No Sleep Till Brooklyn

Monday, March 22, 2010

There were these two hours of calm that I remember so clearly. It was three whole days after our son was born. We had said “peace out!” to the dreary hospital earlier that Sunday, and were finally back home. Of course, everything about this home was new to our little baby love.

But it was also new to me.

Woman in Brooklyn busted trying to steal bowling ball in broad daylight.

I waddled out of here like some kind of beach ball smuggler some nights before, en route to the hospital, and now I was returning—beach ball deflated and body, a miserable mishmash of sore, sick and fatigue—and holding this sweet, sleepy cinnamon bun swaddled in a blanket. I was excited … giddy, even. My baby was finally here, and he was healthy and home. (Another round of happiness on me, barkeep!)

After my in-laws left, beaming all the way back to Princeton (it is their first grandchild), my visiting/save the day mother suggested that daddy, mommy and baby take a family nap. Didn’t have to tell my husband twice. After camping out on this where-do-they-get-off-calling-this-a-bed foldout chair in my hospital room for three nights, he was done. I think I saw actual letter Zs coming out of his mouth as he collapsed on his pillow beside me. Our son nestled into the bassinet without even a sigh. And I easy … slowly … gently … wince … go slower, woman! … (The C-section: A Thing of Nightmares) … steadily reclined in bed, my eyes moving around the still and dark room, soothed by sound of both of my boys breathing deeply. Delightful. It was the first moment in the hurly-burly of that overwhelming weekend that I felt quiet, calm and collected.

Sleep now, Sweet One, for tonight we feast and cry. And repeat.

Then I got bold with it. I remember saying, “I’ll just sleep later.” (Note: These words would never leave my lips again. Lessons are not lost on me.) I pulled out the MacBook and started replying to all the congratulations e-mails. I even jumped on Facebook to upload Q’s picture and send thank yous to more folks.

Yes, in those two untroubled, golden hours, I moved from one site to another trying to stretch from this tangent (Poor Rihanna. What brand of bastard is this Chris Brown kid?) to the next (Canada geese caused Flight 1549 to land in the drink? Why they gotta be Canadian geese? Blame Canada, here we go again).

I finally close my eyes for a quick snooze—20 minutes, tops—still floating on joy. The hours days that followed melt into each other, forming a blob made of tears, spit up, sore nipples, mustard poop, counted diapers, swaddle blankets, tiny onesies, burp cloths, kisses, counted blessings, staring, A&D ointment , sneezes, coughs, grimaces, clock-watching, sweat-soaked sheets, meals on trays, and—in those moments when exhaustion and exuberance collided just so—laughs. Definitely lots of laughs.