It’s been 10 days with baby Hayley this girl is the sweetest little lamb.
Look at this face. I can’t even.
But woah, having a newborn is hard. I’ve done this 5 times and it’s still as hard as ever. And having a newborn with 4 other kids, I’m not going to lie to you, it’s really, really hard.
For now though, the hardest part is the sleep deprivation.
//Day 1 back home, you’re like, “It’s ok, we can do this!!”
At 8pm, you start the bedtime routine – bath, songs, cuddles, feed, and you allow yourself to hope that maybe tonight you’ll get to sleep in 2 hour stretches. I don’t ask for much, just 3 x 2 hour stretches in a night and I’d consider it a huge win.
The baby dozes off at 9-ish, so I tuck her into her cot all nice and cosy before tucking myself into bed all nice and cosy. The bed feels deliciously comfy and it takes me all of 2 minutes to fall asleep. 5 minutes in, baby Hayley starts making little whimpers, just enough to make it clear that she’s not enjoying her sleep as much as I’m enjoying mine.
“Maybe its nothing. Please, please go back to bed,” my semi-conscious brain says.
Okay, it’s now a full on cry. I get out of my comfy bed to burp the baby. 20 minutes later, no burp and she’s fallen asleep again so I put her down and crawl back into bed. This time, I know better than to fall asleep so quickly. Sure enough, several minutes in, the crying starts again. Check diaper, swaddle, burp, nurse, burp some more. I don’t know what’s causing the fussing so I try everything. This goes on for another 4-5 rounds.
By now it’s about 11pm and after putting her back to bed, I know better than to get back into bed because it’s so much harder to haul myself back out again. It’s easier to end the torture and make myself fully awake so I can commit to this without feeling quite as miserable or grouchy. So I’m sitting next to her cot ready to pick her up again but after 10 minutes, nothing. It looks like she’s finally out and I get back into bed to force my fully awake brain to shut off and go to sleep.
At this point, insomnia kicks in and I’m trying desperately to fall asleep, knowing that each minute I lie here awake is a minute of sleep I’m missing out on. But the anxiety makes it worse so I spend 20 minutes tossing and turning until I finally fall asleep. I get like 40 minutes of shut eye before I hear the next cry and it’s back to the burp/feed/fuss routine again for the rest of the night.
//Day 2 and 3, you’ve still got enough reserves to keep going on sheer mental strength alone but after a week of this, you just feel like you want to give up on life.
But then I get to hold this gorgeous baby and feel her baby weight on my chest as she sleeps and inhale that soft baby scent and look at her try so hard to open those sleepy baby eyes and I think that I’d be happy to do this a thousand times over no matter how hard it gets or how exhausted my brain tells me I am.