Time for sleep / by Christina Rosalie

Even now, after a year, sleep isn’t the same. Maybe it will never be like it was pre-baby: eight hours without a single moment of semi-consciousness. Now night is a blur of dreams, wide awake moments flushed with hormonal heat, moments yanked from sleep yet again, moments still nursing.

As a result some days my moods are like salmon migrating upstream. Often, they storm the turbines of my heart. Up, then down. Flailing. Inevitably.

Today, after a weekend of sun, fun, extroversion, and no naps, I woke up exhausted, with mastitis. Again. The cumulative lack of deep sleep has caught up. Things feel tangential and disconnected.

Most weeks I stay up late into the evening. These nighttime hours are my time for painting and writing; for locating the fragile connective tissue that holds my days together. This only works if I get a nap in with Bean in the morning, though.

We curl like puppies, a tangle of limbs under the down comforter. His bare feet pressed into my belly. We sleep like this for an hour at least. Sometimes two, and everything is okay. But last week there were no naps. Days of go, go, go. Days of longer sunlight. More to do. Friends visiting. Deadlines. It’s easy for me to try to live on credit with myself. To take out debt after debt in the sleep department.

I’m trying to learn how to listen to my body. To heed the warning signs. But it’s hard when most days I feel like I accomplish so little. A handful of sentences written maybe. Possibly a load of laundry. (And of course caring for Bean.) It’s hard to allow this to be enough. I’m so goal driven, so pushy, and impatient. It’s hard to bring myself back to the present and wait for the well to fill again.