Hello everyone out there in Internet Blog Land! Sorry it’s been so long since my last post, let me update you.
1. Baby #2 arrived in May. A beautiful bouncing baby girl.
2. Baby #1 loves Baby #2. Sometimes too much……
3. The wife and I have experienced sleep deprivation on a whole new level.
HOLY COW. So I’m going to touch on point #3 a little more in depth. I thought I knew the definition of sleep deprivation. Boy was I sorely mistaken. When Kid 1 was born, there was quite a number of very large stressors going on in our lives. I was in the midst of nursing school, I was still working full time, and my mother had just passed away. So you have hours of studying, clinical, and lectures, followed by a 40 hours work week, toss in interruptions in what little sleep you do get courtesy of late night scream sessions of a colicky baby, topped off with all of the 5 stages of Kubler-Ross hitting you in the face every waking moment. On average I would get about 2-3 hours of sleep on a good night. So since the dust has all settled on that train wrecked moment in my life, I thought to myself….”Oh heck, how bad can it be?”
BAD!!! Let me just preface this by saying that through my journeys over the past 3.5 months, if I have learned anything, it is that with the first child, there was so much going on, and so much at stake, that there wasn’t an opportunity for sleep deprivation. I was running on pure adrenaline for months at a time solely out of a need for survival. I don’t even remember the details of the events that occurred during that time. It’s a wonder that I retained anything during my studies in enough magnitude and comprehension to pass the NCLEX. So here is what sleep deprivation with two kids looks like.
1. You don’t make any new blog posts in almost 4 months.
You all probably thought I had given up and or forgotten about this little story telling adventure of mine. I say nay nay. It is simply the first time since the birth of #2 that I have truly gotten a full night’s sleep and have been able to focus enough brain power to form a cohesive thought. That, and being on vacation kinda helps too.
2. You feel like a stroke patient when awake.
What do I mean by that? Ya know how when a stroke affects the portion of a person’s brain that is their logic and reasoning center? Many times they will be able to look at an object, know what that object is, but are unable to tell you what it is. Or, conversely, they will know what the object is, and call it something completely different. (Example: Looking at a picture of a tomato, and calling it a chair). That’s what it feels like to me! I can look at you, and I have known you for years, I can picture you in my head. But when I need something from you and trying to call you, I am at a complete loss for words and end up spilling out a series of nonsensical strings of words and noises, subsequently frightening the women and children in vicinity.
3. You are able to sleep under the most unlikely of conditions.
I was caught dozing off recently with a screaming baby on my shoulder, patting her on the back, rocking the recliner, with the toddler climbing into my lap. I still don’t know how it is possible with 128 decibels of shrill cries in my ear and bone crushing repetitive blows to my femurs says lullaby, but when you’re that tired it doesn’t matter.
It’s not that procedures involved with having a newborn in the home again are any different than before. It’s rather simple really. Babies are really not that complex. Eat, sleep, cry, poop, repeat. It’s your own personal arrogance that gets in the way. I went into thinking that dealing with a baby was old hat and I was a veteran to this war.
All the little tricks that I used to get #1 to comply had absolutely no effect on #2. It was like I was a first time parent over again. Do you know what the definition of idiocy is? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. It was a solid month before we had begun to figure out #2 and her nuances. And just when you think there is some type of pattern that is getting established, she goes and changes the game up! Now it’s 3 AM, #2 finally goes back to sleep, and what do I hear from the second baby monitor? #1 is now awake! Insert Rage Comic Meme here….
Enough about sleep deprivation. Getting out of the house to go anywhere and do anything is a new experience as well. Simply getting everyone dressed in a timely fashion requires a joint task force mission between the two parents that would rival a special ops team. #1 won’t eat her breakfast quickly so that she can get dressed for church. #2 is fighting a bottle. #1 is fighting with Mommy because the dress that has been picked out for her to wear to church isn’t pretty enough, #2 has crapped up her back. #2 begins fussing and peeing all over the place mid-diaper change, #1 is on the floor throwing a fit. Mommy and Daddy tag out in WWE wrestling fashion in the hopes that the opposing parent will have better luck with the opposing child. Fast forward. #1 is taking off her dress, #2 hates being in the car seat. Daddy is frantically tying his shoes while Mommy is applying makeup and simultaneously loading the diaper bag. Daddy loads #2 into the car. Daddy then has to chase #1 halfway up the sidewalk because she wants to go knock on the neighbors door and say hi. Daddy grabs #1 and hauls her off kicking and screaming to the car, Mommy walks out of the house and the dog gets out. Dog is corralled and doors are locked. Daddy starts to car and notices that the dashboard clock says that service starts in 5 minutes. Daddy hits the accelerator to get cross town in time. Arrive at church while the entrance hymn is being played. Bust through the back doors to receive wandering glances and incredulous looks as the four of you, now dripping in sweat and breathing heavy, attempts to find a pew that has enough room to accommodate your entourage.
Though I do have to say that this time period has been a big adjustment for our family, things do seem to be running smoothly. Baby seems. To be on a regimental sleep schedule, only waking once per night . My wife and I take turns depending on the hour of waking and my work schedule as to who gets up with her. The toddler has gotten over her period of regression that they all go through when the new baby comes. My wife and I have started back to working out and eating something other than junk food. All in all, getting to see smiles from all my girls everyday makes it all worth it.