There’s a game called the ‘who’s more tired game?’, I think most parents know what I’m talking about. My husband thinks he’s more tired because he works all day and wakes at night when the baby cries. I think I’m more tired because my work isn’t 9 – 5 anymore, it’s from when I open my eyes until I close my eyes. About a month ago my husband said his life was like the movie groundhog day (he was 60 hours into an 84 hour work week). I wasn’t sympathetic. ‘I’ve done a 150 hour week’ was my reply which I can hear myself saying in the most annoying tone. I hadn’t been that angry since I went mental and threw a game controller after losing in NBA Jam. I started to take deep breaths, I needed to calm down, it was obvious that I was more tired. How could he not see that?!
I was in labour for 21 hours when I gave birth and let me tell you I was tired. I was pretty dramatic in hindsight, wobbling my head from side to side, deep breathing in a daze but then again I had just given birth to a TINY HUMAN BEING! My little babe had a traumatic entry into the world being yanked out of my vagina with a vacuum seal so was taken away from me. It felt like I was in the delivery room forever being stitched up. My husband eventually returned to tell me the baby was fine. He was all in a hypo carrying around my placenta in a big yellow bio hazard bag and I was just zonked. He eventually went home and had a good few hours sleep. I was able to visit bub briefly then put in my room to ‘sleep’ but I couldn’t because I needed to urgently tell everyone the baby was born after my brother posted on facebook before I had a chance to tell anyone. Then my head was looping the fuck out from all the drugs so I had to keep my eyes open just to feel normal. Clearly I was more tired then.
I didn’t sleep the next day because people were constantly in and out of the room – one lady asking if I was doing my pelvic floor, another asking if I wanted to talk about the traumatic delivery, another talking about contraception (not necessary) while another looked at my stitches. There was no such thing as ‘rest time’, talk about hectic. I went home the following day and then the real lack of sleep began. People told me ‘sleep while the baby sleeps’ but I didn’t listen. I was going to DO-IT-ALL I was woman, hear me roar. I cleaned the house, did the washing, cooked gourmet meals, I refused help. I thought I could handle it, then the sleepless nights got on top of me. I’m not sure if it was week 2, 3 or 4 because it’s such a blur but one morning I could not face getting out of bed. Nights were so hard back then, I’d get to 7pm and think ‘I can’t wait to get into bed’ then remember what was ahead of me. I’d have an overwhelming sense of dread and then delay going to sleep which makes no sense. I was definitely more tired then.
Here we are now just over 5 months in and I still can’t sleep while the baby sleeps during the day because he catnaps. We’ve separated (the baby and me) because old-mate-have-a-chat is too noisy. He has a cot sensor which I’ve tested vigorously to ensure I can hear it should he stop breathing for any reason so I’m not concerned about him being in a different room. Nights are much easier to handle now because I’m not up for hours feeding and settling him to sleep. I still have mornings when I hear him chatting and I telepathically tell him to shut the f up and let me go back to sleep but I get out of bed, shuffle to his room, look in his cot and his excited giggling face melts me and I say good morning, have a coffee and get through each day. I’ve made it out of the newborn mombie (mum-zombie) phase alive but five months of limited sleep has taken it’s toll.
So who’s more tired now? The truth is we’re both tired. We’re both so god damn tired. We laugh about the times before we had a baby that we thought we were tired. My husband is actually amazing, he gets up early and goes to work for 12 hours, he comes home each day and bathes the baby then cooks us dinner while I feed the baby and put him to bed. I’m glad we’ve stopped playing the ‘who’s more tired game’. We’re on the same team now, if one of us is tired the other will step up. The competiveness between us was pointless and besides…clearly I’m more tired.