You see your friends who already had babies and you think, well, that didn’t seem too hard for them. They still look fabulous and whenever we all meet, they would just mention oh-so-casually that they don’t have enough sleep when they gave birth. I didn’t see any dark circles under their eyes so I thought, oh perhaps they just lost an hour or two of sleep! Now, I just wish that they EMPHASIZED it properly and firmly with lots of exclamation marks. Hence, I will not sugarcoat anything for you–I have never felt AND looked so haggard. During those days of turmoil, you could have swum in the deep wells under my eyes. Your journey may have been better or will be better as we’ll all go through different experiences, but if you are one of those having a difficult time, you. are. not. the. only. one! I completely and wholeheartedly commiserate with you.
The Top 1 on my List is definitely:
1. How incredibly difficult it was to BARELY get enough sleep.
Prior to pregnancy, I was used to staying up late. Sometimes I stay up until 2am or 3am. I chalked it up to my being a “night person”. During my third trimester, I wrote about how my baby kicked me all night long and even if I wanted to sleep, I couldn’t. So sometimes my bedtime is around 4:30am. I was being trained for sleep deprivation, I thought. If my present self could go back to that time my reaction would be HA HA HA HA HA ROFL *Chortle* *Snort* *Chortle* *Chortle* you don’t know what you are getting into!!!
When the nurses say that you must feed the newborn every 3 hours, they meant it. Round-the-clock. Which meant, waking up every 3 hours, bleary eyed and groggy, and trying to coax a sleepy newborn to feed. As a first time and very naive mom, I thought that every 3 hours meant until 12 midnight and then we all sleep and wake up at around 6:00am and start over. When I asked the nurses about that, they all shook their head and repeated, EVERY 3 HOURS.
Now I know why Mommies wake up early all the time! It’s because we have been coerced from the day we gave birth!
Helpful Tip: Newborns sleep better on their tummy. I do this a lot, but I watched her like a hawk. At night, I would put her to sleep on my chest just so we can all sleep together. Otherwise, she’d wake up intermittently in the wee hours of the morning. There came a time when I no longer had to do this and she can sleep through the night by the time she is three months old (translation: four hours straight is already sleeping through the night!)
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