Sunday, 8 November 2009

Red Dawn

For the last 3 mornings I have laid back against my couch, spent, exhausted and cold, and watched the sun rise, yellow and fiery against the pale light of morning. But today the sky was darker when I woke, not the intense pale blue waiting to be warmed with golden light. It was red, the sky suffused with scarlet emotion.

When I said I was tired yesterday, I did not mean it idly. I mean that every part of me hurts. My muscles are sore and weak. My brain is fuzzy and hungover. My tongue dry. My temper non-existent. Everything that the girls do is annoying me. Every squeal, every adventure, every demand they make of me. Bingley can do nothing right. I held the Possum yesterday and it made me cry to hold him because I did not want to. I wanted to put him in his bed and for him to sleep. Which of course he didn't.

I wanted to call someone, anyone, to come and watch my children so that I could sleep, but there was no one that I could invite into the cesspit that is my house, so I just sat there and stared numbly at the mess. Cried a bit when I realised that the girls had been playing with a tin of condensed milk and robotically changed nappies and walked around with my shirt undone because the feeds never really ended.

The Possum has a headcold, and I am willing to bet an ear infection. A slight temperature and a new tooth. He is still smiling and happy, so long as he is in my arms. He is sick, so I can't leave him to cry, but I am exhausted. I need to sleep, but I am letting Bingley sleep in this morning because he is working ridiculous hours including weekends and needs it more. He is also doing the bulk of the housework other than the cooking. He deserves sleep.

The girls are antsy and frustrated. Because I have no energy they are being left to entertain themselves, and then I get angry when the result of that is mess/destruction/sticky floors. It's my own fault but I just can't get up these last 2 days to direct them. So I just watch impotently as they upend yet another bucket of toys, yell a bit, and then cry when the Elfling gives me a letter "MUMMy [Elfling] Loves YouR hAir and prette face".

I know that this too will pass. I know that the Possum will sleep, that I will sleep again some time. I know that I will regain my sense of humour and that I'm only one 5 hour stretch away from feeling a million dollars. But it's so goddamned hard. People talk about sleep deprivation with a baby like it's a joke. Or something you just get on with, stiff upper lips ahoy. They never talk about the fact that it's soul destroying. That it makes it so hard to cope with even the activities of daily living. Of how punishing it is to have a horrendous night, and then still need to get your school aged child dressed, fed, home reader signed and packed off to school. Of having your threenager want and need your attention and guidance when all you want to do is "sleep when the baby sleeps".

When I fell pregnant with the Possum I was afraid. Not of labour or birth or even the cost. What I was most terrified of was the lack of sleep. The way it twists your emotions and thoughts.

I am not depressed but I am so very very tired. I fell into myself yesterday, succumbed to the numbness, but the dawn today, in all its glorious splendour, reminded me that sometime it will be different.


Jen said...

wonderful post! thankgod it is not just me! I hope the 5 hour stint comes for you very soon and Possoms head cold clears.

Blythe said...

Ah fuck, I hear every word you're saying Jenn. And I'm only doing it with two children. I too was so scared through my pregnancy. It is so soul destroying. Oh Jenn. It will be different but when, that is the awful question.

Averil said...

Jenn, I don't know how you find the clarity of mind and creative spark or can even be bothered to do these daily posts with the lack of sleep! Amazed.

I hope the Possum's cold eases soon and of course, my wish for every mother - SLLLLLEEEEEEEP!!!!!

xxx Ave

Averil said...

Not that I'm complaining about the wonderful roll you're on... but still I feel guilty getting so much Jenn lately! ;-)

Kisses said...

Your Elfing is a GREAT speller!! Smart little thing.
Hoping you feel well-rested sometime soon Jenn. XXX

candi said...

Oh Jenn, I hope the light at the end of the tunnel comes sooner rather than later...

Shel said...

oh you darling girl....

I remember precisely when I decided that I was not a fit mother for newborns. C had stopped drinking, G was away and it was HOT. He'd screamed for 2 days straight and slept for one 20 minute spurt over that time.

I slid down the closed door in a ball of tears. And I will never ever forget thinking that 'I've gone and stuffed another person up. I can't do it, I wasn't destined to do this and I will NEVER do it again'. Hence, the two boys.

I'm thinking of you gorgeous girl; I hope you get some sleep soon.


Blythe said...

Maybe I shouldn't have written "fuck" in my comment. But I was tired, so fuck it.

Melissa said...

I feel terrible now for my comment yesterday, it was so flippant.

I'm sorry. I understand that bone tired.

I hope that Harry feels better soon and you get some sleep. Honestly, I know what a difference it makes.

I can relate to what Shel wrote. I'm not a good mother to newborns. I simply can't do it.

Thinking of you, as always.

Penny said...

Gosh I could have written your entry word for word (but not as beautifully!).

I am so glad this is my last baby. I just couldn't do it again and wouldn't want to do it again.


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