Friday, December 21, 2007

Can I Get a Bucket of Ambien Please?

What is up with this insomnia? It is three in the morning and I am wide awake and ready to start my day. Yet this is a disaster, being up this early, and can only lead to awful things, including, but not limited to, too much coffee, too much Dr. Pepper and too much grouchiness. I knew this was going to happen when I crawled into bed last night, coaxed by the I-can-sleep-12-hours-a-night-and-still-want-more-sleep Nicole, at the too ripe hour of 7:51. I did read for a while, but still, it was early. I can’t be all tired during the day. Having children is like having a job in the pre-union and pre-rights days, when you would get fired from if you called in sick.

I am afraid to take sleeping pills because I feel like I should be alert in the middle of the night. Am*bien is a wonderful, wonderful thing. It erases my insomnia and let’s me sleep through the night. A good, solid, restorative sleep. It also produces some of those crazy side effects, like temporary amnesia. I have no idea what I do sometimes after I take it. None. There is a period of blackout that I experience where anything goes. During this special blackout time, I tend to make phone calls and send emails, because nothing says “I’m thinking of you” like a rambling, nonsensical note or call from a person who will not remember what she said or did in the morning! But for a good nights’ sleep it is worth it, truly. Besides, it could be worse: I could be that person who wakes up and makes and eats scrambled eggs in the middle of the night or drives a car the wrong direction on the highway.

Maybe I wouldn’t go to bed so early if there was anything to watch on TV. For weeks now, we don’t even put it on at night anymore. There is nothing on. Even with Tivo. Every once in a while, I desperately scroll through the channels looking for things to record. This leads to such gems as “Christmas in Washington” and crappy, even for my low standards, Lifetime movies. The other night, desperate to watch something, anything, Nicole scrolled through our sad, sad list. Survivor was on the list but I wasn’t ready to commit to a three hour finale, even with fast forwarding through boring parts, which is like the whole show.

We both go through periods when we feel the need to streamline the list immediately to make room for, well, nothing. We have 100 hours to fill! Yet I have called Nicole at work in the middle of the day and asked “Are you done with “Killer Quakes? Can I erase it?” Nicole came across Christmas in Washington and was desperate to purge it from the list, so she started playing it at fast-forward level four (the fastest). The following ensued:

Nicole: I’m embarrassed to have this on the list. [This coming form the woman who will record hours and hours of Weather Channel documentaries.]
Me: Then why are you watching it?
Nicole: Because I don’t have any crap to watch so that makes me go through the list and think "what’s this crap?"
Me: [drawn into the festive DC celebration] Who is that singing?
Nicole: Two unknown, tone-deaf individuals. I guess if your not going to watch Survivor I’m going to watch Decoding the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Seriously, it feels like a chore, watching TV. Damn writers strike. I want my The Office. However, the lack of television has helped Nicole cultivate two armchair hobbies: She is now a birdwatcher and a star gazing. She has done neither of these really in the wild (though she did take a falconry class in Vermont last year and looked at starts at her parents’ house over Thanksgiving) but she reads about them online and in books and researches accessories she can buy to support these hobbies that she doesn’t really pursue outside the walls of our apartment. Yet. I’m sure she would but living in NYC means no real bird except pigeons and the stars are occluded by the gazillion watts of lights coming from the city. We once looked at a house in Massachusetts that had bird feeders outside and she spent maybe 10 minutes standing there, watching the birds, like a cat, while I sat there awkwardly chit chatting with the broker.

Speaking of cats, Maddie is a like an old sick cat who drags her body around the rug in the living room, leaving little piles of vomit everywhere. I have never seen a child spit up as much as she does. The doctor says it is all fine, so we don’t need to worry, but her clothes are ruined and the carpet is starting to look not so nice. What I need to go is move her onto the couch because, while I do find the couch comfortable, I am no longer in love with it like I once was and would really, really like an excuse to buy a new, chocolatey brown leather sofa.

Before I forget: Avery’s nicknames include: Averys, Aves, Aviator, Captain von Wigglesworth and Cutiecantor, the last one, once again, being Nicole’s bizarre creation.

I can’t believe the girls are almost 7 months. This means I have officially no longer hear “Wow, you look great for someone who gave birth to twins (insert umber less than seven) months ago.” But more about that in another post.

Pictured above, notice the blanket I toss on the floor for Maddie to use as a target for spit up. Isn’t really working. Notice how Maddie (in the blue stripes) is already poised above the carpet, ready to leave another pile of surprise. Also pictured, Avery taking possession of the bizarre British bus. She is definitely beginning to go through a stage where she takes toys and once she has them, sometimes, she doesn’t play with them. For her the fun is in making sure Maddie can’t use it. Is she too young to be that sinister? Sinister or not, she is still the cutest thing.


CCB said...

I love your writing. Thank you so much for keeping up with it. I look forward to it daily. On my TTC journey, it's getting tough, so it is very encouraging to see that there is real life on the other side... the kind where strange british buses rule the world and vomit is aimed to justify a couch purchase. I love it.

Motel Manager said...

I have those same sleepers for my son - very cute on your girls!

As for insomnia, this is very common, apparently. I have had the same thing and consulted a sleep expert at my hospital. She said it's conditioned insomnia. In other words, you are used to getting up to feed at a certain time, and so even when that feed disappears, you still wake up then. You then notice you're still waking up then, which causes some distress, which perpetuates the cycle.

The most effective methods for getting over this are generally reconditioning-related. One is called sleep restriction (more hardcor), and the other main one is called sleep reconditioning (a bit gentler). They have certain similarities - restricting your time and activities in bed, for example - but sleep restriction is pretty brutal (but works fast, apparently).

I've been doing reconditioning. The key things to do on this are to hide all clocks so you don't see what time you're waking up, getting out of bed if you can't fall asleep or back to sleep after 15-30 minutes, using the bed only for sleeping or sex, and some other stuff. It's definitely helped me, though I'm not back to my normal 8-9 hours. I'm getting more like 7 most nights, but that's better than the 4-5 I was getting.

Good luck!!

Teri said...

NICE Blog :)

MERRY Christmas :)


the other night, my gf and I were trying to figure out- why the hell is Olivia Newton John singing "xanadu" for a holiday in DC special?

Not sure if you watched "Puccini for Beginners" on Logo. We both found it a sorta smart/funny film.

Your daughters are adorable.

judykoll said...

Yes! Ambien is a lovely thing.
Judy K

Kerry Lynn said...

MELATONIN!!!!! PLEASE get some. It's natural and it works. I take it every night!