While pregnant people were often telling me to “get your sleep now” which I do NOT understand. It is not like a savings account where you build up extra sleep to use later…(that does sound amazing though).
When people said “you will never sleep again” the idea actually made me insanely nervous. How would I even function? No sleep? What does that even mean? No sleep as in, the college days when you would pull an all-nighter studying or finishing a big assignment, then run on Red Bull and coffee until you could finally take a nap? NO. No. No. Not that kind of “no sleep.”
Don’t get me wrong…. there IS coffee involved but it is for the most part a “better” form of exhaustion. I WILL say that every baby is different and in the beginning most babies have their days and nights mixed up. The good news is, you will get some sleep. Eventually. No one ever stayed up for months at a time (even though you may feel like that at this very moment).
Many nights my husband and I took shifts. We would rotate who took the first shift so that we were both able to get sleep. Do not feel guilty for having someone help you.
I always worried that I would not hear the baby when he cried. What if I finally fell asleep hard enough that I didn’t hear any of my apps alert me that there was a problem? (click here for a list of my suggested “survival” tools). What if the baby needs a diaper change and I don’t hear him cry? What if he’s cold? What if he’s hot? Sick?
I worried so much that I eventually started imagining that the baby was crying. The worry was clearly disrupting my sleep. So much so that one night my husband found me running in place in front of the bed. Understandably concerned,me what I barely remember mumbling “the baby…the baby is crying!”
Clearly my lack of sleep was catching up to me. But the truth is, this too shall pass. Mothers just like us have been dealing with lack of sleep since the beginning of time. Listen to your body. DO try to nap while the baby is sleeping. The dishes will still be there when you wake up. There will come a day when you can fold laundry without falling asleep in big pile of socks, and you WILL wake up without bags under your eyes (or so I’m told). And remember, you are just as important as everybody else. Don’t forget it. Now go take a nap!