Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Will I Ever Sleep Again?

I've come up with the perfect illicit relationship. I've been joking about it for a long time, but I think I need to pull the trigger. Here it is: I want to get a hotel room near my house (I am thinking the Radisson in Downtown Lansing less than a mile away). I want to go there during the day and have my secret affair...with sleep. Sweet, glorious sleep. 

One might ask why I can't nap (or sleep) at home. I can, and I occasionally do. But do you know what the Radisson has that my home doesn't? Silence. And no distractions. There's no laundry to be done, no dishes to put away, no play room to tidy. I know this from traveling for work - a hotel room is the only place where it's truly silent and I can relax. I never turn on the television in a hotel room, and it's blissfully quiet.

I expected to be exhausted when we had a baby. I prepared for it mentally knowing that I'd never really know that sleep deprivation is like until it was thrust upon me. Honestly those first few months when I was getting the least amount of sleep weren't that bad. Sure I was barely sleeping and exhausted, and I felt like I had sand in my eyes. But I was supposed to be that tired. I was caring for a small, helpless human who was sleeping like small, helpless humans do, in two hour increments. 

This photo was taken at 2 months old, after his first hotel stay where he did not sleep at all. I remember that but I remember the snuggles more. 
I'd waited so long to be a mom that I promised myself I'd never complain. I remember being awake in the middle of the night and looking down at this little wonder and feeling so grateful. Even now in my exhausted state I still feel eternally grateful and wouldn't change a minute. But I would like more sleep. 

Will has always been an awesome sleeper, and I cannot complain. He has always gone down easily without rocking or multiple attempts. He slept through the night relatively quickly. He's always been an early riser, and if he sleeps until 6 am I consider us lucky. I've gotten up at 6 am for years, so how is this different?

Despite his being a relatively good sleeper, when my son turned about 18 months old, the exhaustion hit me like a ton of bricks. All of a sudden those months of sleeping less, waking early, and less quality sleep smacked me in the face and I felt completely spent. Add to that my Crohn's issues and anemia (I've had six iron infusions since my son was born including four this year since August) and I'm tired. I'm really, really drained.

I've noticed I've started to look tired too. I have bags under my eyes that are harder to conceal. I feel slower. I feel less motivated. This job - being a mom - is the most phenomenal job in the world. And I'm worn out.

How I look most days at home: headband, no makeup, bags under eyes..
Writing this blog, under eye concealer doing its work. 

Last night I was lying awake in the middle of the night composing this blog in my head. My husband's snoring woke me up, and I went to the guest room at 3 am. My cat was chasing my other cat. My dog chose 2:30 am to eat the treats in her Kong. My son was the only thing not keeping me awake, but when he started yelling "Mommy!" at 6 am I felt like I had gotten 15 minutes of sleep. 

I'm not sure if or when I will begin sleeping well again. Maybe this is my new normal, and if so that's okay. It's worth it to be able to be this great little dude's mom. I'm slowly getting my Crohn's Disease under control again, and that'll help too. In the meantime if you see me in the Radisson please look the other way. Pretend you don't see me as I sneak to my napatorium. 

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