Wednesday, February 24, 2010

So many things to talk about: Part One.

Here I sit, benefitting from a month's worth of halfway decent sleep and my mind is overflowing with words, topics, feelings, discoveries and STUFF! I can't fit it all in the one post!

I'm having trouble remembering how tired I was a mere four weeks ago. Logically I knew I was bone weary, but through my sleep-deprived fog I didn't know just how exhausted I had truly become, nor how little I thought about anything else than when I'd get my next nap.

Realising that I had sleep apnea, back in August 2009, was the first step to getting more quality sleep. My dad introduced me to Breathe Right Strips and I went back to sleeping with two additional pillows, one under my arm and one under my uppermost leg just like when I was pregnant. All of a sudden my sleep apnea episodes diminished considerably.

But I was still tired.

Soon enough, another step. I started wearing incontinence pads day and night. Again, a slight improvement, but still not enough. Consumed with trying to keep the house as clean as possible*, getting all the Christmas paraphernalia organised, and making sure Kiddlywink's needs were met, while trying to find time to have more than a five minute conversation with Alaskaboy who was working some weird hours, I figured the pads worked Good Enough and left well enough alone.

Plus I had a bridesmaid's dress to fit into. Sometimes there was exercising happening instead of naps.

When my parents-in-law arrived for their Christmas holiday, I figured I'd get more sleep. AHAHAHAHA! This time I was capable of cooking more, actually socialising, and with them here I also had time to catch up with my internet buddies. Speaking of, Raina came to visit too. And I slept even less. In my own bed that is. Adding together my multiple trips to the bathroom, I was spending hours slumped over on the toilet every night because I was so exhausted I'd fall asleep as soon as I sat down. Not a recipe for good quality sleep in anybody's book.

It all came to head one night after a How I Met Your Mother marathon. I'd hurt myself in several different ways recently, mainly to being so tired and overdoing everything, but this took the cake. One measly hour after going to bed, I needed to pee. Upon being struck by a wave of nausea I had to think fast about how I would puke if need be. Due to my post-cesarean limitations and newly strained abs I was unable to kneel down on the floor and heave up whatever it was I'd overeaten that night. Since all the laundry tubs were full of soaking baby clothes and bibs, I got back up off the toilet and went in search of a folding chair to position in front of the loo.

And promptly had a micro nap while standing up.

There was no graceful keeling over to land on a discreetly placed mat like when someone topples over in the movies. I went down like a sack of spuds; collapsing downward like a demolition team had placed their explosives in all the right places. In one way I'm lucky I wasn't thinner or the hallway wider--I'd grappled with the walls trying to stop my fall--else when my left buttock landed squarely on my calf muscle, my belly wouldn't have prevented my teeth and my other kneecap meeting at full steam ahead.

So there I lay, face down in the hallway. Naked. Thank God my in-law's had gone home the previous night, and Raina was out like a light! Alaskaboy had heard my weird, hoarse cry of fear (I'm not a screamer, more like a HWOOOAARRRGerer) and came bustling out to see what was wrong. I proceeded to have a sobbing fit/temper tantrum, complete with slamming my fists against the floor and snot bubbles coming out of my nose.

I was furious with myself, life, the universe and everything. 42 may be the answer, but I was still looking for a better one. By the time Raina's short, but delightful, visit was over, I still hadn't found it.

One of the ways I kept hurting myself was by FLINGing myself out of bed every time I needed to go to the bathroom. Because, to be blunt, the incontinence pads weren't sufficient to the task. A few days after Raina left, I was at my wit's end. I no longer remember how we came to the lightbulb moment, but eventually we got there.

For bedtime? Nappies. Diapers. Of the adult variety.

"Why didn't we think of this sooner?" I sobbed to Alaskaboy. Apparently we had, and me asking him that question reminded him that our initial plan had been to see if the incontinence pads worked for both night and day time use, and if not, to switch to the big guns. But in all the subsequent excitement...we'd forgotten.

My first test run was an afternoon nap. I was to stay in bed and sleep myself out. Even if I awoke feeling the need to get up and pee, I was to stay in bed and put the product to good use. Lo, I had four hours uninterrupted sleep for the first time in months, and verily I say unto thee, it was FUCKING AWESOME!

Cue another light bulb. I've had the usual New Parent Lack Of Sleep. I've been having the Sleep Apnea Lack Of Sleep. Added to both of those? Since Kiddlywink was born, I haven't been settling into a deep sleep out of fear that I wouldn't wake up in time to prevent myself from peeing the bed. No WONDER I was exhausted and my body was taking forever to heal. You need good quality sleep to heal properly.

As the days passed and we figured out how many times I could get the urge before needing to change, the hard part became remembering which number urge I was on. There were a few accidents, but we've learned to leave plastic between the mattress pads and the mattress. Also? A hair dryer on high speed and heat, with the tip inserted underneath the sheet, allows for a speedy drying out of the wet spot. We can then take the sheets off in the morning and wash..instead of changing the sheets once or multiple times a night.

We were in the middle of this learning process, when an internet friend I'd never had the pleasure of meeting emailed to say she'd be in town for two days only, and did we want to meet up?

To Be Continued...


*I know that whenever my insides get cluttered up with feelings or needs that I can't express yet, the house gets messier and messier. And the more obsessed I get with trying to keep that mess under control. The more I feel the need to rid my house of excess crap. And the more I rant and rave about things Alaskaboy needs to improve on or throw out also. Like shit to a fan, misery loves to fling itself indiscriminately around!

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