I just did something that I've been doing a lot since Harrison was born...I wrote a whole blog entry and then deleted it because of how all over the place it was and the complete lack of sense it made. I used to be able to just rattle off whatever was going through my mind, do a quick spell check and post. Now I have to proofread everything very carefully and ask myself if anyone other than me will have any idea what I'm trying to say. My brain has been partially deactivated, and I'm just now starting to realize what a huge effect that has on things.
You know what's really helpful in keeping yourself on top of things and getting through every day more or less unscathed? Sleep. You know what simply is never going to be in full supply again? Sleep. You know what pregnant women THINK they are missing out on and look forward to being able to do again? Ha! Sleep. Uncomfortable as it may be, pregnant sleep is still much more effective than post-pregnant sleep. And guess what? You're not going to be doing much of it for a very, very, very long time. Even when you do, and your sweet little baby is doing you the gigantic favor of sleeping through the night, you'll still wake up every time he makes a sound. Or maybe he won't make a sound. That will wake you up too, because WHY ISN'T HE MAKING A SOUND? And let's just say that everything falls into place you both get a full eight hours one night...or even two or three nights in a row. It's simply not enough to make up for all of the sleep you have lost over the last few months. Not to mention the fact that once he's sleeping through the night consistently, it becomes ten times harder to get up with him on the nights he wakes up for whatever reason.
Yesterday, we left the house for thirty miserable minutes to go buy Harrison some new clothes. It was 174 degrees outside, I felt sick as soon as I shut the front door behind me, and twelve seconds after Peyton put the car in drive, Harrison started crying. As I reached for something to soothe him, I realized that I had just walked out the door with my purse in hand and nothing else. My purse, mind you, contains absolutely nothing of importance. You would think that after five months of practice, I would have the simple step of "pacifier - check" down pat. Or that maybe, care and concern for my baby would lead me to grab a bottle of something for the car ride, what with the death-heat I was dragging him into and all. But no...my brain had shut down for the day at around three o'clock and this was well past four. Poor Harrison. Poor everyone involved, really.
This is how life has come to be and I am trying my best to accept it and to put steps in place to make sure I come across as a functioning human being. For example, it just took me six tries to type the word "functioning" and three of those attempts resulted in an offensive word. Sending emails has become a scary thing. My grammar and spelling skills are half what they used to be, which is awesome, since that's one of my biggest pet peeves. I've come to work with half my make-up on, I frequently leave my lunch in the microwave for half an hour or more, I get up from my desk to go to the printer, and do three other things instead, none of which involve the printer in any way. Which is fine, because half the time, when I do make it to the printer, I get there only to realize that I never hit "print".
Sad to say, I'm averaging eight hours of sleep per night. But the nights that I sleep for eight straight hours without waking up are few and far between. Who knows when I'll finally catch up from that first month, when I only slept eight hours total. I would love to not know what three o'clock in the morning looks like, but it has actually become very familiar, although we are not friendly with each other. It's also quite possible that eight hours is just not enough anymore. Taking care of a baby, as fun as it is (and it really, really is) is absolutely exhausting. Magical too, though.
My advice for anyone who is pregnant right now:
Get a pregnancy pillow. Now.
Start writing everything down. Your memory is NOT coming back.
Sleep when the baby sleeps. Every. Single. Time.
Do not get a video monitor.
Daddy can do the dishes and the laundry.
If you can take a two hour nap while the baby sleeps on your chest, do it. No one is getting spoiled. Trust me.
Cry-it-out is the dumbest thing I've ever heard.
And I hate to admit this one, because I was 100% opposed to the idea...get the baby into his/her own room as soon as you can. You're going to jump out of bed every time you hear a sigh while they sleep in your room.
Keep the monitor turned down low. You need to hear, "AAAAAAHHHH!" You don't need to hear "Eh."
Not to scare anyone of course. Babies are, after all, the best reason to lose sleep there is. And brain cells.