It has been weeks since I've slept more than a couple of hours in a row and I've come to the conclusion that sleep, while certainly nice and definitely coveted, is for p*ssies. Settle down, Sleep Police, I'll explain. I just hope I can finish before I completely pass out from utter exhaustion.
There was a time not long ago in my adult life - it seems like it was a lifetime ago - that I actually required nine-hours of sleep each night. NINE HOURS!! A third of the day spent in bed. . .just sleeping and dreaming my life away. I do very little in moderation and can think of nothing quite so decadent as my old sleep schedule. That said, I'm intensely envious of the hearty serving of sleep that my non-parent self used to enjoy and take for granted.
I'm currently operating on around four total hours of sleep. I know, I know, "It's just preparing you for when the baby comes." Yeah, well, I'm quite aware of the demands that an exclusively breastfed newborn puts on mama and I remember all too clearly the shockingly little amount of sleep that I had for months upon months after my son was born. I hate to state the obvious, but this baby won't be here for 18- to 22-weeks so I have plenty of time to get back into the no-sleep groove.
What is causing my sleep troubles? In a word, EVERYTHING!
My younger son begins kick up his heels at the same time each day. What time would that be? Around 1:00 or 2:00. . .in the morning. This wouldn't be such a big deal if his dance fever didn't last until around 4:00 or 5:00 am. I must confess that I still thrill at the feeling of his tiny hands and feet beating a tattoo against his uterine home. I just wish he'd do it when I'd ordinarily be awake.
My older son, not to be outdone by his little brother, has also started to wake up in the middle of the night. I can count on at least one (if not two or three!) nocturnal bedside visit from him. He might have to pee, he might walk in and ask if his father is home, his might even grab a carton of milk from the fridge and crawl into bed with it. Yes, that actually happened. The strangest thing he seems to be doing (stranger than the milk carton incident in my book) is wandering out of his bedroom to the living room and crawling up on my rocking chair where he promptly conks out; though he once sat up, gave me a funny look and said, "What's going on out here?" What indeed!
My body is also getting into the act and is my constant wake up whenever I actually am able to catch some winks between the shenanigans from my boys. First, my bladder is clearly way too small because I'm up half the night just to pee. Yes, I've tried limiting my fluid intake at night. No, it doesn't appear to make much difference because my baby will still jump up and down on my bladder and make me feel like I have to pee. Whether I actually do have to urinate is debatable because sometimes I think it's just the kicky pressure that gives me the sensation that I might have to pee, which of course wakes me up anyway.
If it's not my bladder signalling me to wake up, it's heartburn, gas, or my gallbladder. The pain in my chest is becoming a serious pain in the @ss. I can't sleep for hours if I'm awakened with the awful sensation that feels like I'm being run through with a sword. The pain is directly below my sternum and it goes straight through and out my back. I can't get a decent breath, let alone get comfortable enough to sleep, when this pain is presenting. I'm not inclined to believe it's heartburn for reasons I've previously detailed, but I can't say that it's my gallbladder either. That leaves gas so I'm not only getting fat, but I also have to fart. Lovely.
I'm not sleeping anywhere near the amount of hours I'd like and guess what? I'm still handling life. Poorly at times perhaps, but handling it nonetheless. Here's a thank you to my children and my body for showing me that, even with only a few hours to recharge each evening, I can do so much more than I could have ever dreamed. . .ah, dreams. . .zzzzzzzzz