My sister just had her first baby and she asked me when the last time I slept through the entire night was. I told her two nights before I gave birth to my first child. I’m now expecting my third. I suppose it should come to no surprise to me that I’m so tired all the time. It’s not that I don’t get any sleep, I do sleep, it just feels like sleep with a series of shortstops. I sleep, I wake, I’m asleep, I’m awake, asleep, awake, asleep awake. No wonder I wake up with a head ache and hate to ride in cars with new drivers.

It sort of gets to the point that you wake up so many times it’s an automatic thing. Why, I can do it so well, I can even do it asleep! I brag. Once for a crying baby, once for a drink of water, once to notice that your toddler is crawling in your bed, once to pull back your pillow from your toddler, once because there is no noise and so on.

I remember one night that everyone slept through the night. I woke up because I was sure there was something wrong. And of course, I couldn’t fall back asleep. It’s like the new mother syndrome. If your baby doesn’t wake up at the designated time, you go over the crib and suspend yourself over the baby a mere two inches away to make sure that there are puffs of breath coming your way. Then you push the baby a little bit to see a response.

Ahh, she shifted. Everything’s ok. Back to sleep. And then you lie there in bed wondering if the shift was what you imagined or the baby did it by herself. So, out of bed you go again and prod again till you are sure the baby is indeed moving on her own, due to the fact that now it is accompanied by wails of discontent.

Trying to explain what happened is too embarrassing to tell your husband so you just do your best to get your baby back to sleep and then mumble to your husband about waiting for the time your baby will finally sleep through the night.

I suppose the only way to truly survive this time is by denial. Sleep is overrated, you tell people. I bet that if we really set our minds to it, we could do with a lot less sleep than statistics say we need. You say this nonchalantly while placing the cereal in the fridge and the milk in the cupboard. Sleep, feh! Only the weak need the full eight hours.

But it does clear up that mystery I’ve always had of people who can fall asleep in full view of others on railway cars and while waiting in line at the bank. They don’t need the comforts of bed to be able to catch a few minutes of their deprived needs, almost anything is an object of comfort now. I can safely say that I’ve graduated to this level. When I was sitting at the table and someone reached across me for something they needed is when I came to this full blown realization. What flashed through my mind was not helping them get the item needed but dropping my head on their arm to rest for a minute.

I suppose there will come the time again when I can sleep through the entire night as in times gone by, but my fear is that when the time comes, I will have forgotten how to do it!