People say they feel tired. Tired after a long day at work, or running, or doing some sort of aerobic excercise. People say they are sick and tired, fed up, tired of this, of that. We all think we know how it feels to be tired. As a nurse, I am used to feeling tired, days are long, my client group can be challenging. I thought I knew what tired meant.
I thought I did, until I had a baby.
“Sleep now while you can!”
“You’ll never feel like this again!”
“It’ll change your life!”
” You won’t have felt anything like it!”
These are some of the responses I got in pregnancy. Sleep while I can, pah! I had more important things to do such as go to gigs and watch box sets on DVD whilst eating biscuits. I knew I would feel different, I knew things would change. I knew I was naive, I knew I didn’t know what the hell to expect. So I just got on with the life I knew until it all changed, inevitably. I was nervous, anxious about it. I knew I wasn’t that good feeling tired. I like sleep. Don’t we all?
But boy, am I tired. I am blinking so so tired. 6 and a half months later, I am still tired. Sorry if you’ve just had a baby and I am raining on your parade. If I’ve got this far, so can you.
This tired, is not like what I used to feel. This is walking through a fog, can’t see properly, fuzzy headed, I can’t remember what day it is tired. This is a tiredness that is with me night and day. It’s always there in the background, chipping away at my soul. Now I don’t want to sound all negative. These last six and a half months have been, on the whole, pretty darn good. I love my baby girl. We have great fun. But she is like a new battery, and I am on about 4% and flagging badly.
It was worse at the start, definitely. I was so tired at the start, I didn’t sleep properly for days, and that was like being drunk, and having a hangover all at the same time. That was bad. That was extreme. I was scared of the nighttime, as I knew I wouldn’t sleep, that’s how bad I felt. I thought it would never end. Sleeping in 2, 3 hour blocks is not natural. But, she started sleeping longer, and I felt better.
Nowadays, it is just something I have either got used to, or its settled into a numbing yet functional level. I can carry on just fine, I can work through it, but every so often, it just gets on top of you, or hits you for six. I get tearful, I get anxious, I just want to lie down. It’s usually on days when Bubs won’t sleep, or nap. On days when my partner is not home until 9pm at night – days like that are long, and agonising. It makes my motivation sink, and things like my diet go out of the window. I need sugar, I need carbs to get over a bad day like that. Not good. An apple just does not do the same thing, I am afraid.
I know what people mean now. I get what they were saying to me. It wasn’t particularly helpful at the time, as you just can not comprehend how you will feel. I know everyone is different, and maybe you are lucky and full of vitality (if you please tell me how!). I have so many things I want to do, and so many people to see, and stuff I need to sort out. Some days I just can’t even shower until the afternoon as I just can’t bear it.
I ache. I ache all over! In the mornings I wonder if I’ve slept at all. I drag my sorry ass down the stairs. My feet feel like they are stuck, I hobble and stumble until the blood gets back to my legs and I can start to walk properly not like a maimed zebra. I rub my eyes, and I sometimes wonder if my glasses are fogged up – no, it’s just my eyes adjusting to the light before they actually want to. Tea makes me feel better, I sit down and drink tea and try to come to terms with another day dawning.
Once I’m up, if I force myself to get dressed, if I have something to go, and places to be, I can do it now. It is better to go out and do something as if you stay in you just start watching breaking bad when the baby naps and it goes from bad to worse really.
Somedays I feel good. Some days I don’t feel so tired. But you know when you get a chance to have a lie in, to sleep in, your body decides that NO! YOU ARE NOT GOING TO DO THAT and wakes you up anyway. Or, lets you sleep longer than gives you a headache for the rest of the day. Why is that? Is that to torture us?
Anyway, I digress. I am tired. I am A Mother.
I hear this is going to go on until she is a least a teenager. I better stock up on Tea. And maybe go to yoga, and sort my limbs out.