Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Do you have a night doula or some shit?
Maisie's head is filled with so much mucus she can't breathe, and when a person can't breathe, a person can't sleep—especially a person who is too young for NyQuil.
I haven't been this tired since the early days, the first six months that my memory has retained mostly as a series of 10-second clips: her tiny wrinkly face, hiccuping; a white-noise app on an iPhone in an otherwise pitch-black room; her body shaking in my arms, screaming, fists at her face.
At six months we sleep-trained her, against the advice of the attachment-parenting books that had been our lifelines—and overnight, I felt like myself again. Sleep is a big deal, Elvis. I haven't taken it for granted since. Every night as I get under the covers, secure in the likelihood that I won't have to wake up until 6a.m., I can feel a half-smile flitting across my face.
But now the mucus has descended, and I'm back in the fog.
It's not the same, of course; I don't have to breastfeed for hours every night. And it was scarier then, because I didn't know what I was doing, and I didn't know if I could handle it. But physically it feels the same. Some mysterious extra-strength gravity is pulling at my limbs; my thoughts feel like they're wandering in the dark, groping desperately for their own logical conclusions. It was hard then and it's hard again, Elvis.
I rarely get jealous of wealth because I have what I need, and because the handful of truly wealthy people I know don't seem happy (cliche reasons, but good ones, no?). But I'm jealous of anyone who can afford a night nurse. That is the true meaning of fortunate, right there. I once saw an interview with Alanis Morissette wherein she sung the praises of attachment parenting, and then later I heard her "night nanny" was suing her for not paying her overtime, and that is some serious bullshit, Elvis. We'd all be attachment-parenting our faces off if we could afford night nannies.
Photo by me, 2013, peak-fog.