It’s no secret.
Parents of newborns are nothing but sleep deprived mammals running on carbo loaded foods and adrenalin. You hear the stories, know the facts, yet somehow still convince yourself, “no, my child will be different, he’s gonna wanna sleep and let mom and dad get their rest.” Delusional parenting starts from the very beginning.
The overnight shift is a long and dark one. That leaves you stumbling out of bed and down the hall to the nursery with a soundtrack of shrieking encouraging you to move faster. You know, it’s just like college, staying up late, drinking at all hours of the night, only this time the baby’s the only one drinking and it’s the freshest milk at the market. The only party is the one happening down the street.
This week Wyatt had his two week check up. Everything is looking great, he’s a quarter inch longer, seven ounces heavier, and has great plumbing. He peed so far during his exam he likely set a new office record. That’s my boy, already a champion. That wall never stood a chance to stay dry with his distance. But most importantly we got the words any parent of a newborn loves to hear, “he can now try sleeping through the night.” It was like angels were shining down from the heavens sharing their love of sleep and bestowing upon us the chance to no longer look like we’re cast members of The Walking Dead.
Of course, that means there’s no guarantee Wyatt would actually sleep through the night, his track record on sleeping at all at night has been something between “I don’t think so” and “I’ll do it just long enough for you to fall asleep, then wail like a siren (the ear piercing European one) and force you to sit with me until you put me down and I’ll do it again.” Apparently he puts a lot of thought into this.
Though Friday night he took pity on us and gave us one four and a half hour stretch of easy, quiet, uninterrupted sleep. When we finally heard him through the baby monitor we were both so perplexed as to why we were reasonably rested. Looking at the time we realized the amazing gift we had just been granted. We leapt out of bed like gazelles, floated down the hallway like ballerinas, and bound into his room for the first time without the aide of caffeine. We very well could have been high-fiving imaginary people from the euphoria of sleep we felt.
Naturally that led us to believe we had cracked some sort of baby code, prompting us to prepare him for bed the next night exactly the same way. With high hopes of unencumbered sleep we laid our heads upon our pillows with dreams of sugar plumbs dancing on cotton candy clouds and it worked…for an hour. Yes, our dreams were dashed by the cries of hunger, diaper changes, or for just a cuddle.
Sleep as it turns out, is only as good as the last rest you had. It shouldn’t be a surprise, every book ever written on babies tells you, every person to ever have a child tells you, your body tells you, yet for some reason you don’t always believe it. Something about being slightly delusional, likely due to the lack of sleep.