Rewind five weeks:
‘How are you?’
‘How are you feeling today?’
‘How’s it all going, how are you?’
‘I’m tired – I’m still so very tired . . .’
In those first few mind-boggling weeks when the tiredness was so intense I felt it all over, when I couldn’t think straight, when it felt like I was wading through treacle and a full night’s sleep seemed like nirvana (it still does), every time I said ‘I’m tired’ I also felt like a broken record. Obviously words like ‘happy’ and ‘delighted’ and ‘besotted’ came into the equation too, but when family and friends are simply being kind enough to ask how you are, it’s a strange feeling to only have one answer and nothing more to say, because you can’t engage your brain long enough to respond with anything else.
Sleep deprivation is a curious thing, it transforms you, makes you cranky and snarly and sleep becomes something you crave, almost an obsession. I knew it was getting ridiculous when H and I found ourselves having a conversation that went along the lines of ‘Well how many hours did you get last night?’ ‘Less than you so I’m more tired today.’ ‘No, my lack of sleep adds up over a few days so actually . . .’ ARRGHH! Enough!
Having a baby is tiring. They are tiny and helpless and have no idea if it’s day or night. They cry and you have to deal with it. That’s what babies do. We signed up for this and complaining about it isn’t going to stop Zee from disturbing my Zzz’s at 4am because he’s hungry. And the fact is that now – touch wood – the fog has lifted and when I wake up and see him at 4am and he’s smiling at me I couldn’t care less if it’s 4am or 4pm. My baby needs me and that’s the end of it. And from what I can gather, at the moment we are incredibly lucky with Zee’s sleeping habits so I’m going to try and be British and stiff upper-lipped* about the whole thing. I’m going to really try. I want to play a new record now, one that focuses on how very lovely this time is, because it soon shall pass – all too soon.
*This will last until approximately 2.15pm tomorrow when Zee has his first injections and I fall to pieces. I know it’s for his own good, but needles will be stuck in my baby and I just can’t see myself being brave about it. In fact I imagine Zee will be braver than me. We’ll see.
PS I have no idea what this ‘Festival of Sleep’ is all about. But my goodness, it sounds gooood, doesn’t it? H – sign us up! Just as soon as we’ve taught the bublet how to sleep all night too . . .