Edgar Allen Poe said that, followed by "oh, how I loathe them." I never connected with that quote at all until a little incident occurred in our lives that we like to call "The Baby".
Knowing how it would feel to fall asleep exhausted only to wake up two hours later to a crying newborn, I would crawl into bed with a whimper during those days when Oliver first arrived. You fall into a deep hard sleep, and then buhBAM! You are smashed in the face with a giant tree branch! Well, at least that is what it felt like after weeks on end of only getting two or three consecutive hours of sleep at a time. So it was discouraging to even get into bed at all and I began to dread nightfall.
It not recommended that one operate a vehicle while lacking proper sleep. And yet, we as moms and dads are entrusted to care for a tiny infant and keep it alive. I don't know how I did it. I do know that I was determined to sleep as best I could during the short intervals I was granted, so Oliver was exiled to his own room at only 4 weeks old. This worked wonders. He started sleeping longer and longer each night, and I have to say I did not miss him that much. Why? Because I was aSLEEP, y'all! And also because I got to spend the entire day with him every day.
Since then, we have had some interruptions in this gloriousness of peaceful night's sleep. Growth spurts being most common invader of my dreams. But then, after about four days, life would go back to normal and little z's would once again drift peacefully out of our mouths, float up the chimney, and fade away into the night sky.
Last week, however, the universe decided that it needed to balance out all of this slumbering I was doing by removing that as one my daily activities. I was getting too much sleep. Joe was getting too much sleep. Oliver was getting too much sleep. I mean, we had so much sleep, we were just wasting it. Rolling around in it with our dirty bodies and then tossing it aside like it was a used Kleenex. We had to be punished. And punished we were. A virus in the form of a freight train came hurtling at us with full speed, crashed into our lives and shattered it into a million sleep deprived pieces.
Oliver came down with "Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease". His particular version of it consisted of high fever, blisters all over his mouth and throat, and crying. Inconsolable, voluminous, heart-wrenching crying. All. night. long. Oh, and he also began teething.
The poor little guy just couldn't stay asleep. When he swallowed, it hurt like hell. And everytime it hurt, it would wake him up. Which wakes us up.
This nightmare lasted aproximately 7 days. I have to say it was worse than the newborn days. At least then, he wasn't in pain, and he would sometimes sleep for four hour long stretches, and I could nap in between if I needed to. During this illness, he was basically constantly awake. It was starting to make us delirious. One day I called a friend to sub my class for me and stayed home because I thought I would fall down if I danced. Little did I know that it would last for many more days and I had to just plug through my classes anyway. Another morning, we just strapped him into his carseat, got more coffee, and drove to Joe's parents' house.
We did not alert them to our arrival, we just showed up, and handed Oliver off, and said we just needed some sleep, dear god, just let us sleep. I felt like a refugee fleeing a disaster. We had nowhere else to turn, no other option to consider. We had tried everything to make him feel better, and since they don't make vicodin for babies, nothing else worked.
So that's why there has been a lull in my posts. We are out of the woods now, and we have caught up on our sleep again, for the most part. Oliver is back to his smiley self and you'll usually find us laughing together about something, me with no pants on. He always charms them right off me.