Anyone who tells you motherhood is easy is either lying or in denial. No matter how many books you've read on the subject matter, you are never really prepared for all the drastic changes that will take place.
My body clock, for instance, no longer exists. I used to be a night owl and could never function as well early in the morning. By early, i mean anytime before 10:00 o'clock. Bedtime was always a little before or a little after midnight. A good night's rest meant 8-10 hours of sleep, maybe even more on weekends. When i skip sleep for just a night, i get an achy body and possibly a bad headache the following day.
I have slept an average of 3-4 hours since I gave birth, or on a really good night, when my husband takes over feeding the baby, i can go as long as 5-6, in 2-3 hour increments. What continues to amaze me, is that despite the lack of sleep, I have never been sick and can function quite well, with occasional groggy moments. Although my body aches all over, some parts achier than others, it has never been so bad that I couldn't pick up the baby when he needs me.
Speaking of aches, my tolerance for pain used to be non-existent. During labor I was calling out for epidural until the doctors took pity on me. My dearest dentist friend laughs about how much oral anesthesia I need for an ordinary teeth cleaning session. Heck, I can't even tolerate pain from an ingrown nail. But in the hospital, after giving birth, I was sitting up 24 hours after my C-section because I wanted to be well enough to see my baby. When Luis was brought in to room with us, 48 hours later, I would stand up when he needed to be changed. My wound hurt like hell but I ignored the pain. I still don't know how I managed to do that.
There have been moments when I have been reduced to tears because Luis would not stop bawling no matter what I did to comfort him, and since he is a colicky baby this happens quite often. Anyone who knows me well can attest to my impatience and colic has been such a struggle. When this just started (when Luis was around 3 weeks old), I would get frantic and anxious. I can't say its better now but I am no longer freaking out as much.
The only explanation I can think of for these changes is that having another human being completely dependent on us for survival motivates us to forget the pain and exhaustion, perhaps even changing something in our brain's wiring that allows us to go beyond our own needs and wants to satisfy that of our child's? My entire body is aching but when Luis does that funny sleeping giggle of his while I'm holding him, I feel the pain but I don't care. Now I understand why my friend says her baby is her daily dose of prozac and xanax.