For the first several weeks after Baby E was born, other parents often (sadistically, I thought) asked how she was sleeping. After I gave them the answer I’m sure they were hoping for – not great, a couple hours at a time – they all warned me of the same thing; th first few times she did sleep through the night, I wouldn’t.
They told me I’d wonder whether she was dead and rush to her side to see if she was breathing. One mother said she used to rest her hand on her baby’s chest to make sure it was alive, and another, afraid to wake her baby in case she was just sleeping, opted to put a spoon under the infant’s nose and check for condensation. Many told me about laying awake in a state of near-panic, just waiting for the moment when their baby decided he or she needed them.
(Interestingly, dads tended to stay mostly silent on the subject. It turns out that males – my husband included – are not programmed to constantly worry about the well-being of their offspring.)
”That won’t happen to me,’ I told myself. ‘I’m so tired. I am always so tired. These people must just not have been as tired as me. I a probably the most tired person who ever existed in the world. The first time my baby sleeps for a whole night, I will sleep soundly then make her a trophy that says Best Baby Ever.’
Of course, it took several more weeks for me to test my theory, but one day a couple weeks ago, after sleeping for three, four, four-and-a-half and sometimes even five hours at a time, you know what Baby E did? She slept for seven straight hours – like a baby, you might say.
And so did I.
I’m still working on having that trophy made for her, along with one for me that says No Longer The Most Tired Person Who Ever Existed In The World.
(Other new parents, know that there is no need to come after me with a pitchfork. Seven-hour nights are not the norm. I repeat – they are not the norm. In fact,shortly after the seven hour night, we had a two-and-a-half hour night. So, I’m still super duper tired. I’m just a little less tired than when I was the most tired person who ever existed in the world.)