Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dear Insomnia

Dear Insomnia,

Long time, no see, old buddy! 2 summers ago, you came for a visit and moved your pesky butt right in with me for over 6 months. You showed up without warning. We looked for medical reasons, psychological reasons, tried medication, etc., and there seemed to be no answers and nothing really helped. You finally packed your bags and moved out when I embarked on the most exhausting experience of my life up to that point - pregnancy.

Holy crap, I had no idea how exhausting it would be to be pregnant! Not sleeping because "OMG I AM JUST SO STRESSED OUT AND SLIGHTLY OCD!" would not fly at that juncture in my life. So, for 9 glorious months, I slept. And slept.

Now that pregnancy is over and I have my lovely daughter, I am writing to say thank you. If only I had known that you, Insomnia, were preparing me for parenthood, I would have been much more appreciative of your presence in my life.

Now, I get precious little sleep, but insomnia is not the cause. The cause now is that my kid needs something. She needs to eat or she needs a hug. Whatever. She needs me. And when she needs me, she gets me, sleep be damned.

I understand that this sleep deprivation is stressful for new mothers. Yeah, it sucks, I guess. But I think that it is freaking me out a LOT less because I got to stay up so many nights with YOU last year, Insomnia. Now, the nights I spent with you weren't any fun at all, so in that way, they were much different. I tossed and turned and watched lots of bad late night TV. I cried a LOT. I missed some work, too, before I realized that I just needed to suck it up and deal. I learned that I can function without sleep. It m ay not be as much fun, but I can get through. This has turned out to be an invaluable lesson to my new-mom self.

The nights I spend up with my baby are much more enjoyable. She doesn't usually fuss (anymore). Usually, she is just wide awake and staring up at me. Sometimes she wants to eat, so I feed her. There are worse things in life than sharing a meal in the middle of the night with someone you love. Sometimes she just needs to snuggle, like last night. On those nights, I put her in bed with me and we sleep. I sleep very lightly and very uncomfortably, listening for her breath, my arm falling asleep under her head as I stiffen all my muscles so I don't inadvertently roll over on her. It's the best thing ever.

So, thank you. Without your little visit last year, I might be getting hung up on the not sleeping thing and be all, "Woe is me! HOWEVER shall I survive without my full 8 hours?!" Since I know that I will be a-ok without all that slumber, I can enjoy all these precious moments 100% worry-free.

With appreciation,


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