“Wow you’ve bounced back!”
“You can’t be that tired, you look so great”
“All that running around after a toddler must be working well for you”
I remember back before I was pregnant, parents I knew would tell me “just wait until you have kids, then you’ll know what it’s like to be tired.” Internally I would think, it can’t be that bad, they don’t look that tired they look like they’re doing ok. And off I would go, staying up late into the night going out and seeing friends or binge watching tv series, lamenting how tired I was the next day whilst waiting for my coffee. Obviously they were right.
When I was pregnant and unable to sleep from discomfort and everything that goes along with carrying a child, that morning coffee became very important in order to get through the working day. I was going to bed earlier but it didn’t really make a difference.
And then she was born… and I didn’t sleep for what feels like 15 months. Did I mention she’s 15 months old? That first 12 weeks of feeding every 2-4 hours coupled with the crippling fear that the baby is either going to die or wake up as soon as you’ve put them down to sleep means that there is no room for anything except the absolute basics of human living. Sleep, eat, shower, repeat; on a cycle of anything from 30 minutes to 5 hours. See it becomes somewhat manageable if your babe naps for an hour or two at a time, but what of the cat nappers? Those precious babes that will only sleep for 20-30 minutes at a time? Those parents need so much help and support holy moly!
In my own experience however we’ve done ok though, baby girl has decent enough day time naps but wakes every 2 hours still through the night. Most weeks I will get 4 nights where I’m up resettling from anything between 1-4 hours. So what starts off as a possible 8-9 hours sleep quickly whittles down to 4-5 hours of broken sleep – have you read what happens to the body when it is deprived of those first few hours of deep sleep? It’s terrifying! Not getting enough sleep means I’m constantly run down, I pick up every virus I’m in the vicinity of and I can’t retain any information. Exercise is a distant memory not to mention that because I’m so exhausted I can’t be fucked cooking anything resembling a nutritious meal. So I continue to feel rubbish and continue to get sick and continue to rely on my caffeine lifeline.
But I look skinny, look like I’ve bounced back, and thats what matters right?