Sleep Deprivation


Once you have kids, sleep deprivation becomes an old acquaintance (I hate to say friend, as we are not on good terms). But I’ve also discovered there are many different kinds.

There is the kind that leaves you in a bit of a haze and makes you a little slower to think and remember things. Typically this is experienced with a new baby. You get snippets of sleep here and there. But every few hours you’re up and caring for a small little creature.

There is the kind that gives you a second wind and then leaves you dead on your feet. Just tired, plain and simple. This is most common in college after pulling “all-nighters”. You feel okay for part of the day and then it hits you like a truck. When it hits you, you could sleep practically anywhere. The floor, the couch, the bench at the library…anywhere.

The kind I’ve just experienced makes me feel a weird combination of drunk and sick. Sore and achy, with a strange detached feeling like someone else is running my body. I say things that sound brilliant in my head, only to find out later that I was making absolutely no sense. This stems from lack of sleep due to worry. My kiddos all got croup this weekend. Lovely thing, croup. Makes it hard for kids to breathe. My older ones just got the nasty bark-like cough and fever. But King Toot wasn’t so lucky. He woke up crying, and when I went in there to check on him, he was laboring to breathe. If you want terrifying, watch your precious baby boy struggle to get every breath in and out. I’m an old hand at croup, and Sir Smiley had just gotten home from work so we stuck him in the bathroom with a hot shower running and let him breathe in the steam, and then stuck him in front of the freezer. This helped, along with the humidifier. But by this point I had my heart pounding and even though I knew he’d be fine I woke up to every sound. That first night I had already gotten up with Urpling twice to calm her down from coughing fits, and then had to do the shower/freezer routine two more times for King Toot. I was up five times the first night and three the second. But I woke up more than that. During his nap time I had to do the whole routine twice. So no naps for me, no sleep really for two days. I was a zombie. I had multiple conversations on the phone with my parents but really only remember half of them. They were concerned that I wouldn’t make it through the day (whether they were more worried about me passing out and knocking myself out, or what my kids would do to themselves or me when left to their own devices…I’m not sure…)

King Toot is still a little wheezy and Urpling still has a cough. But at least they’re on the mend. I actually got half a night’s sleep and an hour nap so now I can at least act like a normal human being (or maybe it’s gotten so bad that I’m hallucinating it all). Here’s hoping that I actually get some sleep tonight. Sweet dreams everyone.


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