It’s been 8 days since I last slept. Actually, no, that’s not true. It’s been 8 MONTHS since I last slept, and 8 months before that! Basically, I haven’t slept since that day we decided we wanted to be parents. Things that have kept me up:
Is this what I want?
So, we’ve spoken about it, at length. We’ve decided we want a baby. We’ve decided it’s the right time. Rather, I’ve decided all that, and he seems to agree—yeah, hell, of course he agrees, to be sleeping as peacefully as he is; those snores are definitely someone who knows what he’s on about! Oh lord, I hope this is what I really want!
Am I, am I not?
Ten days on, I was quite sure there was something up with me. I was getting cramps, while on my run, I was pulling myself around the tennis court (Yes, Serena Williams, you really are GOAT!), and I was having trouble getting out of bed. I also, once, nearly broke the door down, so I could run to the loo, to throw up. The doctor had an answer to everything—not drinking enough water, the weather (apparently, sleep is a symptom of the ‘salubrious Nilgiri climes’), and something I may have eaten. He then conceded, there may be a hormonal issue, but it was definitely nothing to really worry about. And no, I was definitely not pregnant, because these were all 6-week-pregnant symptoms, not 6-day-pregnant. So I stayed up, convincing myself, alternatingly, that it was too early to say, and that I definitely wasn’t.
Someone strap my legs, hold ’em down, make it stop!
Restless leg syndrome. That evil, evil thing! According to statistics, almost one in every five pregnant women, suffers from RLS. But, to be fair, I wasn’t the only one this monster kept up. Everytime, I’d wince, or one of my legs would jerk, an arm or a leg would appear from somewhere and pin it down. And because sympathy often begets tears, there would follow a meltdown, and then a pep talk… So much for sleep!
OMG, I’m doing this alone!
From ‘I’m only going to get bigger—how am I going to do xyz’, to ‘who’ll change the diapers when he’s gone’… The anxiety for having to wing it alone is greater than actually flying solo. And yes, anxiety keeps you up. It also makes you panic, which, too, keeps you up!
You bladdy bladder!
Picture this: You’re 8-months-pregnant, and you have all these noises running through your head, and you finally exert your will for all its worth, and shut them up, and then, there is a squeak; and you realize this noise is not in your head, it’s your bladder, being pushed to within an inch of its life by your bulging uterus! Not a very pretty picture. But who said anything about pretty? There’s absolutely nothing pretty about being pregnant, or having a baby, except, perhaps, the baby. Even the baby, is usually pretty only to her own parents!
Will I be a good parent?
Will I? Am I? If I am, will I continue to be a good parent? Like it sometimes happens with jobs, does burnout happen with parenting, too? Will she come and tell me all that I’d like her to tell me? Will I meet her standard of what she expects from her mother? Will I meet my own standard of what I expect a mother should be?
Popping the baby!
Will it be a natural delivery? Will it be an easy delivery? Will it hurt? I hope she gives me an epidural! Will I have to go the surgery way? I hope they don’t have to induce labour—that’s rarely ever a happy scene! Is that a contraction? What’s a contraction like? How will I know, it’s time? I hope I know it’s time, in time. I hope ‘time’ is not in the middle of rush hour traffic. I hope it’s not a water-breaking, messy affair. I hope my water breaks, because then I’ll definitely know it’s time. I hope the baby waits for her daddy to be around when she arrives. Will it be a girl or a boy? Oh, I so want a baby girl! Baby boys are sweet, too—I can dress him up in bowties and suspenders! Oh wait, we still don’t have a name for a baby boy!
The month before the baby came, and the month after, literally everything hurt. Legs, arms, neck, back, sides, stomach, everything! I’d like to see you sleep through that kind of pain. And then there are pains that carry on, a few months down the line. GROAN!
Everybody I spoke to, said, sleep all you can, while you’re still in hospital, because once you come home… And I thought, yep, that’s the way to do it. But this is how it went:
Night 1 (pre-baby)
10 pm: ‘Sleep now—tomorrow could be a long day.’
4 am: ‘We need to take you for an NST.’
6 am: ‘Induction or c-section?’
7 am: ‘Have you taken a call?’
8 am: ‘Are you sure?’
9 am: Here we go….
Night 2, 3, 4 (post-baby)
10 pm: OMG, my phone’s been going crazy, let me reply…
11 pm: It’s getting late, I better sleep.
Midnight: ‘You need to feed the baby!’
12.30 am: Ah, sleep!
2 am: ‘You need to feed the baby!’
4 am: ‘You need to feed the baby!’
5 am: ‘Madam, should we sponge you?’
5.30 am: ‘We need to change the sheets.’
6 am: ‘You need to feed the baby!’
6.30 am: ‘Would you like some tea?’
7 am: ‘Here’s your tea.’
8 am: ‘Feed the baby!’
8.30 am: ‘Breakfast?’
9 am: Breakfast.
9.30 am: Where’s my family?
10 am: WHERE THE HELL IS MY FAMILY?
10.30 am: *‘Family’ troops in.* Go away, you guys, I need to sleep. ‘Oh, but we didn’t come in earlier because we thought you’d be sleeping!’ AAARRRGGGHHH!!!
It isn’t always me. Sometimes, it’s the baby.
Gas pain. Teething. Growth spurts. The occasional flu. OMG, she’ll roll off the bed, in the middle of the night, if I don’t watch out. Oh dear lord, why does she insist on sleeping on my arm, at that awkward angle? The dead of the night is not for singing! Or for dancing!
And then sometimes, it’s HIM!
Dude, seriously? Do you even realize you’re two-and-a-half hours BEHIND me? You’re seriously telling me, you’re tired?! When we’re together, why must you be the first person to hit the hay? Why can’t you, ever, put the baby to bed, so I can be the first person to turn in? Not only do I need it, I DESERVE IT!!!
It really IS me!
Like now, for instance. Why must this post be wrapped up, just now? Why can’t it be done in the morning? Because then it’ll be 9 days, and that just won’t make sense! I’m ambitious like that. I’m also a little selfish like that. I want my time and I guard it jealously. But what it really comes down to is, I’m never sleeping again!