Comments on: In it for the Money: Sleep, Baby it's like being there Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:56:38 +0000 hourly 1 By: Cendra Lynn Cendra Lynn Tue, 24 Apr 2012 00:28:44 +0000 You speak from youth, David. Try when you’re 42 having a severely premature infant who must eat every 3-4 hours and is too weak to nurse. Within five days the ability to drop off to sleep for any amount of time is gone and you get no rest. Without good friends leaping in to help, to take the baby overnight, to find a night nanny, you will probably just walk into the wall and freeze solid.

I don’t think it’s the sleep deprivation. I think it’s the parent hormone. I still come fully awake when my adult daughter is here and her breathing changes in the next room. Colors have been brighter and sounds have been clearer. Every moment is precious and cherished. The incredulity that another human is here because of what you’ve done never ebbs. The awe at seeing your future unfurl generations into the future still takes your breath away. Just the smell of your child or her clothes releases enough oxytocin that the FDA would forbid it if they could.

Friends without kids have no way to understand that part of your heart belongs to each child forever. A phone call with her voice saying, “Mom?” in that certain way catapult’s you into readiness for any action. (What? You need me to come to the end of the earth? I’m on my way.) There is nothing comparable to the parent hormone – not finding your soul mate, getting the perfect job, being lauded for your gifts to humanity. Becoming a parent is becoming a completed person who understands when Garrison says, “Nothing you ever do for a child is wasted.”