Dangerous Levels of Joy

17 09 2011

I didn’t sleep for 4 days.

Everyone talks about new-mother exhaustion, and they talk about meals and laundry and all the things that don’t get done because a new mom is too tired.  Things like showers and grocery shopping.

I prepared as well as I could, making meals and freezing them, and trying to keep up on the housework as my due date came nearer.

What I couldn’t have prepared for was the shocking levels of euphoria that came with seeing my baby for the first time.  Suddenly, sleep was my last priority.

Because how do you sleep when you can kiss these:

How could I sleep and miss one second of seeing this:

I became an addict.

Jason would walk into the room where Hazel and I were in bed and ask, “Are you trying to sleep?”  “Yes,” I’d say.  “No, you aren’t,” he’d reply.  “You’re staring at the baby again.

I knew I had to let other people hold her.  People like her dad and her grandma.  And those were times when I could sleep, yes, in theory.  In practice, I was a junkie watching other people get high.  I tried to play it off by keeping busy, but would ineffectively flit from task to task, completing nothing, and watching Hazel out of slitted eyes, waiting for her to cry, praying she would cry, so I could have her back.

Eventually, due to exhaustion and the extreme need of a user, I would succumb to hysterical tears, walk over to whoever was holding her, and carefully pick up Hazel and carry her off to bed to stare at her some more.


The truth is, it’s true what everybody says: time goes by so fast with a little baby.  Suddenly, she’s a day old.  Then two days old.  And doesn’t stop.  This moment of baby-ness is speeding by, and sleep seems unnecessary given that fact.  I couldn’t miss a moment.

After 4 days, Jason was ready to shoot me with a tranquilizer dart – from a safe distance away, of course.

Frankly, though, after over a hundred hours with probably less than ten hours of sleep and a major surgery, I was finally exhausted enough that I had to collapse, even if it meant missing a few hours of this:

And sleep I did.

And what happened?

My sweet baby girl TURNED A WEEK OLD.  She gained A POUND.


Luckily, she doesn’t let me sleep through the night, or I might wake up to a teenager tomorrow…




One response

17 09 2011
Connie M

You have such a way with words. And believe me you will wake up one day and not to far away and she will be a teenager.

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