Have you ever been so tired you misplaced your baby, only to find her dozing in the crib where you left her? So bleary-eyed that you brushed your teeth with diaper cream? So brutally exhausted that you tried to breastfeed the cat?
You have to laugh at some of the ridiculous things new parents do when sleep deprived, because if we didn't laugh, we'd just curl into a ball and cry about how tired we are (it's OK to do both, by the way).
WATCH: The truth about getting sleep when you have a baby. Story continues below.
Sleep deprivation seems to come part and parcel with new parenthood, so much so that even Prince William gleefully welcomed Prince Harry to the "sleep-deprivation society" after the birth of baby Archie. And let us #neverforget the time Wills nodded off in an Anzac Day service days after little Louis was born.
But, even while we have a chuckle about an actual prince snoozing in church, or that time we left the house without pants, sleep deprivation can be one of the most distressing aspects of new parenthood.
A few recent British studies have found that new parents can lose anywhere from 44 to 50 full nights of sleep in the first year of their child's life. Sleep deprivation can affect everything from your mood to your physical health to your relationships. And when you're spending this brutally exhausted time entirely responsible for another human life, well, it can all get a little overwhelming.
But you're not alone. We asked moms across Canada to share their best sleep-deprivation stories, and reading them will make you laugh, cry, and laugh-cry.
We gave our Mombies the options of using a first name only, or remaining anonymous, in cases where their confessions were sensitive.
I was so tired, I ... 'lost' my baby
"The phantom baby wake-ups in the early days ... Falling asleep ... Waking up PANICKING about where the baby is when she wasn't in my arms/beside me in the bed. Realizing she was sleeping in her bassinet. How did she get there?"
— Leanne Stephenson, Hamilton, Ont.
"I tried to nurse a pillow a couple of weeks ago because it was in the bed next to me."
— Emily, Cheshire, U.K.
"After tandem breastfeeding in the middle of the night, I put the baby back in the wrong crib, basically on top of her twin sister. More than once ... 😬 Twins plus one i.e. three under three is not for the faint of heart!"
— Heather Tomoyasu, Brooklyn, N.Y.
I was so tired, I ... couldn't human
"I used diaper cream instead of toothpaste. Another time, I fell asleep holding my baby and when I woke up I thought her face had grown hair (I was looking at the back of her head!)."
— Katy Lewis, Vancouver
"I can't honestly remember too many details, but there was a time when I went to the Tim Hortons drive-thru wearing my PJs and housecoat. I got to the window, only to realize I'd forgotten to order."
— Vicki Roberta Todd, Lethbridge AB
"I regularly pump hand soap onto my toothbrush. I'm talking like, once a week."
— Teenah LeBlanc, Courtenay B.C.
"I answered the door to the mailman with my boob hanging out. Yup."
— Bunny Cocar, Mission, B.C.
I was so tired, I ... just couldn't
"When my daughter had just turned one, she had the stomach flu and my husband was away. She fell asleep in my bed and woke me up a few hours later vomiting all over my sheets. I was so exhausted, I just threw a towel over the vomit and went back to sleep.
Apparently, I did this multiple times during the night in my sleep-deprived haze, because when I woke up, we were both sleeping on a sandwich made of vomit and towels."
— Carolynne, Prince George, B.C.
I was so tired, I ... am not sure how we survived, TBH
"I filled a coffee pot with sugar. I don't even use sugar in my coffee. Two different shoes. Pulled over and slept in my car off an off-ramp."
— Holly MacFarlane, Halifax
"Using my car fob to lock the house and getting annoyed that I need to replace the batteries because it's not working."
— Lindsay Lock, Coquitlam, B.C.
"Left my wallet on the top of my car and started driving. When another driver pointed it out, I got out of the car to get it without putting it in park and then proceeded to chase my car down the street, through a green light and jump in to the moving vehicle — all while my newborn was asleep in her car seat. 😢"
— Anonymous, Calgary
I was so tired, I ... didn't find it funny
"My stories aren't too funny, but I truly believe no one can understand the sleep deprivation unless they've been there ...
"I remember being in a hotel bathroom during a stay-over on an international flight with our baby and realizing the floor was swaying underneath me like I was on a boat. Also, when baby was a couple months old and I got up to feed him, I realized I was too tired to safely hold him — I knew I could literally drop him.
"I'm lucky I had support at home. I remember losing a lot of simple vocabulary and saying, 'I need the ... thing' a lot."
— Anonymous, North Vancouver
A reminder that if you're struggling emotionally and physically from the effects of sleep deprivation, to contact a medical professional ASAP. And get support however you can. Ask for help. Because it can be brutal in the trenches, and not just ha-ha brutal.
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