Sunday, April 8, 2012

This is your brain. This is your brain on motherhood.

Normally I am sharp as a tack (snort).  Okay, but I can generally manage to use adverbs correctly and utter socially acceptable responses in polite conversation. Mostly. But when I am waking up twice a night (three if you count 5:30 a.m. as night), blinking dazedly, half awake and half asleep, fumbling groggily to feed a floppy baby with a ginormous head, my brain doesn't function normally.  My already struggling social graces take a dive into, "Is that woman all there? Something seems a little off" terrirtory. I find that nodding and smiling is one of my best defense tactics during these looooooong months that sleep (or a lack thereof) occupies all of my brain cells. But sometimes people want me to respond. To answer coherently. To speak as if I have been processing the conversation and have something to add. They're not asking me to weigh in on the moral and social implications of foreign policy or asking me to solve difficult algorithms, but they might as well be.
"Hey Steph, how are you doing?"  I smile blankly. And then when it becomes painfully obvious that an answer is required, I scan my brain nervously, thinking, "I know I have answered this question correctly before. What is the answer?"
"Nothing!" I blurt. And then I realize that I have mistakenly substituted the answer to the Other question that people ask each other, "What's going on?" Then my milk comes in and I mutter something about "keeping the baby alive" and leave. Or I rush off to rescue Ellie (the toddler) from certain death.

Ellie has become really good at "certain death" activities, or "horribly mutilating" activities. In fact, we started off the second week of new motherhood with Ellie bashing her nose into the bottom cement stair on my parent's porch. It swelled to the size and color of a small plum. After a quick trip to Instacare, where they told us a CAT scan would need to be done if we thought it was broken (no thank you), and that it was rare to break your nose when you are so young, she began recovering nicely. Then, right when the swelling had gone down and the color subsided to a nice yellow, she bashed her eye climbing up onto a chair. It was a small gash, but she has another black eye. Poor thing.

And our cat is shedding a lot.

(Did I mention I have trouble focusing?)

Anyway, please forgive me if I respond like a homeless cat lady. Hopefully when I start sleeping again I'll at least be able to answer simple questions.


Tobi said...

I'm sure your fellow comrades in arms will sympathize and understand your plight. However those who haven't yet experienced the joys of sleep deprivation will be more likely to think you've checked into crazy lady land.

Emily Widdison said...

congrats!! She is adorable, of course! Awesome birth story too:) Can't wait to see more pictures. 4 kids just about killed me...well, good luck!:)