Thursday, August 11, 2005

Positive Thoughts on Sleep Deprivation

It's 7:49 am in the morning. I've gotten five hours sleep tonight. FIVE. That's darn good!

We are at a point now, Terri and I, where anything over four hours is a blessing. But all in all, sleep deprivation has some positive benefits.



The previous night I got THREE hours sleep. Katherine decided to stay awake after her 2:00 a.m. feeding.

She wasn't crying, but she made wimpering noises as she laid in the crib next to her sister. Not wanting her to wake up Caroline or Terri, I picked her up and walked her around the house.

Katherine kept her eyes open the entire time, just looking at me, looking around, etc. When I tried to put her down, she would wimper until I picked her back up.

It was the most alert I've seen her since she was born, so what are a few hours missed sleep in comparison to bonding time with your oldest daughter?

We read books, watched some T.V., and changed a few diapers.

Finally, at about 4:30 a.m., Katherine's eyes began to flutter, and by 4:40 a.m. she was breathing softly in the crib.

I crawled into bed, closed my eyes, and fell asleep immediately . . . for about 30 minutes.


Terri and I are tag-team feeding at nights. That means one feeding period she will feed one baby, and I'll feed the other. Then, at he next feeding period, we switch babies. This ensures each baby gets breast milk throughout the night, but it conserves Terri's energy for the long run by not requiring her to stay awake for the feeding of two babies.

At about 5:12 a.m., thirty-two minutes after Katherine had finished playing with me, Caroline decided that she was hungry (that exact time is burned into my eyeballs because I remember seeing that time on my digital alarm clock as I thought, "You have GOT to be kidding me!").

Well, Caroline was my shift. So I got up, changed her diaper, fed her, burped her, and then put her back down to go back to sleep.

Except Caroline must have seen me playing with Katherine -- because she refused to go back to sleep!

She wimpered, stirred, and moved in the crib until I picked her up.

More books, more walking -- more bonding time.

Caroline went fell back asleep at 7:00 a.m. I crawled back into bed, where Terri and my Mom took pity on me and covered for me until 10:00 a.m.


This experience with sleep deprivation, which I'm sure will not be the last or the worst, has two positive benefits that I've been able to discern thus far:

1. The lack of sleep causes a person to have profound visions and hallucinations. This can have positive benefits to mankind. For example, last night in my exhausted state, I actually worked out a working formula for turning lead into gold! Unfortunately, the sleep depreivation also took away my ability to write coherently, so the the formula is once again lost to the ages.

2. As many of you who are parents have shared with me, "Although it may not seem so at 3:00 a.m., the time with your newborns goes really fast, and they grow fast, so enjoy every moment." Thus, if my girls want to explore the world at 3:00 a.m., who am I to argue? I'll catch the exta hours sleep when I retire.


Click on any photo for a larger view.

Terri with Katherine

Tag-Team Feeding!

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