A few days ago my husband reminded me of some crazy things we did during the first few weeks after our baby was born. We were pretty pitiful, especially me, but looking back at those times it is actually quite humorous. So I would like to share with you the consequences of baby induced sleep deprivation if you haven’t experienced this for yourself.
During the first two weeks after the birth of our baby, my husband was helping throughout the nights by burping the baby and changing her diapers. He had a hard time staying awake and was always worried he would fall asleep while holding the baby. One night my husband heard the baby crying (dreaming that he had been holding her) and while he was half asleep thought the baby was stuck in his pillow. He was rubbing his pillow like it was a baby then realized he was actually rubbing his pillowcase. So, he started to freak out because he thought the baby had got stuck inside the pillowcase. He said “Mel, the baby is stuck in my pillow! Help me get her out.” To which I replied “Go back to sleep Hunny, I have the baby.” Then he argued with me for about a minute, and I told him I knew he didn’t have the baby because I was nursing her. So he challenged me saying “Wanna bet?” and I laughed and said “Sure, let’s bet on it.” Once he realized he was wagering something he fully awakened and realized I did have the baby the whole time. Poor guy was a sleep deprived walking zombie who was working 12 hour shifts all day at the factory. I really needed his help though, and I am glad he was willing to sacrifice his sanity for me and our baby girl.
Shut That Baby Up
Some of the more serious side effects of being sleep deprived are emotional control and mental alertness. My husband and I have a few not so funny stories about that too. During the first week after our baby’s birth we were both desperate for sleep and it caused us to become very angry and depressed. We were snapping at each other for every little thing, and on rare occasions we would get angry with the baby too. One time my husband had sneaked up behind me and put a sign on my back that read “Free to good home, but must take both.” Once my husband found me in the kitchen laugh-crying because I could not make the simple decision of what to cook for breakfast. When he worked 12 hour shifts he would beg me to shut the baby up so he could get some sleep. One time while he was sleeping he said he was going to throw the baby against the wall if she didn’t shut up. (I know this sounds horrible but he wouldn’t have actually done this. Trying to function on little sleep really can make you do or say some crazy things.) We both learned not to feel bad about letting the baby cry for a little while as we tried to get our sanity back.