizarre torture sequence, and I fear that if I don’t get at least three hours of sleep in a row soon, I may lose my mind.
And it’s only been a little over two weeks!
At first, our son would allow us to have three and four hour stretches of rest at night. Bliss. Even though I was tired, I felt wonderful. Now, he is up every two hours to eat, and though I don’t mind feeding him during these intervals, I do mind it when he lies there awake, staring at me for one-two hours afterwards. Why or why won’t he go back to sleep?
I have some theories.
He does not like pooping, and he poops a lot. Each time he has to go, he lets loose a violent, rage-filled shriek which continues all the way through his diaper change, something he also despises.
He hates gas, and he has an amazing, almost record-breaking amount of it. Much of his crying is followed by loud bouts of gas.
He wants to be held, so he can stare at our faces. In the shadows of the night, I can see his big, round eyes staring up at me. He likes it when I sing or kiss his hands or forehead or when I hold him close to my chest, resting his head near mine. Because I am so terrified that he will spit up and choke if I put him down too soon after feeding him, Mike or I hold him for about ten to fifteen minutes to wait out the storm, and clearly, the comfort of his parents arms is preferable to the cold, dark and lonely newborn napper in the Pack-N- Play.
During the day, Jude is on a pretty firm schedule. He sleeps for about an hour and a half, then wakes up, has gas, poops and/or pees, gets changed, then eats. I nap where I can in between watching crap-style TV and worrying about how messy and unkempt my house looks. Despite how it sounds, it’s really not so bad.
But I have come to dread the nights. In my real life, I like staying up as late as possible, watching TV until I can’t keep my eyes open any longer. Now, I am panicked if I’m not in bed by nine pm. Each time I hear Jude gurgle or stir, I stiffen.
It is intense.
I never want to sound like I’m complaining. I know this is temporary, and I know that I will (a) someday fit into my old clothes, (b) once again have the desire to leave the house or talk to other people and (c) eventually sleep through the night (or at least get four or five hours). But when I watch the sun rise and set through the windows or read about my friends trips to the beach on Facebook or blink and realize that the day has blown past faster than I ever imagined it could, it’s hard not to feel somewhat melancholy.
Perhaps it’s hormones, or maybe, it’s just the insanity due to exhaustion.
It’s almost bath time for our dear baby. Yes, it’s become very exciting here. I know that someday, Mike and I will take Jude on vacations. We’ll bring him to the zoo and to museums. We’ll show him some of the magic in the world. But for now, it’s dirty diapers and wardrobe changes and bouncy seats and crying fits, and even though it’s so very hard, we wouldn’t exchange it for anything.
Well, maybe we’d take a few more hours of sleep, but let’s just keep that between us.