Friday, September 9, 2011

My Own Personal Painkiller

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.


  1. I know how you feel! I used to have a Phd in sleep until the baby came along but she is worth every little bit of lost sleep :) She melts my stress and tiredness away in an instant! And it gets better and better...just wait until your little one can kiss and hug and say things like "wuvins mama" (love you mama) :) Hang in there with the friend's son had colic and there really was not much she could do but hold him, but you will wake up one day and the colic is gone.

    Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving such a nice comment. I am glad you were able to find some inspiration on my site...I am inspired when readers like you take the time to say hi! :)

    Your Luis is adorable!!

  2. Thanks Joey! Am having a fan girl moment right now, can't get over how my favorite blogger left a comment in my blog!! You really are inspiring.

  3. Ate Cath, lovely blog! It's nice to read about other moms... and yes, our babies are our happy pill!