Friday, November 7, 2014

Survival Mode

When I had Baby, someone gave me the sage advice that in the first six weeks of your new addition's life, you are in survival mode-do whatever it takes to survive.  Now having gone through two babies, I've realized this is profound guidance.  The first six weeks is such a blurry, sleepless, tumultuous experience of the highest highs and the lowest lows while getting to know your newest love.  

Once you get out of the first six weeks, you are starting to get a groove.  You hopefully have a smiling baby in your arms that makes life just that much sweeter.  You remember to eat about half the time, there are even some days you can take a shower two days in a row.  Life is good.

Moving past six weeks, your baby starts to sleep longer and longer stretches.  Three hours feels incredibly refreshing. Four hours is as relaxing as a week long vacation.  Five hours and you can take on the world.

It has been more than seven months since I have slept longer than a five hour stretch.  That is half a year people.  And in the last five months, I have only had two of those-the rest of the time it was three and a half.  Now I am back to being lucky if I get two hours at a time.

Back to survival mode.

I'm tired on a level I have never experienced. The idea of doing anything makes me want to cry.  I'm emotionally drained, I don't have the energy to engage with Boyfriend or with Baby more than on a superficial level.  I abuse the fact that they will love me no matter what and place all of my limited resources to "turning it on" at work since I haven't built that rapport with my new team yet.  When I can, I chose to be social instead of doing any chores or dreaded responsibilities because I'm definitely not going to waste what little I have on things that don't bring me happiness.

I don't know why my baby doesn't sleep.  And frankly, I don't care.  In my mommy gut, I know nothing is wrong-it is just her adaptation to the new world. I have gotten a ton of guidance or advice on how to get her to sleep longer, some I feel there is no harm in trying, others I vehemently disagree with.

I also am told, quite frequently, "Don't worry-she will sleep through the night soon enough!" as though it was something to look forward to, the ultimate end goal.  And yes, in one way I look forward to the day that I close my eyes at 10:04 p.m. and open them and see 4:47 a.m. flashing back at me.

The thing is, with this baby, my last baby, that is going to come with age.  I mourn the loss of my baby's babyhood more than I mourn the loss of my sleep.  I don't look forward to the nights where I have lost the opportunity to give her extra snuggles and kisses on her sweet, sweaty head as I nurse her, warming her belly providing her an extra couple hours of content sleep. 

So yes, I'm back to survival mode.  This age of survival in my life is proving to be much more trying than the first six weeks of either babies life.  But I wouldn't trade it for anything, I'm not going to force something that goes against my instincts, I'm not going to demand my baby meet a development before she is ready to.  So whatever it takes, we are going to get through it, my baby and me.


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