after a sleepless night

at about 6:30 am i finally stopped trying to sleep because there was light in the sky and because tim got up to go spend some time in the Bible before heading to work. i got a big drinking jar full of water, and my fat journal, and i sat up in bed and wrote. i wrote about the things i have been working so hard not to focus on as our baby’s birth day draws nearer: the fears and worries. i wrote about all of them, no matter how small or far-fetched they seemed. i put them on paper, addressing it all to Papa, and then i left it there with him. only then was i able to roll over, find a comfortable position in the bed that was now all mine, and sleep for two and a half hours. sleep hard enough to dream.

my midwife had told me a while back that it would always be better to name the fears and talk about them. she was right.

to be awake and alone in the dark night when everyone else i know is sleeping… this is hard for me. it feels so forlorn. tim has always loved the 2-4 a.m. prayer slots because of the quiet intimacy they afford him with God. but as for me, i would so much rather be asleep. i end up just laying there in bed, mind over-active, becoming increasingly sad and frustrated at my inability to drift off. it seems pointless to get up and do anything else because i really should be sleeping, but i cannot. and then i begin to think about how i’m going to feel in the upcoming day, how there will be that heavy, tingling, over-heated sensation that seems to rest on me whenever i’ve slept less than 6 hours. and it makes the entire day feel out of reach somehow, and overwhelming.

so this lack of sleep thing that i’m told comes with motherhood, and all the hours awake in the dark night with no one for company but your helpless babe… well, that has me worried. i don’t have much confidence in myself to live so many nights in this fashion and still have stamina and grace to move through my days with meaningful engagement. it’ll be messy. i don’t much like being messy, unless i’ve deliberately chosen to be messy. it is often hard for me to give myself a break, to allow the imperfection and the cloudiness, to know that people might be thinking i’m inarticulate or lazy or avoidant, or under-achieving, or slow  (all of which i become when i haven’t slept) and yet to NOT explain or defend myself.

yup, that’s one of the fears i journaled about this morning.

but now there is peach iced tea to brew, pack and play sheets to finish up sewing, and a photo to take for our new year of mornings project, so i’ll sign off.

don’t judge me if i seem inarticulate, lazy, avoidant, or under-achieving, or slow. it’s just because i haven’t been sleeping well or enough. 😉 and, all i can think about is this daughter of mine and what her little face will look like and how her tiny hands will feel in mine.


2 thoughts on “after a sleepless night

  1. Oh man – I’ll think to pray for you Brooke while I’m awake at night nursing. My one main encouragement is it’s really not so bad when you are up in the middle of the night and get to study that sweet little face, hands, feet… It makes it SO worth it – so much more than just being awake with a list of to do’s or fears. BUT It was also the hardest part for me in beginning. I usually need more sleep than most people and I was running off of barely any then to top it off this babe NEEDED (and still very much needs) to be fed and I am so determined to breastfeed for the first year. It was all on me – not Jordan, not my helpers, only me because only I have her food that she needs. All I have to say is ask for help when you need it and hopefully Tim will love rocking that sweet baby back to bed after you finish nursing just as much as Jordan loves it. If he likes the middle of the night shifts then let him rock her and have bonding time with her so you can get back to bed faster. It’ll get easier each week and it really won’t be so bad once you get over the hump of learning your new normal once she’s here.

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