The fact that sleep deprivation is legitimately used as a form of torture is not at all surprising to any parent ever. What is slightly more concerning is that according to science, sleep deprivation can lead to all sorts of chronic health problems including weight gain, heart disease, hallucinations, impaired brain activity (maybe Donald Trump is in need of a little more sleep?) and even death.
On the bright side, I now have an easy excuse for why I still haven’t lost those last 10 pounds from both babies. On the flip side, where am I? And why is my desk turning into a king size bed? Have I died and gone to the Mattress Superstore or is this just another sleep deprived hallucination?
Sleep deprivation, like childbirth, is one of those things where when you’re in the middle of it, you think you probably won’t survive it. And then 20 minutes (and 3 coffees) after it’s over you’re like, well I guess that wasn’t so bad. I could totally do this again!
And by “totally do this again” you actually mean “there’s no way the second one will be this bad.”
After Mia was born (and never slept) I literally told people “there’s nowhere to go but up from here!”
I was such an amateur.
There is no such thing as rock bottom when it comes to baby sleep. Babies can always sleep less and scream louder.
Even if your baby doesn’t sleep for one microsecond in a 24-hour period, they can still sleep less. In fact, I’ve seen them do it. Babies have a unique ability to warp time. They can take 47 minutes and stretch it out for 4.5 hours, simply by sharpening the trill of their scream.
It’s a similar phenomenon to what many people experience on a treadmill. Only worse because there are no headphones expensive enough to silence a baby that has decided they do not prefer to be sleeping right now.
For those of you who don’t or haven’t yet had kids, here is a little exercise you can use to help build up your sleep deprivation stamina:
Step One: Go to bed at 730pm.
Step Two: Spend 3 hours on Facebook reading
absolute bullshit happy-go-lucky mommy blogs about how to get your baby to sleep in 3 easy steps. (HINT: Unless one of the steps is “administer Benedryl” – it’s all lies)
Step Three: Just as you finally start to fall asleep, have your sleep training assistant place a rocket launcher inside your eardrum and set it off.
Step Four: Spend the next 30 minutes arguing with your sleep training assistant about whether or not you should try to silence the rocket launcher, or wait it out.
Step Five: Consider the risk of your neighbors calling the cops.
Step Six: Walk up and down your hallway 4,576 times carrying a 15-20 pound weight.
Step Seven: Place the weight carefully down on a mattress, then reignite the rocket launcher.
Step Eight: Threaten to divorce your spouse. Then cry when they don’t take it well.
Step Nine: Consider calling a rocket scientist to teach you how to silence the launcher. Then don’t, because your insurance doesn’t cover it.
Step Ten: Retreat to the garage and curl up in the fetal position on the cement floor.
Step Eleven: Just as you’re falling sleep, have your sleep training assistant cover the mattress in puke (or whatever the puke equivalent is for a “rocket launcher”).
Step Twelve: Spend two hours washing and changing all of the sheets.
Step Thirteen: Get back into bed and commence sleeping for 13 minutes.
Step Fourteen: Wake up it’s time for work.
If this sounds too advanced for your current sleep deprivation level, stop having sex immediately. You are not ready for children.
If this is NBD and you still have energy to exist after 7 months, call me, I will give you all my money…
…and my children.