Thursday, January 6, 2011

It Changes You

Having a baby changes you. Well, duh, of course it does. One of the ways that having a baby has changed me the most is sleep. Not just the fact that I don’t get much. But, having a baby has changed where/when/how I sleep.

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We’ve switched sides. When I was pregnant, we considered the possibility of having to switch sides of the bed because the Dude always slept closest to the door. That was the side that E’s bassinet was going to have to go on because there wasn’t enough room on my side of the bed. And, that is the side of the bed that is closest to her room. We tried switching sides when I was pregnant for a few nights to get used to it but I couldn’t stand it. Sleeping that way felt all wrong. So we stayed on our own sides and I figured that we would just stick with it that way because really, getting up and walking around the bed to get to my girl in the middle of the night wouldn’t be that bad, right? Wrong. I laboured and gave birth to Eva on the Dude’s side of the bed and I basically haven’t moved since. I can’t even fathom having to walk the extra few steps to get to her at night. It’s torturous enough as it is.

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Falling asleep. It used to take me f.o.r.e.v.e.r to fall asleep. Now, since my body has adjusted to getting sleep whenever it can, I basically fall asleep in less than two minutes (usually, although there are still exceptions .. like when the Dude is already asleep before me and is already snoring his face off … still haven’t conquered that one). There have been nights where the Dude says he’s coming to bed with me and the next day I ask him why he didn’t and he tells me he came in five minutes after me and I was already zonked.

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Staying asleep. I can basically sleep through anything now when I used to be the lightest sleeper ever (except the snoring as mentioned above). It’s a little disturbing to me. Why? Because there have been nights where the Dude has gotten home, showered, had a snack, turned on the lights, gotten into bed while I dozed peacefully and did not hear a thing. My fingers are crossed that if anyone other than the Dude tried to come into the house while I was in zombieland that Nika would be my protector and would alert me. It alludes me how it’s possible for me to sleep through that yet I am awakened by the tiniest little squeak that comes from my daughter.

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No fan. The most dramatic change is probably that I now sleep without a fan in my room! Gasp! Can you believe it? I honestly used to lay awake for hours listening to the tick tock tick tock of the clock and other little noises if I didn’t have a fan or other form of white noise to drown all of those annoying sounds out. But now? No fan. When E was a newborn and sleeping beside our bed, we didn’t want the fan blowing on her because then she would get cold and sick and blah blah blah. Over the course of those 7 weeks, I adjusted to sleeping without a fan. And when we moved her into her own room, I put my little fan in there with her so she could have the white noise and get addicted to it like her mother. The sacrifices we make! And now? I’ve yet to go purchase another little fan to replace it in my room. Miraculously the tick tock tick tock doesn’t irk me quite the same anymore.

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Functioning with less. Obviously, I don’t get as much sleep as I used to. In fact, sometimes, I don’t get any sleep at all. Before I had E, this terrified me. It still does sometimes. I used to be a grouch pot if I got less than 10 hours of sleep. Maybe I still am and just don’t realize it? There have been many nights, especially in the early weeks, when I laid my head on my pillow and pleaded with God to help me survive the night. Because I wasn’t sure how I would. But, somehow, aside from a few mornings following really really horrible nights, I usually wake up feeling okay, sometimes even refreshed. I have learned to function (almost) normally with this new amount of sleep.

Some of my friends who don’t have kids yet tell me that they are pretty sure they won’t be able to handle the sleep deprivation. I didn’t think I would be able to, either. But I do. You just get used to it. It’s not always fun but it changes you, and you get used to it.

8 comments:

Laura said...

Oh, the things I have to look forward to in the next couple of days... ;)

This Texas Momma said...

In some ways the sleep thing gets better and goes back to the way it was before, and in some ways it doesn't! You will ALWAYS jump out of bed at the slightest squeak, no matter how old they get!

Jackie said...

I know I've told you this before, but the sleep deprivation was by far the hardest adjustment--that and being nocturnal for about two months. ;) Looking back too, it was only two months--but at the time, I thought it would last forever.

So glad you are able to sleep whenever you could--that totally changed for me. I was that way prior to Peanut, now I am a total insomniac. :( I get a lot done though!

Penny said...

Our dog threw up in our bed a few nights ago (stay with me, it makes sense, lol!) so we had to immediately jump out of our nice warm bed in the middle of the night and change our sheets. It was the fastest sheet-change job E.V.E.R. After that, I told my husband, "See? We'll get this parenting thing down." Then he reminded me that the only reason I was "cheery" while changing the sheets was I didn't have to go to work the next day...

Katie said...

oh my gosh, we're fan junkies. MAJORLY. and we're making Eme into a fan junkie too. In all seriousness, I NEVER had that problem before I married the fan-obsesssed-man that is my husband.

He made me do it.

SnoWhite said...

I'm glad you're sleeping -- that's the important thing, right? Isn't God great in that He allows you to zonk so hard when you don't have to worry? He'll protect you and wake you up when you need to be!

Brittany Ann said...

Sleep deprivation is the one thing I'm not worried about. I can survive on little sleep. Still, I plan on napping during the day in the beginning. I don't want my immune system to crash.

Kristin said...

Wow! My sleep has changed in pretty much the same way as yours! I sleep less but better now than I did before.