Sunday, June 04, 2006

REM-ing my way

Sleep deprivation can drive you mad, it can lead to psychosis. It is a tactic used when torturing, and for the new mother it is inevitable. Even after baby sleeps through the night and slowly leaves babyhood behind for toddlerhood, a mother never truly sleeps well again. At least not until your children move out and you're no longer required to protect them from all evil.

Mothers' do that, you know. Fearing the worst case, we stop sleeping as we used to and begin sleeping like a mommy with 1 eye and 1 ear always at the ready; to battle both imaginary and all too real danger in the bedroom. I remember the first time Jules slept through the night because it scared the hell out of me as I raced to check her pulse, all the while thinking SIDS had killed my baby. I was inmensely relieved and amazed to find her conked out enjoying her first r.e.m. filled dreamscape and padded back to bed to catch up on a little much needed sleep.

When I returned to Hungary after dropping Julia off at her father's house, I slept lightly despite having stayed awake for 33 hours. I woke up with a start aroung 8:30am (her normal waking time) and realized she wasn't here. The next night I fell asleep and slept as ONLY the childless can; a month later and my need for sleep is bordering on extreme-selfishness. Take last night for example, I went to bed around midnight, read for half an hour and fell asleep. I shifted groggily at 8:30 and immediately resumed dreaming, finally at 10 am I was able to pull myself out of dreamworld, even though I was still tired. What the hell is wrong with me?, I thought. It hit me as I was fumbling with the coffeemaker; my mommy sleep has turned off and I am recovering from the last 5 years of sleeping while on duty. Because, let's face it, which pregnant woman sleeps well after month 4? NONE.

On a similar note but having nothing to do with sleep, I finally got Julia to talk to me! yay! Well, yay for her, she ripped my heart right out of my chest as she sobbed into the mouthpiece! "Mommy, I want you to come pick me up now. snif snif" At that moment I would have maxed out every one of my credit cards, okay my only credit card, to rescue her. I tried to rationalize the excitement of staying with her father and that Besta will pick her up soon. To which she replied, "I'm done at my papi's and I don't know when Besta's coming."

I know that that was specifically for me and that prior to my calling, she was playing, happy and carefree. That genetically speaking, we cry as a first response to every emotion. But it is her first Big trip away from me and when not sleeping, I'm counting the fucking days (33) until she'll be back. Praying to a god I'm not sure I believe in, to take care of my baby and bring her back safely.

Enough, this crying baby needs a nap!

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