Sleep, damn you!

I can't sleep. My whole life, it has been easy for me to wake up in the mornings and be productive almost immediately. In college I woke up 4 days a week extra early to go to the gym, including Saturdays. I rarely am able to take naps during the day, and I am horrible at staying up late. Granted, there have been a few exceptions, but mostly this is always true.

Toss a baby into that mix, and things get exhausting. "Sleep when the baby sleeps!" they all tell me. Um, I can't. I can count on one hand how many daytime naps I've taken in the three weeks since the girl got here. When nighttime rolls around, I am so tired I can hardly think straight. I go to sleep, wake up every two or three hours with her, sleep with her on the couch if I have to, and then when she wakes up in the morning to eat, whether it's 6am or 9am, I wake up too and then I'm up for the day. 

I try to sleep. I make myself lay down and I turn the TV off, but usually all I can do is think about all the things that need to get done around the house and around my life. Sleep when she sleeps? Yeah right, life still goes on, and my to do list is only getting longer and longer. I need to cancel my membership at the gym. I need to vacuum my bedroom. I need to empty the dishwasher and color my hair and go grocery shopping and eat lunch (is it lunchtime already??) and call about car insurance and write in her baby book and spend time with my husband and check my email and feed her again and send in my timesheets for work.

Shit. I forgot to send in my timesheets for work.

What comforts me is that one day she will sleep through the night, and I will finally get some work done.


It needs to be said...

Breastfeeding sucks. It sucks. It is hard and it is painful and I can say with confidence that is has been the hardest part of the whole giving birth/new mom package. 

It hurts. I have never been so aware of my nipples in my lifetime. Granted, almost three weeks later, the pain is subsiding and things are getting easier. But for a good week or so there, every time the girl needed to eat I would have to grit my teeth and bare (bear?) down to get through the first few seconds. 

It's hard. Being the sole source of my new daughter's nourishment is a huge responsibility, and thank goodness we've had an easy time of it. We haven't had problems with latching on or any of the common troubles that can occur with babies learning to nurse, but it is still hard. I'm the only one who can be there for her in the middle of the night. Skip can get up and change her diaper, but ultimately it's me who has the job to do. I can't hand her off to anyone else and say, "Here, you do it." And you can only sit down and lift up your shirt so many times before you feel like a cow. The on-demand-ness of it is what makes me the craziest. 

I'm all for breastfeeding. To read the research and information on how awesome it is not only for her but for me, it's extremely clear not only that our bodies were built to do this, it's not just a coincidence that women can also nurse their babies, but it feels like I'd be cheating her out of the, literally, best food for her in the world. And she's only a baby! She doesn't deserve to be cheated out of anything.

But damn all those people who told me, "Your life is about to change forever!" or "Get your rest now!" Why the hell didn't anyone ever tell me, "Enjoy the last few weeks of your nipples feeling normal! Breastfeeding's a bitch!"