Editor’s note: Jill Adams is a professional writer based in Fort Wayne.
About this time seven years ago, I was in the final weeks of my first pregnancy. Miserable, I went to the doctor with high hopes of hearing him tell me that labor was imminent.
“You still have a few weeks,” he said. I hung my head.
“Don’t be in such a hurry,” he added in response to my obvious dismay. “Enjoy this time and rest as much as you can. When the baby comes, you’ll be losing a lot of sleep.”
I scoffed. This man had no idea know how uncomfortable I was. I would gladly trade a little sleep for the renewed ability to take a deep breath. Besides, I wasn’t convinced babies really caused that much sleep deprivation. And even if they did, it couldn’t last that long.
Today, I can confirm that my theory was 100 percent wrong.
Take, for example, a night last week. Determined to go to sleep early so I could begin a new morning workout routine, I settled into bed, closed my eyes and began the blissful descent.
One minute later, the baby monitor screamed in protest. My eyes flew open, and I scurried into my baby’s room. After 45 minutes of comforting her, I climbed back in bed and got back to the business of falling asleep. Only six more hours until I had to get up …
An hour later, I felt hot breath on my face.
“Mom,” my eldest son said. “I had a bad dream.”
I mumbled something meant to be a consolation and then looked over at my husband. Based on the open-mouth/snore combo I was watching, I presumed I was on my own for this one.
I escorted my son back to his room and conducted a thorough investigation to ensure that there were not, in fact, any aliens in his room. I sat on his bedside as he fell asleep, and, as I did, started to feel wide awake. I looked at the clock: 1 a.m.
I sighed as I made my way back to my room. My mind was now racing with the next day’s to-do list, and I knew I wasn’t falling back to sleep anytime soon.
Finally, after another hour, I felt myself start to drift off again. Four hours until the alarm...
A dull pain in my back awoke me. Drowsy and confused, I sat up in bed and tried to make sense of what was going on. There was my other son. He was wide-awake, smiling — and kicking me.
I groaned inwardly and looked at the clock: 5 a.m.
“Buddy, let’s go back to bed,” I told him.
“No!” he replied with determination. “Hungry!”
Eyeing my husband, I decided I had paid my dues, and now it was his turn. I woke him up, and after one look at me, he made the wise decision to take over and let me sleep. But it was too late. After 30 minutes of tossing and turning, I gave up. I was awake.
I trudged downstairs, and made a beeline to the coffeepot. I sipped the coffee gratefully and waited for the caffeine to kick in. As I did, my son bounded down the stairs and into the kitchen. He ran over and gave me a hug that almost knocked me over in my lethargic state.
“Mom, thanks for making me feel better after my bad dream,” he told me.
I felt my bad mood slip away instantly. I knew that long, luxurious nights of sleep weren’t in my near future, but that was OK. I was here to comfort my kids, and that was far better.
But just the same, I decided a second cup of coffee was in order.