The Tale of the Sleepless Mother


This morning I awoke after a mostly sleepless night due to the babe’s inability or unwillingness (who knows) to sleep.  I went to bed around midnight (relishing in some quiet, alone time before bed as I do on occasion) and awoke around one to a thrashing child.  I attempted all my tactics to get her so sleep for about an hour and a half when I finally threw in the towel and toted the both of us downstairs and turned my computer on.  I could have gotten all my editing done, but instead I got caught up ordering some needed items for Maisy and got around to a dollop of editing just before the clock struck “you’ve been awake in the middle of the night for 3 hours and you’re baby is suddenly not happy about it.”  First I had some poo poo stench to get rid of and then we were off to what appeared to be a fluffy haven promising sweet dreams.  Promptly upon laying down with Maisy by my side she resumed her thrashing and complaining and I went back to the drawing board to get her to sleep.  Lo and behold we eventually got back to sleep after 3.5 total hours of random wakefulness smack dab in the middle of the night.

In the morning I promptly picked up my phone and read, “Good morning love!  How are you?”  Instead of responding in kind, as I did not have it in me to put forth the pretense of cheerfulness, I texted my husband (who is grandma sitting at my in-laws for the weekend), “As soon as you are finished up at church this morning can you come get the girl?  I’m tapped out.”

“Also, do not utter a word to me today that is not uplifting unless you would like me to bite your face off.”

Long hours later he arrives and leaves toting our 14-month-old night terrorist away from my premises and I move zombie-like forward through some redecorating efforts.  I caught myself just sitting on random pieces of furniture one too many times and decided I would be a much better home-maker after catching up on some sleep.

I immediately came down from the bookshelf I was sitting on and traipsed upstairs, vehemently looking forward to the drug-like stupor I knew I would partake of shortly.  I lay in my empty bed, in my empty house and proceeded to conjure baby’s cries out of thin air.  I lingered in my sleep deprived body’s intoxicatingly half-asleep pleasantries while suffering my mommy body’s waves of tingling chemical readiness to bolt upright without a moment’s notice for my nonexistent baby.  But sleep won out in fairly short order and I blinked out of my rock hard sleep an hour later ready to conquer the world.  I settled for photographing a wedding.

When She’s Not So Little Anymore

If you ask me how Maisy is I without fail will tell you something like, “She’s so much fun!  And she’s so sweet and smart.”  If you ask me how we’re doing I’ll likely tell you, “Sleep is challenging but she’s so stinking sweet and fun.”

I just finished nursing that girl to sleep.  As I watched her fade at the breast I got tears in my eyes.  She is so incredible.  So lovable, and loving, and kind, and sharing, and giving, and snuggly, and sweet.  Sweet is the best way to overall describe this little girl.

(Besides, someone who goes as nutty for candy, ice cream, and anything sugary as this girl does have to be inherently sweet herself right?)

When she plays with me, other kids, and our dogs she’s always handing others her toys until next thing I know she has nothing left to play with herself.  If another kid physically wounds her she simply stares perplexedly back at them, not lashing back, and then may turn to me to cry a little if it was a significant blow. But if another kid says something hurtful to her you can bet she’ll turn to me and cry a little.

At church I love watching other kids follow her around to and fro.  How a baby could be entertaining to older kids I have no idea but they eat her up anyways!

Most of our days are spent finding the next way to snuggle.  We snuggle at my desk while I’m working.  She snuggles my leg while I cook or I hold her while I attempt some one-handed cooking.  While I’m gardening she’s clinging to my back or my bent knees.  At sleep times we snuggle as we read, nurse, and rock.  She’s really perfectly content provided she has someone who loves her to touch at all times.

I distinctly remember one doctor’s visit when Maisy was still enwombed (made up word, I like it) when my doctor said something like, “are you ready to meet your new best friend.”  Honestly, at the time, I distinctly thought, “yeah right.”  You’d think a girl who’s best friends with her mom would likely expect the same right?  Not this one.  I’m logical and it seemed to me the odds were stacked against me.  I felt like I heard kids complain and gripe about their parents much more frequently than they praised them and indicated that they even liked them.  So I was preparing myself for children that would likely hate me.  But my doctor was right.  At least right now, Maisy and I are best buds.  I mean, we do everything together!  We go to church together, we go for walks together, we go shopping together, we eat all our meals together, we sleep together, we play together, we work together, and we laugh a lot together.

My baby isn’t much of a baby anymore.  She’s not helpless.  She’s not oblivious.  My little girl can go up and down stairs by herself.  She can obey.  She can say some words.  She can sign.  I am completely in love with her and can’t imagine loving her more.  And yet, every day I do.  I love her more.

Recommendations From Moms To Moms-To-Be

I run a Question of the Day (QOTD) on my Facebook page.  It occurred to me one week that not only would I probably like to know various motherhood tips and tricks but that perhaps other not yet moms or soon-to-be moms or new moms would like to know them too.  As a result my questions for two weeks revolved around having kids.  One such question was the one below and I loved the advice!

What is your number one recommendation to soon-to-be moms?

“Take lots of naps! And stick with it through breastfeeding, it’s tough at first but well worth the pain and effort!” – Laura

“Pack your hospital bag at least one month before your due date. Oh and if your partner is going to be there. They should have a bag too at least with snacks. Cause labor takes a while.” – Kelsey

“Allow yourself to heal. It is insane what our body does and continues to do when you have a baby, the whole process so do not feel bad about naps, take MANY baths and take advantage of all the help offered until you are recovered. It is worth it and you will appreciate it forever. No one told me or prepared me for how much I will hurt after having the baby. It felt like I came out of surgery and I had to take care of a baby at the same time, next time will be all the rest I can take, and I am incredibly thankful for my mother in law Sherri Gerecke for all of her help and love!” – Holly