You come home. Excited. Elated. With the little bundle of joy in your arms. You think you are a champ for bringing a human into this world. You secretly pat yourself on the back and celebrate (in your head).
Your sweet angel naps in the car all the way from the hospital to her new home. She naps while your shower, put on some old, comforting pyjamas, get your hair into some order…..
She continues to nap while you get some non- hospital food into your system. In fact YOU have to wake her up, to feed her. She snacks a bit and then nods off again.
Aah! What a sweetheart! Who said motherhood was difficult?
The sun sets. You prepare for a night of rest and recuperation. You deserve it. After all the pregnancy- insomnia and sleep deprivation combined with the parturition exhaustion; you look forward to some desperately needed shut eye.
Just as your badly- conditioned hair hits the ultra- cushy pillow, the angel stirs. You look at her indulgently and smile. Aah! The sweetie- pie!
You gently pat her……
You drift off….
You hear something…
Something that will overwhelm your nights and test your sanity for the next few months of your life.
A shrill, high- pitched wail/ cry…
So you drag yourself up, and move toward the little one.
This will be the first of a hundred fifty thousand times….
As the sleepless nights pile on, your forbearance starts to wear thin. A sane, intelligent woman morphs into a weeping, irritable, mess.
Sleep will start to have a new meaning. Most nights it will be a distant mirage. You shall soon learn to live under conditions of extreme sleep deprivation.
Sleep deprivation has a new standard. The days leading up to your university final exams or your thesis submission date will seem like a party.
But, hold your horses ladies, it’s not all glum and dreary! There are a few upsides to this lamentable turn of events that all new mums have to endure….
Here are 8 of them:-
1. You can sleep in….
Use the night time sleeplessness as an excuse and sleep in – of course with permission from your baby (she holds all power)! How can one begrudge a new and tired mother?
2. Refrain from cooking and cleaning if you so wish..
No one messes with a harried New- Mum. Use your sleep- deprived state as an excuse to evade homely duties if you so wish. No one will blame you for a messy home, or for perennial take- outs!
3. High calorie, rich, fattening dessert? Go on, indulge.
Apparently, sleep deprivation leads to food cravings. Apparently.
Not my statement. Research says so.
Combined with breast- feeding; it is a brilliant excuse to pile on the grub. Eat to your heart’s delight, ladies. All the doughnuts, the cheesecakes, the biriyanis, the pizzas….
The soft- brownie fudge ice- cream with extra- dark Belgian chocolate and de-caff, latte with extra whipped cream….. go on….Don’t be shy now!
4. Watch endless videos on YouTube…or a TV show marathon…
Get hold of a tablet, or a phone with a decent sized screen and a nice pair of earphones and you are set to go. Nurse the little one or let the crying baby lie on you, as you surf the net, watch movies on Netflix, videos on YouTube, facebook…… all night long….
Remember your Mum berating you for staying up late and fiddling with the computer (back in high school)? Remember dreaming of a day when you could spend the entire night watching TV or surfing the net….
Some dreams do come true..
5. Feed the bookworm within
Want a calm, sleeping newborn? Key is to stay awake, feed and keep the tiny human in contact. She will sleep and you won’t (due to fear of having her fall off, or you rolling over). Might as well utilize the time doing something productive, rather than shed tears of frustration that no one will see!
Kindle, iPad or even a paperback + headlamp will do!
6. Use the irritation constructively…
Hell hath no fury like a sleep deprived new mum! Your husband/ spouse/ partner is probably well aware of the fact. He is probably tip- toeing around you, trying to please and placate you as much as humanly possible. He is also feeling a tad guilty- for falling asleep, for going to work, for being able to leave the house or take a shower or pee, even for not being able to birth. Use these feelings to your advantage. Voice thy wishes and desires and they shall most likely be granted!
7. Let the loony loose…
Some of us are borderline crazy. Most times in life, we have to program ourselves to keep the craziness in check. If there is ever a time to let loose, with no need to make excuses- this is it. You can be on your worst behaviour- yet you shall be looked upon with sympathy and understanding. Blame it all on the hormones, fatigue and of course sleep deprivation.
8. Want to try psychogenic drugs?
Fret you not. Extreme fatigue plus sleep deprivation can at times lead to hallucinogenic states.
Note- I have experienced this personally. Ask Mr H if you don’t believe me!
Despite the perks, NMSDS does ultimately lead to the Mombie Syndrome- a far graver condition which is a serious threat to the sufferer’s sanity and well- being. The only treatment is sleep and a helping hand from the spouse and immediate family.
So, any Mombies out there?
Till my next nap….