It was all going so well. The crib had been set up and baby moved into the nursery, the husband was home at night and embracing the task of night-time baby monitoring, the Ativan prescription was filled and ensuring that just as soon as baby had last pass at the breast for the evening, I could go right to sleep. And it was working. I was sleeping. It was good. For about four days, it was good.
Too good to last.
I am currently hanging on to my sanity by the barest threads, doing everything in my power to ignore the tightness in my neck and the pain behind my eyes as I listen to the baby FREAK OUT in the other room after 36 hours of only sleeping in 30 minute stretches. The husband is gone on his second night of overnight filming and I’m afraid to take the Ativan while he’s gone and for some reason the baby and the girl have both decided that they cannot and will not sleep while he is not in the house and the one is shrieking (teething? sinus pain? WILL TO TERRORIZE ME?) while the other is jumping on her bed and tossing her stuffed animals around her room and the cats are yowling for their dinner and I have not slept since yesterday morning and I AM SLOWLY GOING MAD.
It is taking all of my will to keep from shrieking SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP at all of them. It is taking all of my will.
I have a strong will. I also have a strong bedroom door, and I currently have my back pressed up against it. I’m sitting on the floor, trying to block out the noise, trying to slow my breathing, trying to keep my calm, trying to keep my calm, trying to keep my calm.
I know that this, too, shall pass. I know that at some point – maybe in a few hours, maybe in a few days – I will look at the beautiful faces of my sleeping children and feel that blissed-out, satisfied calm that is one of parenthood’s greatest rewards and I will remember this moment – this moment of wanting to scream – only in the abstract.
But it is still this moment, right now, this terrible moment, and all I can do is live through it.
I press a pillow to my face and scream.