One of the hardest things for me as a new parent is the complete loss of my reserve resources of energy and rest.
Last night Del was awake more than usual, and when he was sleeping, was noisy with the grunting sounds he makes when he’s gassy. I didn’t sleep much and what sleep I got was light and riddled with interrupted dreams. Around 7 he awoke again after being back in his crib for less than an hour and he was fussy with gas pains (and as it turned out, a rather huge poop on its way out). Instead of bringing him back to bed, I just got up. I was tired of trying to get any sleep. I was frustrated, cranky and to be honest, my mothering at that moment was pretty shabby. Del nursed fitfully – whether because he was barely awake or because he was picking up on my resistance I don’t know. When I got thrown up on, I lost it. Crying, I woke Zach and unceremoniously passed Del off to him so I could go wash the splatter of baby vomit off my shoulder, back, hip, butt and leg. And change underwear. And take a slow, deep breath. My unhappy little baby didn’t know why I’d deposited him on the bed, and my sleepy husband didn’t know why I was mad. I didn’t really know either, I only know I wanted to be unconscious instead of wiping myself down with a washcloth in a cold bathroom at 7:15 on a Saturday morning.
It’s like that when you’ve got no cushion to fall back on after a wakeful night. There’s no extra rest in your system to draw on when you need to be comforting to your baby or kind to your husband. And you act like a jerk. Just because you didn’t sleep good last night.