When I was getting situated at the NCR Trail yesterday between getting the baby into the front carrier, my ipod set and turned on, my backpack on, and the dog out of the car, I struck up a conversation with another mom who was getting her three kids onto their bikes prior to a ride down the trail.
She asked me how old the baby was and when I said almost 4 weeks she took a look at me and told me I look great for having a 4 week old. As in, I don't look sleep deprived at all. She said she was totally crazed by 4 weeks. I felt pretty good at that point...then she mentioned that she had twins. I'm pretty sure having twins is more than twice the work of having one. And she as breastfeeding which I'm sure I couldn't manage since I couldn't even get one baby to latch and therefore have to hook myself up to a pump 7-8 times a day.
Having said that I have been feeling surprisingly good for the little sleep I've been getting. I used to be a total 8+ hours a night, in a row, kinda girl. Then when I was pregnant I got used to getting up several times a night to use the bathroom. So now, I've taken it to the next level where I get roughly 2.5 hrs of sleep, then I'm up for 1-1.5 hours between feeding and changing the baby, pumping, and getting the little guy back to sleep.
I do subscribe to the rest when the baby sleeps methodology though. This morning after he had sucked down 5+ oz of breastmilk I knew he'd nod off for a few hours and sure enough I was able to nap for a little over an hour. Now, he fell asleep in his swing after another 5 oz bottle and I don't dare move for the risk of waking him so I'm spending quality time with the old laptop. Luckily I have lots of research to do so the laptop time is helpful.
I wonder if sleep deprivation is anything like driving on a low gas tank. You can still drive your car until you get very very low, then you can pump to push the very last of the gas into the tank as you coast into the gas station to refill. My gas station come on Saturday when papacat takes a night shift so I only have to get up for 15 minutes every 4 hours to pump but otherwise get to sleep through the night. I'm hopeful that he'll sleep longer at night before I return to work a month from now!