Nature’s Way of Continuing the Human Race

4 03 2012

Throughout my pregnancy and Hazel’s infancy, I’ve wondered if my husband is going to agree to have another child.  You see, I like sleep.  And without sleep, I get a little… testy.  What with the minor discomforts of pregnancy and the subsequent minor discomforts of parenting an infant, I’ve been a little… ahem… irritable at times.  And it has made me wonder how people end up with more than one kid.  Surely my husband is going to remember the raging maniac I have been for the past year and refuse to go through it again, right?

Well.

The last few nights, Hazel has had a difficult time going to sleep.  As I settled onto the bed to nurse her, she wiggled and cried and fussed and writhed.  And I wondered what happened to make my little angel child suddenly hate bedtime.

After two nights of this, I really put some thought into what has changed and what worked previously.  And it dawned on me: for a few nights previous to this, she had an easy time going to sleep.  I sat down, nursed her, she fell asleep, I put her into her crib.

For a few nights in a row.

Which, apparently, became my impression of how my child “normally” goes to bed.

COMPLETELY NEGATING THE PREVIOUS 5 MONTHS OF DIFFICULT BEDTIMES.

Five months of pacing around a darkened room, bouncing on a yoga ball, laying down with her when she seems to have settled, only to have her wake up and start crying again…  I mean, the yoga ball is still in our room and I trip over three times a day, so you think I might have remembered that I bounced her to sleep on it LAST FRIDAY NIGHT.  Not, you know, a distant month or two ago.

This has happened at least once before, when she was three or four months old, and again, having a difficult time sleeping.  I was remembering with nostalgia the period of time when she would nurse to sleep, then sleep for about three hours on her own.  Which I remembered as being, you know, most of her early infancy.  But when I really thought about it, I realized that was from the time she was five days old and my milk came in until she was fifteen days old and the reflux kicked in.

Again: my mind turned “ten days” of good sleep into “most of the first three months.”

This, then, is the secret of multiple children: severe sleep deprivation, lots of hormones, and cute baby photos ENTIRELY OVERRIDE REALITY.

Mystery solved.

Luckily, I have this written record to prevent me from getting pregnant again.  At least for now.

Pictures like this one are part of the problem. They make you think, "Oh! Babies are so sweet and fun! And they just sleep all night and look cute all day!" and generally melt your brain and cause spontaneous ovulation. Note to future self: this picture was taken after the baby slept for three out of twenty-four hours. And you were very, very tired. But... she's awfully cute, isn't she? Oh, my god... See? It's already happening...

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