As a new mom, you know you're not going to get much sleep. It's just a fact. Also as a new mom, you will have the mind of a crazy person. Partly because of the sleep factor, partly because you don't know what the F you're doing, and mostly because you are so damn terrified of everything that you create anxiety around scenarios that are for the most part, far-fetched.
For example, a few weeks ago, I brought Liam home to Iowa. Early one morning, my niece, Sloan, came in to play. I told her that it wasn't playtime, that me and Liam were sleeping, and to please go find her mommy until it was time to get up. She got mad and left the room. Instead of falling back asleep, I thought about how I felt bad that I couldn't play with her at all hours like I used to. I wondered if she was playing by herself in her playroom just outside my door. I couldn't hear her. Then I wondered if her dad remembered to lock the sliding door to outside, because if he didn't, she could think to open it and go outside. Yes, she was definitely outside. And she didn't have shoes on, or a jacket. And it was below zero. She would freeze to death! I lay there with bated breath thinking about how I'd never forgive myself if we found Sloan frozen outside, and how it would be all my fault because I'd turned her away. Then I heard her playing, and I breathed a sigh of relief. See? CRAZY, and not even just thoughts about my own kids -- I find myself anxious about ALL of them.
Many times in the past 14 weeks as a mommy, I've wished there was some type of device that could record the actual crazy thoughts running through my head. At night is when I find myself having the strangest dialogues. I'm not sure why - perhaps because it's dark and quiet and everything seems scarier when the sun goes down. I do everything from bargaining with God if he'd just let Liam sleep a little longer to contemplating going to the gym after Liam's first feeding of the day instead of going back to sleep (I told you...crazy thoughts).
While the thought process changes based on the baby's age and where is he sleeping, here's what a typical night in a new mom's head might sound like:
10:00 pm: "I'm so exhausted. I can't wait to get some sleep."
11:00 pm: "The baby is hungry AGAIN? Already?!"
11:30 pm: "Alright kid, let's speed it up..."
11:35 pm: "He's so adorable. I love this time with him."
11:45 pm: "Well, that should hold him over until for at least a few hours."
12 am: "Tomorrow, I'm going to workout, go to the grocery store and go on a nice long walk with the baby."
1:00 am: "ALREADY?"
2:00 am: "Oh shit! I fell asleep nursing! Phew, the baby hasn't fallen out of my lap."
2:05 am: "Please God, let the baby sleep until morning."
2:45 am: [You hear the baby cough.] "WHAT WAS THAT?" [wait to see if he starts to cry. Nothing.] "What if he's choking? He's not choking, I'd know if he was choking.
2;46 am: "But I forgot to burp him after he ate last. What if he's spitting up in his sleep and can't make any noises to let me know he's not OK?"
2:47 am: "I'll never forgive myself if he's choking and I didn't check. I might as well, I'm awake anyway."
2:48 am: [After sticking your finger under his nose to make sure he's breathing] "Oh, thank God."
3:25 am: [hear a whimper on the monitor] "Please don't wake up, please don't wake up, please don't wake up."
3:28 am: [baby crying] "God Dammit."
3:50 am: "Please, please, PLEASE: go the F to sleep!"
4:00 am: "He's so beautiful and peaceful when he sleeps. I'll just rock him a few more minutes..."
4:10 am: "I'm so tired." [baby cries]
4:11 am: Sigh.
4:15 am: "Thank God, he just needed his pacifier."
[Watch the baby monitor for 5 minutes to make sure he is asleep. He is. Get back in bed.]
4:21 am: [Baby fusses]
4:22 am: "OH MY GOD THIS KID HAS A 6TH SENSE FOR WHEN MY HEAD HITS THE PILLOW."
4:24 am: [Return binky]
4:28 am: [Hear sucking on the monitor, baby cries]
4:30 am: "I hate that god damn pacifier."
5:00 am: "Why hasn't the baby woken up to eat? Or made a noise? I better go check on him..."
[Put finger under baby's noise. He is breathing and sound asleep.]
5:01 am: "I love you, so much." [Cry a little bit.]
5:05 am: "Why are you crying right now? You're crazy. Sleep when the baby sleeps!"
5:09 am: [Baby cries]
5:10 am: "I knew he'd be hungry."
5:11 am: "Why hasn't my husband woken up once to see if the baby - OR I - need anything?"
5:15 am: "Maybe I'll just shoot for the grocery store and a walk tomorrow."
5:25 am: [Baby has fallen asleep eating]
5:26 am: "He is so delicious when he sleeps. I could stay like this forever."
5:30 am: "I should change his diaper, but I'd hate to wake him. I'll just hold him a little longer."
[Lay baby down, go back to bed.]
5:35 am: "But what if he's uncomfortable with that dirty diaper on? I should change it."
5:45 am: "Seriously, why hasn't my husband woken up ONCE this whole time?! Screw him."
5:50 am: "Look at him, sleeping soundly. MUST BE NICE. I am not talking to him in the morning. Oh wait, it is morning and I've been up all night."
6:00 am: "I should just get up and shower right now."
7:00 am: [Hear grunting on the monitor. Look to see baby struggling to escape swaddle.]
7:02 am: [Go into baby's room. He gives you the biggest smile in the whole world, and you forget that you have gotten maybe 2 hours of sleep and that not too long ago, you were promising your first grandchild to Rumpelstiltskin if he or anyone would just let you sleep.]
"Hi buddy! Did you have a good night's sleep? I love you, I love you, I love you."
7:05 am: "I think we'll just stay home today..."