Y'all, I am so so tired.
I don’t remember being anywhere near this exhausted with Griffin or Amos. I suppose I was, but maybe I don’t remember? Or maybe I wasn’t because I wasn’t chasing after two other kids? Or maybe I was just younger and had more energy?
I have no idea. All I know is sleep is important to me and I’m not getting enough.
When Felix was a newborn who just slept all day, I was feeling pretty good. However, once he transitioned to a more adult-like sleep cycle, the situation got real. One middle-of-the-night feeding became three. My sweet newborn became a cranky baby who wanted to hangout on my boob morning, noon, and night.
In a fit of desperation, we decided to sleep train Felix a few weeks ago – MONTHS earlier than we had trained our other two and with no bedtime preparation to speak of. We were ill-prepared and went cold turkey on the swing and swaddle leading to a disastrous couple of nights with everybody in tears.
Our lack of preparation and the wretched result left me in a full-on guilt spiral.
In the middle of the night, everything seems worse. In the middle of the night with a screaming infant, everything seems downright tragic. I just lay in bed and cry - feeling like a failure if I pick him up and reinforce bad sleep habits and failure if I don’t because I’m letting my baby cry.
And - for some inexplicable reason - I find myself crawling into bed either to go to sleep or to go BACK to sleep only to find sleep won't come.
I'm suddenly wired and scrolling endlessly through Facebook where everyone else's happiness feels like a million micro-aggressions. Or I lay there in the dark and the quiet on edge - my heart racing - waiting for the baby to start crying again or for my mind to just. shut. up.
Plus, I’m not exercising. I gave up yoga and running when I got pregnant and despite the occasional morning walk, I haven’t done anything with regularity.
I feel bad about my body but don’t have enough energy to do much but feel bad about my body.
Everyone says I have a five-month-old and sleep deprivation is part of the deal and I get all that. However, I think there’s more to it than that. I got pregnant one month after I lost our last baby. As a result, I’ve been in some type of extreme hormonal phase since November of 2013. Not to mention, I had two pregnancies and two years of breastfeeding in the four years before that.
Let’s do the math.
Over the past seven years, I’ve only spent 21 months NOT pregnant or breastfeeding.
I’m rafting a raging hormonal river and trying to do it with no sleep.
I’ve also been struggling with post-partum hypertension, which I didn’t even know was a thing until my blood pressure sky rocketed a week after Felix was born. Now, once a month, my blood pressure shoots up and I have a terrible headache for two days.
What makes it even harder is I was basically in the best shape of my life before I got pregnant in 2013 so the difference between then and now is hard to ignore. When I look back at pictures of myself, I don’t feel forgiving or grateful. I only feel frustrated and impatient. I know how good I can feel and look, which puts the current terribleness in starker contrast.
I know all the things I should do, beginning with showing gratitude for the amazing journey my body has been on over the past seven years.
And maybe I could find some space for gratitude if I could just get a little rest…