I really needed to rest, but we seemed to be in an unrelenting routine of sporadic sleep, baby care, and lots of tears. The baby would wake up every hour and a half, and I would struggle to get her latched on. By the time she was on and had eaten a meal (if she stayed awake long enough to finish one), it was time to start all over again. Just as I would begin to fall into an exhausted sleep, Rowan's little bark, like Chinese water torture, would wake me up. This schedule continued incessantly and, thinking that it would be like this forever, I began to feel delirious. I was practically inconsolable. I couldn't stand any of it.
Chris and I were alone, and there was a great deal of silence in between my bouts of crying. Often he would break the silence by asking me to please tell him what was wrong. My response would be to shake my head and say I didn't know. There are many times where Chris and I are together and are not talking. It is a comforting thing that our silences have never been uneasy. This silence was very different. It was heavy and did not stem from a place of ease.
I had never felt emotion like this, and I strongly believed that even if I could articulate what I was experiencing, nobody would understand, not even my husband. And if he did understand, he certainly wouldn't be able to help. Chris kept doing all he could to keep the baby contented while continuing to try to talk to me. I knew he must be tired, too, but we couldn't seem to get on a schedule that allowed one of us to sleep while the other tended to the infant. Plus, I was afraid to let Chris sleep, because I was scared to be alone. Even though we were in the same apartment, if he was sleeping and I was awake, I thought I might try to escape or wouldn't be able to stop myself from swallowing a bottle of pills. I even thought that I'd welcome being kidnapped. These were strange, irrational fears that still felt real to me. I couldn't hand the baby completely over to Chris, either, because I wasn't yet producing enough milk to pump so he could feed her. I was hesitant to pump, anyway, because in the lactation class, we were warned about the horrors of "nipple confusion": One taste of a rubber nipple, and we might lose our babies to the bottle forever. So, like a zombie, at each feeding I would hold her tiny body at the appropriate angle and stare out the window.