Wednesday, August 1, 2007

:: Sleep ::

Sleep is an incredible thing. Not only does it get rust off hubcaps and gum out of hair, it also has the power to transform your life. Case in point:

Yesterday, I was what you would call Sleep Deprived for the first time in a long time. Sure, I've been Tired, even Exhausted, during these five weeks of Evan's existence. But on the Sleep Security Watch Level Scale, I had yet to raise the threat level past orange. Until yesterday. Yesterday, for reasons mostly unrelated to Evan, I hit full-on red.

So how can you determine your own Sleep Security Watch Level? How can you tell red from its paler cousins orange and yellow?

Signs of Sleep Security Watch Level Red include crying from frustration, exemplified three times when Evan wouldn't pipe down already. Instead of soothing him with the calm sound of my voice and the even sway of my arms, I joined him in sobs. Not as effective as speaking in my best Barry White voice. But it made me feel better, even if it left him in about the same state.

Other signs include nagging doubts. I've known for weeks that Brian goes back to work on August 6th. After having him here for four solid weeks, I start flying solo in five days. I knew this on Monday, but somehow was unfazed by it. Yesterday, it seemed impossible. Like more than I could handle. During the sobs identified above, thoughts like "How am I ever going to make it? I can't do this. What if Evan cries the whole time Brian's at work? Everyday!" poked at my Sleep Deprived brain teasingly. Meanly. I felt certain that I actually would not make it through the first morning. I'd have to give Evan away, citing Lack of Ability to Handle Everything as my reason.

Finally, where the above signs are lacking or are difficult to discern, the final sign of Sleep Deprivation is eating junk food for no apparent reason. Thank god we didn't have cookies or cookie dough in the house, because I would have put a serious dent in the 15 pounds I've lost so far since Evan's birth. But we did have Baked Lays, and when you're Sleep Deprived and craving useless food, even Baked Lays seem enough like junk food to suffice. You just have to eat more of them. Which I did while neither Evan nor I was crying.

Today, though, behold the power of sleep. I'm in a great mood, have coped just fine with Evan's crying, despite the fact that he has actually cried more today than yesterday, and less than some of his bad days. I haven't felt even the slightest twinge of doubt about next week (wait until Monday's post -- I'm sure it will resurface) or had even the smallest tear threaten to fall. I feel Great.

All thanks to sleep, wonderful sleep. Sleep from 11 p.m. until 10 a.m. with just two Evan-related interruptions. Sleep under soft sheets and a cozy fleece blanket. Sleep next to my warmth-producing husband who, thankfully, wasn't snoring. Sleep without a beachball-sized belly in the way or five hundred pillows propping various body parts up. Sleep like grandma used to make.


Christina August 2, 2007 at 4:04 AM  

Sleep is a precious thing that we take for granted until we're parents. I've had a hard time finding sleep lately, not because of the baby (well, partially because of her and her sister), but because I always have so much to do.

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