Wednesday, August 28, 2013

And baby makes three

To say our sleep schedules are out of whack since having a baby may be the understatement of the year. We spent three days and two nights in the hospital after my c-section, during which time the baby and I were constantly being checked up on—medication, vital stats, fluid output, temperature, incision site, etc. (Just for the record, I apparently have wonder kidneys. They process fluid like nobody's business. Except that for the nurses that actually was their business.) Anyway, with all the hustle and bustle involved in keeping two of  us alive and well, at no point were any of us asleep for more than 45 minutes.

Just sitting up in bed was something of a Herculean effort on my part, which meant Sam was the one checking up on Edith day and night. He had her little crib right next to his bed and was instantly up to hold her if she cried or needed to be changed.

Well, we've been home for a few days now, and while we're not getting tons of sleep, we're still getting some, mostly because my mom has been here to work the front lines. She "sleeps" downstairs where she can keep an eye on Edith and feed her in the middle of the night. Sam, used to taking care of Edith constantly while we were in the hospital, doesn't seem to know what to do with a few hours of uninterrupted sleep, as evidenced by some early-morning exchanges we've had.

Our first night home Sam woke up and sat bolt upright in bed with a wild look in his eyes. He started looking all over the room and feeling around in the bed.

Sam: Where is she?!
Me: She's downstairs

He thought on that for a second before getting out of bed and heading downstairs, apparently forgetting that Edith was safe and sound and being looked after by my mom. He soon came back upstairs and went to sleep, only to "wake up" at least twice more to ask me where Edith was.

Later in the day I asked Sam if he remembered any of the times he'd woken up to look for Edith. He said he had no memory of any of it.

The next night Sam sat up in bed, again wild-eyed and clearly acting out in his sleep. He was staring at the stretch on no-man's land between our two sides of the bed, his gaze travelling up and down its length like a tennis line umpire, before settling on a pile of blankets I had cast off in the night. He patted it a bit, tried to pick it up, then looked very confused.

Sam: Where is she?
Me: She's downstairs.
Sam (thinking hard): Well, what am I holding then?
Me: That's my quilt.

I found this particularly funny seeing as how I'd told him just that morning all about his being up the night before wondering where Edith was. I told my mom and she said, "Poor guy, doesn't know how to sleep even when he has the chance."

Last night Sam woke up, swung his legs over the side of the bed, and sat with his back to me, his arms held out in a cradling position. His left arm stayed crooked and stationary while his right moved back and forth in a scooping motion.

Me: Sam?
Sam: Yes?
Me (as gently as possible): Are you pretend-feeding a baby?
Sam (waking up): I think I am, yes.

I like to laugh at Sam when he does these sorts of things, but in truth it's really very sweet that even in his sleep he tries to take care of our daughter. And if I'm being completely honest, the quilt fooled me once as well. I woke up stroking it, thinking it was her soft little hand, before the green paisley print registered in my brain. After that I took it and spread it out so we'd stop mistaking it for a human baby. And if we still do I imagine it will be rather traumatizing. (Why have you flattened the baby and wrapped it around yourself?!)

Some day we'll get the hang of this sleeping while parenting thing.


Audrey said...

This is too funny! Welcome to parenthood-ha!

Amber Brown said...

That is very funny and very sweet.

I think it's kind of funny, during those first few months, when people ask how many times the baby got up that night. As a zombie/automaton, I have no idea. And isn't it funny how refreshing 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep can be?

BlueAdagio said...

I just had to say that your husbands reaction was dead on to what mine did. He's a sleep walker/talker already and all he did was try to take care of baby when he should have been sleeping. He held piles of blankets and tried to feed them, rock them, etc. So, funny...and very emotionally comforting for me to see him being such a good daddy. Our son is two now. My husband doesn't wake wide eyed at night anymore but he does occasionally talk to our son and try to feed him or sing him to sleep while he's not around but sleeping peacefully down the hall.