A full night’s sleep is something that has eluded me since the last trimester of my first pregnancy. It was probably some time in October of 2008 when I awoke in the morning feeling fully refreshed. As a new parent, I expected to endure many sleepless nights with a newborn, but I was entirely unprepared for the fact that the span of sleepless nights would begin long before my baby’s birth and reach far past her infancy.
During my last trimester, sleep was constantly interrupted by the tiny life inside me. She would push with all of her might against my internal organs making breathing difficult, heartburn constant, and causing many fruitless trips to the bathroom. When my baby finally entered this world, my days and nights merged into one continuous state of delirium. Finally, she began sleeping through the night and instead of following her lead, I would repeatedly wake with a start to make sure she was still breathing.
My comfort level with her ability to survive the night increased at the same time that she got her first cold. When she got over her first cold, she began teething, which caused inconsolable crying at all hours of the night. Eventually, the majority of her teeth broke through the gums and I breathed a sigh of relief. It was an abbreviated sigh though, because I was having difficulty breathing again due to the fact that I was in the last trimester of my second pregnancy.
Recently, I thought the unattainable goal of sleep was within my grasp, but it turned out to be a mirage. Abby has finally finished teething, but Audrey has now started waking up and screaming irrationally about “something scary” and needing to “sleep in the big bed”. She sleeps in our bed the same way that she slept in my womb. She pushes with all of her might against obstructions until I am balanced on the edge of the bed with her elbow in my eye.
Adam and I were watching a show the other night where the contestants hide $100,000 and then attempt to keep the location from the police that are interrogating them. The contestants are placed in a jail cell for 48 hours and if they keep the money hidden, they win it. Adam glanced at me and said “We should go on this show. It would be great. Can you imagine being locked in a cell for 48 hours? We could sleep.” So, the prospect of sleeping in a jail cell is actually more exciting than winning $100,000. When you see us on the news acting like Bonnie and Clyde, just remember, it was all for a good night’s sleep.