You’re Crazy

September 27th, 2006

While digging into my morning bagel, I remembered that I had a dream last night that someone at the Philadelphia Cream Cheese company had been secretly making their veggie cream cheese with breastmilk harvested at a breast farm (a breast farm?) in Colorado. I remembered this, of course, just as I brought the bagel to my lips and gah, I almost ran right off the road in revulsion, because gross.

In the interest of appeasing breastfeeding advocates, I’d like to be clear that breastfeeding does not repulse me. However, I would rather not devour an everything bagel with a stranger’s breastmilk and a slice of ripe tomato, thanks. Because, although this is not the case, in a strange sort of freakish way, it reminded me of…well, it was slightly twisted, like eating a product of a stranger would be cannibalistic, although again, I don’t actually feel that way when it’s done for babies/children, but adults drinking each other’s milk? No. And, well, it goes without saying that I didn’t eat the bagel.

Bagel ickiness aside, I slept for more than two hours last night for the first time in a long, sad time, and I can say for the first time in weeks that I actually feel rested. I actually woke up this morning with drool on my cheek, and for the first time ever, I thought that caked-on drool was nothing short of fabulous. I will also say that sleep deprivation is a terrifying thing, and although I published a post on it last night for all of 11 minutes, I took it down because it was astonishingly boring, and involved an entire two-paragraph dissertation on how I tried to fall asleep using Suebob‘s method of alphabetizing items, only instead of dog breeds, I went with fruits of the world, and finally had a eureka! moment when I remembered D for durian, only to be foiled by the letter F, of which there are no fruits. Nothing says ‘riveting’ like talking about alphabetizing fruits, especially given the fact that the action was absolutely…fruitless in every sense of the word. Get it? Fruitless! No FRUITS! Groan, just groan.

I don’t do well on little sleep, and it makes me feel like a big baby. It’s not that I just get tired – being tired is miserable, yes – it’s that I get crazy. Late night thoughts aside, it can literally feel like your mind is coming out in slow, spaghetti-like strips, fresh for Dumbledore’s pensieve, and it’s not unlike going through some sort of elevator ride into madness. (I totally just made the lamest Harry Potter reference ever.)

Two nights ago, I got myself all worked up over the fact that Oscar de la Hoya has a musical career which, while upsetting, is not worth losing sleep over. I was almost in tears remembering that Shanna Moakler’s ex-boxer dude actually got a Grammy nomination, which is wrong, so wrong. The night before, I slipped into hypochondriacal mode, and I woke up to a few scrawled notes on my night table, that said “SCHEDULE COLONOSCOPY” and “DO BREAST EXAM.” Sadly, the madness also started to pervade my waking life, as I found myself examining every bump on my body, every bruise, every, um, bowel movement. God, I was so paranoid. I was getting fired. Adam was going to leave me. My friends hated me. Sunny hated me. I cried when I dropped a penny. I felt drunk while I was driving. It was petrifying, dude, and it’s how I get every time I don’t sleep well for an extended period of time.

Sleep loss is the single biggest fear I harbor in relation to having a child. It’s not that I get tired. It’s not that I get grumpy. It’s not anything as selfish as that: it’s that I get insane, literally, mad with anxiety and misery, and honestly, I could see how it could manifest itself in destructive behavior, especially given my personal history with anxiety and depression. I’m not saying I’d go all Andrea Yates on anyone, but I do imagine myself dragging my infant to and from the doctor’s office, wild-eyed and crazy, screeching, “WE HAVE EMPHYSEMA, SIDS, AND ALSO, THE HERP. HELP US.” And if anyone refused to help us? Then, well, I see very scary things, and also, a lot of crying and maybe some food-throwing. And certainly a lot of calling Adam at work and begging him to come home and save me from the evil, terrifying madness of this very, very dark place that I’m not sure I could dig myself out of. And while I can already hear the parents commenting, telling me that yes, it happens, and yes, it’s survivable, I’m saying, man, I am honestly not sure, because I get crazy.

God, honestly, it’s icky how vividly I can see the trajectory to this very scenario, and it scares me half to death to think about the consequences of the sleep issue. And truthfully, it’s why I’m not sure – even now – that something like breastfeeding is for me, breast farm dreams aside (and not because it repulses me, because again: it doesn’t), because I could see needing some help at night to keep me from treading in the wild waters of dark madness, and the safety and mental health of all involved seem…more important. Although, add post-partum hormones and a world turned upside down, and I’m not sure any of it is a good idea, no, not at all. And no, I am not pregnant, it’s just that not sleeping gives you a lot of time to think , even if it’s only about random things that have not happened yet, alongside the ill-advised musical careers of various and sundry athletes (Ron Artest? Such a bad idea to get that rap career going.)

In summary, my peaches tumble right out of the basket when I don’t sleep, and it freaks me right out to Springfield. And what’s crazier? A good night’s sleep, and the insanity is gone. I felt sober. Healthy. I did not schedule a colonoscopy. I don’t have breast cancer. I poop just fine. I was even able to enjoy the damn Guns n’ Roses marathon on our local classic rock station, which, well rocked. I am reluctant to admit that I love GnR, but I do, rather intensely, even if Axl has anger issues, and is also batshit insane. And I maintain that it’s impossible to be in a bad mood listening to five solid hours of Axl. Impossible.

*Guns. And also, Roses.

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14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Yez  |  September 27th, 2006 at 9:41 pm

    I mostly understand your POV about breastfeeding, and what I don’t understand, I certainly won’t challenge. I have to say, though: get back to me at around 3 days postpartum and we can talk about engorgement :> (Mother Nature does not work in subtleties when it comes to motivating moms.)

    Also, if you’re freaking right out to Springfield, might as well keep on going to Lee. At least you’ll be in the Berkshires.

  • 2. Dave  |  September 28th, 2006 at 12:58 am

    Sleep deprivation is indeed a horrible, horrible thing, and I think I can consider myself an authority on the topic; in fact I am right now trying to get one child to go to sleep so that I can tend to the other, who won’t sleep either.

    Maybe you should consider adoption. The first 3-4 months of a child’s life are absolutely horrific for the best of parents. Someone will disagree with me, only because the brain blocks out such traumatic experiences so that second children can be conceived. I’d be on the same boat if I didn’t have a blog chronicling the horror.

    As regards the breastfeeding, of course everyone should be averse to a stranger’s secretions. Good gravy! I’m supportive of the breastfeeding except that it’s a cruel trick to have a fabulous rack in the house, but it’s off limits. It’s like Pam Anderson becoming a nun.

    Finally, can anyone resist playing air guitar to Sweet Child o’ Mine? At the end, Slash just absolutely totally unhinged on the guitar. The rest of the song might be dated but that solo is in-freaking-sane.

  • 3. Amity  |  September 28th, 2006 at 5:57 am


  • 4. TwoBusy  |  September 28th, 2006 at 6:32 am

    Dave — what do you mean? The first months of a child’s life are nothing but magic and wonderment. Sure, there may be a few sleepless nights, but what is that when compared to heavenly bliss of holding your new child in your arms? No, no, Jonniker — fear not. Leave your anxiety behind. It’s all sweetness and light. I promise.

    (hysterical laughter)

  • 5. Claire  |  September 28th, 2006 at 7:19 am

    First of all, “The Herp” is a classic term. A good friend in school used to be called “Herp” when her coldsores broke out… i’m sure she didn’t appreciate it, but i thought it was hysterical.

    Um… I second the other people’s secretions thing. that’s just gross and i dont’ think you have to qualify that. as far as being afraid of having children and what babies do to your sanity? i don’t think anyone could deny that they are needy creatures that demand all of your energy. See: Suctopus.

  • 6. Suebob  |  September 28th, 2006 at 7:55 am

    We are so alike on the sleep thing. I get The 3 am Fear, too. Fear of what? Oh, anything will do. One time it was raining and I was worried that it would never stop. Never. I was thinking “How screwed would we be then?”

    I am not good at being sleep deprived. I lose my personality and become a grey lump. No sense of humor, short temper, all the good things. The first step to dumping my ex was that he loved to cuddle at night and I can’t stand to be touched. He just COULD NOT understand and would scoot over until I was literally hanging off the edge of the bed to try to get away…

  • 7. Lawyerish  |  September 28th, 2006 at 8:21 am

    Yeah. Well, I hardly need comment. It’s all “ME TOO.”

    The breastmilk bagel about made me puke into my wastebasket. Even if something like that came from my own body, I would not come near it. And yeah it’s all natural and beautiful and blah blah. Just: no. Breast farm. HEE.

  • 8. Charlotte  |  September 28th, 2006 at 8:30 am

    You got durian but not fig?!

  • 9. jonniker  |  September 28th, 2006 at 10:32 am

    Yez: Challenges are always accepted. I can’t be right about *everything* :>

    Dave: Your comment just made me laugh out loud, given that I knew your website was already “weresotired,” which, well, it illustrates the point, doesn’t it?

    Amity: We discussed my utter obtuse reaction to ‘fig.’ and the simplicity of your comment is hysterical.

    TB: How dare you shatter my illusions.

    Claire: SUCTOPUS.

    SB: The rain, oh, the rain. Priceless, honestly. That’s awesome.

    Ish: Farm, yes. Farm.

    Charlotte: I KNOW. And still, when Amity posted it, I was all, “Fig? What do you mean, FIG?”

  • 10. -R-  |  September 28th, 2006 at 10:37 am

    I don’t get scared, I get super chipper. And then have violent mood swings. I am not pleasant to be around when there is no sleep.

    I can’t believe you didn’t eat the bagel!

  • 11. Sundry  |  September 28th, 2006 at 9:00 pm


    Okay, I actually wanted to weigh in on this because I really, really, really love sleep and lots of it: the first weeks did in fact kind of blow but I swear to god an active toddler is 2581 times more exhausting than some tiny little INFANT who can barely squeak.

    Well, that put you right at ease, didn’t it? “Don’t worry, it gets WORSE”. He does sleep for, like, 12 straight hours now, so that’s a plus.

  • 12. dissed  |  October 1st, 2006 at 1:56 pm

    1. Sleep deprivation is insidious, seductive, and addictive. It employs minions: sleepwalking, sleeptalking, and anxiety dreams. It consumes bodies and brains. It is attempting to consume mine. It shall not prevail.

    2. feijoa

  • 13. gamonie  |  April 11th, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    I haven’t gotten much done these days. So it goes. What can I say? I’ve just been letting everything pass me by. Basically not much going on lately, but it’s not important. I’ve basically been doing nothing worth mentioning.

  • 14. Jonniker. » She Dri&hellip  |  September 23rd, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    […] to add in this delightful little postscript: Remember when I had a dream that my cream cheese was made with breast milk? No? Anyone? Well, if PETA has it their way, Ben & Jerry’s will be made with breast […]

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