Last week, baby K was in a funk. My usually great sleeper went to waking up once a night to every 30-45 minutes. The internet was full of suggestions of what baby K was going through- a “wonder week”, “growth spurt”, and the “45 minute intruder”. Alas I must not be alone-but I didn’t really care for the reason, I just wanted it to stop. After three days, we were all exhausted-especially since big Daddy and I are back at work. In my desperation for sleep, I was trying everything. One of the gifts I received at a baby shower was a “sleep sheep” that plays nature sounds. One evening I tried the rain sound thinking, “this will never work” and low and behold it worked! It seemed to calm my fussy baby! Praise the Lord!
So back to last Wed night. After three nights of no sleep and everyone at maximum exhaustion, I finally got baby K to fall asleep after 45 minutes of rocking, feeding, and bouncing. I laid her down, covered her up and looked around for the sheep. It was nowhere to be found. NO WHERE. I called out to big sister and politely asked her where the sheep was because she is notorious for taking her sister’s things. Her reply, “I don’t know.” Again, in a little deeper voice, “where is the sheep…you were playing with it this morning when I went to work”. Her reply, “ummmmmmm…I don’t know.” Now, as baby K is all out screaming in her bed, I feel panic start to set in. I went on a mission. I went upstairs, downstairs, looking through drawers, bins, containers, you name it-there was literally nothing unturned in my house. This time, I said in a deep voice, “if you don’t find your sister’s sheep, we are going to have a SERIOUS problem”. At this point, I think I was on the verge of losing my mind. I could feel myself close to tears and panic was completely set in. I even texted the nanny looking for the sheep. Baby K is screaming mad in the background and of course my efforts to put her to sleep are now futile. This time, much more sternly and practically screaming, “SK, WHAT DID YOU DO WITH YOUR SISTER’S SHEEP??” Through tears, she kept saying, “I’m sorry mommy, I don’t know! I can’t find it”. Finally, big Daddy to the rescue-he went toy by toy in the toy box and found the lost sheep. HALL-E-LU-JAH! He looked at me as I was teary eyed and politely said, “I guess it’s a good thing I came home early because there might have been a crime scene here over a sheep”. And it hit me. I’m a clinical social worker and I’ve always read about postpartum and how it can cause psychosis. I found myself thinking I had truly danced with the edge of insanity over a freakin’ sheep. I kept telling myself, really, a sheep??? Call it sleep deprivation or the crazy postpartum hormones, but I understood why some women go crazy. I needed baby K to calmly go to sleep or just to sleep at all. After calming down, I explained to SK the importance of not touching her sister’s things and I walked away feeling like as a mom I somehow failed my girls. I like to keep myself in check but tonight, I was insane. I lost my wits, my cool, my ability to reason-all over a noise making toy. I felt a sense of mom failure and imperfection. But in the end, it’s okay. It’s okay that I lost my mind temporarily because I didn’t do anything harmful. I am imperfect and it’s not the last time I will lose my mind as a mom. I was thankful for a husband who quietly reassured me that I was a good mom even if I went Bat Sheep crazy that night. Oh, and if you want, go get you a Sleep Sheep for your baby….they work wonders for a sleepy baby-just don’t lose it.