Often the only mental quiet we give ourselves is when our head hits the pillow at bedtime. No wonder the to-do list, the worrying is coming up! Your brain is saying “Finally, I’ve been trying to get this across all day!”
You get home from the hospital with your bundle of joy and your baby is peaceful and sleepy and you start to think – “OMG! I lucked out and got one of the sleepers!” And then bang – out of nowhere, right around 2 weeks of age your baby wakes up. You feel shocked.
You initially think it’s just a stage. It will pass everyone tells you. It must be a growth spurt. Is it too early for teething? You’ve read somewhere that they’re meant to sleep through the night at 6 weeks of age. If only babies could read too.
You start bargaining with the universe: “If I get 3 hours of sleep in a row I promise I will NEVER complain about being tired again for my whole life.” And you start bargaining with your partner: “If you go settle the baby this time, I’ll go next he wakes up, I promise.”
And then the next time you say the same thing and hope he’s too tired to remember…
He does remember and you exchange a few words I can’t mention on this blog. And then you feel guilty and you agree what gets said at 3 am doesn’t count. What is said in the bedroom stays in the bedroom and at breakfast the next morning you pretend it never happened.
But you still feel guilty. You always seem to feel guilty about something these days.
Someone in your mum’s group said her baby only woke up once last night. You have to leave the room to stop yourself from hissing and scratching. You aren’t sure if you can go back to that mum’s group.
Everyone seems to think you should be ‘back to normal’ (whatever that means!) But you are just realising the magnitude of your loss. You never knew how good sleep was until it was gone! Well-meaning family members try and talk you out of your depression but you just need to wallow in it for now.
7. Acceptance And Hope
You realise that this is just how life is with a baby. You accept a certain level of sleep deprivation, but you are also optimistic you can make small changes and tweaks over time and that gradually you will start to get more sleep.
(From: Julia Jones, Newborn Mothers)