Aug 11, 2014

In the Middle of the Night

We are exhausted. I am exhausted.

I have two Big Girls who are right now packing their suitcases full of underwear and plastic food, and who somehow really believe they are driving themselves to Washington D.C. today to visit their Auntie. And I have one Baby Girl who is snuggled on my chest snoozing away.

All of this I want to be soaking up and enjoying fully, yet instead I am exhausted, finding myself vacillating between complete indifference and extreme irritation. (Yes, apparently when I am sleep deprived my irritability comes out like a maniacal monster.)

This beautiful miracle asleep with her legs curled under her and arms splayed, with her head of dark hair and pursed lips, with her chunky double chin and pointy elf ear, sleeps so peacefully.

Except when she doesn't. Which is usually at night.

Oh, hello. You mean I'm supposed to be sleeping right now?

The first several weeks were fine, good even. The next two weeks, when Adam was back at work, even seemed survivable. But this fifth week, my darling third daughter's fifth week of life is kicking me, hard.

I am coming off a week of mastitis and nights where I was awake with her anywhere between one and three hours at night. She is not crying uncontrollably, something I know to be incredibly grateful for, but anytime I try to put her to bed after nursing she wakes up and fusses. And the fussing turns to cries until she is picked back up, soothed, and rocked to sleep. All of which began with a sleep deficit already in place.

I am a zombie. I am one of those bleary-eyed, sleep-deprived, new moms. Except there's nothing funny or amusing about any of it. I am one "Mo-om" request away from breaking into sobs, one whiny-pout away from screaming.

I am not enjoying my three beautiful-spirited daughters, I am surviving. ("Surviving" is probably even questionable.) If I could, I would wrack up some major guilt. They are spending too much time in front to screens. They are not getting outside, going to the pool, seeing friends, getting out of the house, enough. Their diet is mostly snacks. I am crabby. I am short. I snap and sigh and spend too much time on the couch with my eyes closed. But I don't even have the energy for guilt.

There is no doubt in my mind this will all change. I know that eventually we will find our way, that Nora will get into better sleep habits, that none of this will last forever, or even very long. I am not wishing time away because already I feel like this month has flown by and my tiny newborn is quickly turning into a chunky baby. I know that everything is a season and I will look back and miss these early days, even though (or maybe especially because) they are foggy and filled with desperation (for sleep).

But right now I am tired. Oh-so-tired. And I am just trying to survive. Trying to remember to relax. To breathe. To not let my grouchiness get the better of me. To apologize. To give hugs. To love every minute I can -- even the ones I am awake for in the middle of the night. And to forgive myself when I can't.


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