I knew going into Motherdom that I would probably be a worrying wreck of a parent. After all, my genealogical roots were firmly planted in the worrying wreck ground. And the first few weeks after Baby Girl was born proved that I inherited this trait. When she slept, I would glue my ear against her door to try and hear her. When that didn’t work, I would go in to see with my own eyes that she was breathing. When it wasn’t obvious enough that she was, I would place my hand on her stomach or under her nose to feel her breath moving throughout her tiny frame.
A few weeks back, Baby Girl, who was sleeping longer stretches, decided she would no longer be doing that. She began stirring again at 2:30 in the GD morning. It was easily solved by going into her room and placing her tete* back in her mouth. But an hour later, she was awake. Unless I want I want the fury of God, disguised in Rafaella’s cry, unleashed upon us at 4:30 in the morning, I had to go in there. When she was finally asleep again, I’d ever so gently place her in her crib and substitute small body pillows where my arm would be. Constant rocking, hoping our baby didn’t notice the difference between my arms and her crib pillow. Like she doesn’t know the difference? Then, I’d drop to the floor and crawl out of her room Navy Seal style. Triumphant. I told myself I had won. I told myself I’d tricked her into sleeping. And moments later, she reminded me that I hadn’t.
UGH!!!! Why won’t this baby sleep?!?!?
If I’m honest, these nights make me wonder what in the fresh fuckery I was getting into with this parenting thing? I’m not cut out for this. I’m not awake enough for this. I’m not superhuman enough for this.
And then it changes.
There are nights she goes back to sleeping well, sleeping most of the night and only slightly stirring at 5:30 a.m. Again, easily fixed by popping the tete back in her mouth and then – Ahhhhh – back to sleep until 7:00 a.m. And on these nights, I still wake up at 2:30. And then 3:30. And then 5:30. Not because she is awake but because I am wondering why she isn’t awake.
The worrying wreck root from that genealogical family tree starts to grow sprouts in my mind and asks me all types of crazy questions. Why isn’t she making noise? Why hasn’t she woken up? Is she breathing? Did she smother herself in her baby rolls? Is it too hot and she overheated? Did someone sneak in and take her?
Did someone sneak in and take her?!
Who asks that?
The questions grow more absurd and illogical with each passing sleep deprived moment. I start convincing myself that I need to check on her. It would be irresponsible for me not to. And then I firmly tell myself to stay calm and not get so irrational. My brain has to actively persuade my body not to go into her room and watch her breathe. But I usually end up Navy Seal crawling into her room to check anyway. It’s a fierce struggle.
What I’ve learned is that We can’t win – moms that is. When she doesn’t sleep through the night, I wish to God she would. And when she does sleep, I wish to God I would too.
Thank goodness I have a good eye cream.