Team No Sleep – What It’s Really Like After You Have a Baby


Having a baby changes things…especially your sleep. Everyone says you will be tired. But, honestly, I feel like no one really took the time to expound on exactly what I would experience. Exhaustion and tired are not accurate descriptors. I was tired in college. I was exhausted climbing the corporate jungle gym. Heck, I was pooped when I was pregnant. And yet, I still was not prepared to navigate sleep with a newborn.

I would like to take a stab at painting a picture of how zonked to the bone you’ll be if you’re about to have a baby and join Team No Sleep.

Collegiate Sleep Deprivation

College students learn very quickly in college that a human being can go about eleven days without sleeping. Many attempt to push that limit during the first semester. They also quickly learn rest is essential. Sleep when you can. During class- with your eyes open of course. In the middle of the day. And if you attended a Church of the Brethren school, like me, then you slept on Wednesdays.

I avoided early morning classes like the plague. When I partied like a rock star, I would recover within twenty-four hours. I may have been pooped, but I was coherent.

Once you’re ready for motherhood, multiply the college sleep deprivation by 3,000. Why? Because that time you would spend recovering…yes that time—DELETE THAT. You’ll continue to stay awake and just power through the exhaustion.

Seasoned Corporate Citizen Exhaustion

You are no longer the new girl with no experience. Now you’re climbing the ladder and working ten or twelve hour days. Sometimes you even work weekends. And let’s not forget your side hustle as a blogger, hair stylist, make up artist, or footwear model. Rightfully, you are exhausted. Friday nights are you and Netflix and your bed. You’re pooped. You have been working on hitting your goals and knocking the numbers through the roof. When friends cancel on Friday night, you’re thrilled because you’re so tired. Saturday night you go out and drop it and pop it like it’s 1996. You just need all day on Sunday to recover. New baby? Yup- DELETE THAT RECOVERY TIME. Just keep staying wide awake.

Final Trimester on Team No Sleep

The third trimester is a doozy. Some say it’s intense to increase your motivation to get the baby out. I am positive everyone is telling you: get sleep while you can. You’re thinking, “Yeah right. this third trimester sleep sucks! I’ll sleep when the baby gets here.”

Lies my friend! Multiply whatever sleep deprivation you are currently experiencing by 1,000—and just…keep…staying…awake….

All the mamas I know said I would not get sleep the first eight to twelve weeks. I didn’t realize I would feel like I was losing my sight and my hearing simultaneously from endless sleep deprivation. No lie, I was hallucinating I was so incredibly tired.

I believe moms blow the sleep deprivation stats out of the water. I went about two months as a representative of Team No Sleep. I could venture out and say four months because I simply could not get a solid groove with night pumping.

Would I change anything? Yes. I would invent a way to get eight hours of sleep in a four hour time frame between on-demand pumping sessions. But, I am no scientist. Now I have a better pumping schedule, so I get sleep. I am up to at least six or even seven hours of sleep after my last pump.

The sleep deprivation was temporary. However, nothing prepares you for the unavoidable zombie-like feeling of being the latest recruit of Team No Sleep. But trust that you’ll wake up a few months in having rested more. You’ll smile at your little bundle and say that was one wild ride.

Team No Sleep


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