Sleep Deprivation: Physical tiredness, lack of focus, a general feeling of being in a daze, haze or fog, forgetfulness, impatience, irritability, and overwhelmement (yes, I just made that word up). Other possible symptoms, include: emotional distress or just stress in general, emotional breakdowns, urge to cry for no reason, feeling of hopelessness (as in, will this day ever end), and my personal favourite, wanting to bite my husbands head off every time he mentions that he’s tired and he needs a nap! (Really! I mean really! Cause he wasn’t awake at 3:00am this morning! But, I’ll get to that one a little later…)
When I became pregnant I fully understood that sleep deprivation came with the job of having children. What I wasn’t fully prepared for was how long the sleep deprivation would last!
For most women it starts during pregnancy. The frequent trips to the bathroom, the feeling of discomfort, and later on, having to wake and literally pick up the belly to change positions. Then the baby arrives and there are the constant feedings and the irregular sleep patterns. Then, the first night that your sweet angel finally manages a full night of sleep, overjoyed you impulsively declare that you are ready for another! And, so begins another cycle of sleepless nights. Skip ahead a couple of years and sleep deprivation becomes permanent state of being! You learn to function with a chronic case of mommy brain.
But, then some nights are just bad. For me last night was a capital B.A.D. As per usual, I woke up in the middle of the night when I heard Keegan’s little cat cry for a feeding. Thirty minutes later, I stumble back to bed and just as my head hit the pillow I hear Jake calling me because he had just woken from a bad dream. I poke my husband to go console his eldest and let me get a little shut eye, but he roles over and starts snoring in defiance.(I am amazed at how he can still manage to piss me off even when he’s sleeping). So, I trudge back to the kid’s room and lay down with Jake until he falls back asleep. Thirty minutes later, I stumble back to bed again and just as my head hits the pillow, I hear Keegan cooing. When I look in his crib, he is wide-eyed and smirking (yes, at 2:00am smiles become smirks). I bring him to bed with me so that he doesn’t wake his brother. One hour later, Keegan is asleep. I gently place him back in his crib and head back to bed. It’s now 3:00am and both kids are sound asleep, but now I’m wide awake. I do manage to fall back asleep, but what seems like 5 minutes Jake is jumping on me telling me to “wake up mommy.” I pull myself out of bed and grudgingly make a B-line for the coffee maker.
To my fellow mommies, I would like to apologize. I have found no real immediate remedy to the situation. Symptoms should diminish as children age (or, so I hear). If symptoms do persist or get worse, I suggest that you consult a health professional – my suggestion: massage therapist or spa technician.