I remember back in my 20’s I could go out with friends after a shift at the restaurant, have some appetizers and drinks, come home, sleep for maybe 4 – 5 hours and feel rested and ready to conquer the new day. Fast forward to my mid 30’s and these last 3 1/2 weeks of sleep deprivation. I feel as if every day I have been waking up with a hangover, sometimes even with the slightest sensation of a headache, except two very big things are missing. For one, there is no memory of drinks/appetizers from the night before and second, the little sleep I could function on in my 20’s is nowhere near enough in my 30’s. I find myself constantly trying to recover only to discover that’s not going to happen.
Boy did I underestimate what everyone said to me before giving birth, that the first few weeks – wait a second, some people even actually said the first 3 months (what?!) are the toughest…they weren’t kidding! And this is not something that anyone will truly believe when they hear it, because I know I didn’t. I mean I heard what people were saying and I thought I had mentally prepared myself for it and then of course there was the little voice way inside me (naively) saying, oh maybe our experience won’t be so rough. Well, now I completely get what everyone meant, and coming from someone who loves, and I mean loves to nap & sleep, well, this has been a whole new experience for me.
I think on a good night the most straight through sleep we manage to get is about 3 1/2 hours, and mind you this is not always guaranteed. That’s part of the beauty of this new life for us. And how I manage to get up sometimes in the wee hours of the night is beyond me. Sometimes I even lay there in bed stalling for a few seconds hoping that maybe it’s not time yet, and then sure enough our little Celeste lets out a cry letting us know oh it’s very much indeed rise and shine time. And as crazy as this may sound, the beauty of it all is that somehow we get through it and while this is one of the most challenging experiences I’ve had it’s also one of the most rewarding. I’ve had nights of sheer frustration and exhaustion. Nights of feeding agony, pain, frustration, tears, you name it. And then all it takes is one look at our little girl’s face, seeing her open her big black eyes, making cute little faces, and all those challenging feelings seem to suddenly not matter as much. The tired feeling doesn’t go away, the wonder of how I’m possibly functioning still lingers on, but it doesn’t matter as much, it just washes away with the rewarding moments.
A lady from church said it so well to us today, she called this our “new normal”, and she’s so right. Of course I wouldn’t mind if our new normal came with an occasional Margarita, on the rocks with salt, mmmm….