11 November 2009

Interrupted Sleep

"Once you're a parent, you never really sleep again, even when you're sleeping." - Hope Edelman

I thought we'd all sleep better with the oxygen. I guess I celebrated too early.

As with all equipment, there is always an adjustment period. Like getting used to ng feeding,and gtube feeding. Just that this time, sleep is involved.

The past few nights have been an eye-opener. Literally.

I wake up to find the prongs out of her nostrils, or bent (they're soft silicon) at the nostrils, hissing with air - this is the main reason for her fidgeting in her sleep. Other times, I wake (she wakes me with her disgruntled tossing) to find the tubing entangled in her arms. Or the tape coming off her face.

Each time, I've had to sort her out, and rock her back to sleep. This happens approximately once every hour. To a point where I think, "What's the point of sleeping?" and the quote above comes sharply to mind.

The regrettable fact is that I am an extremely light sleeper. Turn on a light and I wake, grind your teeth in your sleep (Ian does) and I wake. I've been brought up on the Chinese mantra "zao sui zao qi shen ti hao" : Sleep early, get up early, good for health. All my life, I've been a nine-hour-a-night sleeper, starting at 11pm.

Now, I don't know anymore. I try my best to nap as long as I can in the day (that's the great thing about having a helper). So I can get up when Vera needs attention. But come 3am, my system is ready for shutdown. And Beth wakes at 6am to take over. So between 3-6am, if Vera needs attention, I become the grumpiest, foul-mouth night animal. Because I can't get up, and I can't sleep either because of the disturbance.

It's interesting what happens to my mind when I'm sleep deprived. In my stupor, my thoughts are still racing, in a downward spiral. This can't go on! I need to sleep but I can't! It will just get worse in my third trimester. And even worse when the baby comes! I'll be feeding through the night! It's all gonna go downhill from here!

My heart races. I hallucinate. I think I was ranting away but I don't remember what I said.

The baby inside me rouses, making it clear that he or she had been disturbed. The movements are clearly agitated. Well done, now I've awakened someone else as well.

Fingers crossed, the little one in the womb won't take after my current sleeping habits.

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