Friday, January 25, 2008

Sleep, You Elusive Mistress

Why is it during the day I feel like I could sleep at a moment’s notice but at night I am wired and ready to burn the midnight oil? All day I felt so tired, like the kind of tired that makes your eyes heavy and then you drift drift drift oh so peacefully and for a few brief seconds birds are tweeting and a summer breeze is blowing through the jasmine in my mind and suddenly my head JERKS me back awake. Brings back fond memories of high school. And college. And grad school. Oh, and white line fever on long road trips.

I tried to nap when the girls did, but Maddie, who apparently is a robot and not a baby, had other plans. As soon as I felt my eyes get heavy and my book slipping from my hands, Maddie was chirping her special chirp, where she lets out a little cry, then listens to hear if anyone is coming for her, then lets out a little cry again. This is repeated for anywhere between twenty seconds and forty minutes before it turns into full on crying. If I don’t retrieve her before she runs out of patience, I run the risk of having both babies up. There is only so much Avery can sleep through. I don’t want to push my luck but I want to maximize the down time. It’s a fine line I tread every naptime.

So I slip into her bedroom, yank Maddie out of her crib, and bring her out to the living room. I plop her in her exersaucer and drag it in front of the couch and lay down again. Every time I open my eyes, she is staring right at me, eyes all wide in her perpetual state of surprise, mouth in that little O with drool coming out. Of course I can’t sleep, because it feels so irresponsible and wrong, with her just standing there, staring at me, looking so cute and awake.

Then nighttime comes and I should be sleeping but I am not. I want to zone out with television but there is nothing on. Though I did, in a fit of desperation, tape that Moment of Truth show just to have something, anything to watch. It is a one-hour train wreck, certain to ruin lives, which, apparently, is the new standard for television. Anyway, Nicole is away so I am alone and that pretty much doubles my insomnia. I can’t take an Ambien because as the only Mother On Call I need my wits about me. I can’t be passed out in a sleeping stupor on the couch.

Besides, Ambien is really beginning to scare me. It keeps turning up in the pill collections of people who die of unknown causes (like Heath Ledger). There has to be more to this drug than we know. I definitely have had Ambien-related amnesia, where I have no idea what I did after taking it, which has lead to some interesting conversations and incidents. That slip into unconsciousness is sometimes nice in the moment, but in retrospect, it is scary, waking up the next morning and wondering what happened the night before. How did I get to bed?

I know this is yet another long post about sleep issues, and usually when I write about the mundane and inane it [sometimes] means I’m avoiding a bigger issue. Like 44-minute therapy sessions when you talk about nothing only to drop a bomb in the last minute. There still is the Whole Big Issue that I need to sort out. I am not being evasive on purpose; there is a reason why I am waiting (until January 31st, to be specific. How’s that for evasive?!). It concerns our future, and the girls’ future, and others as well, so I need to be careful and thoughtful and respectful and considerate of other’s feelings.

Pictured above, I was serious when I said Avery has an adorable smile squint. Every time she sees the camera, this face comes out. Sometimes I can’t take the cuteness. I grit my teeth, like I do when I see puppies.

Mini Update: The girls went to bed at 5:15 on Thursday and started stirring at 4:44 this morning. I can’t complain about almost 12 hours of sleep, but I just wish it were more like six-to-six. As I write this they are playing in their cribs chatting with each other. Well, maybe not with each other, but they are both making noises, and I like to pretend they have a special twin bond/language. In mere moments I will go in and get them and the day begins. I’ve already had three cups of coffee.

I finally got to sleep last night around midnight. And I had CRAZY dreams. Like being in a shower with my clothes on and flipping though U2 vinyl records that were in the shower and putting a single on a record player and having all conditioner but no shampoo. Crazy, evocative, real dreams that probably mean something if I had the energy/inclination to figure them out.


BA said...

I take my lexapro at night because it tends to make me sleepy. Are you taking it in the morning? Also, when I can't sleep I take something called temazepam and it works pretty good, but I can get up with the baby if I need to. I've never taken Ambien, mostly because of so many bad things I've heard about. That's not to say that some people think its great, I'm just too scared to try it. Hope this helps!

calliope said...

this could also "simply" be your brain chemistry getting adjusted. When I started meds it took a good month before I felt better. The first month I had horrible headaches and bizarre sleep patterns.

But I guess the bigger question is if the med is making your preexisting sleep issues BIGGER. or worse. That would be something I would call your doc about.

& you have some seriously cute flicks today- the monkey ad? SO CUTE!

Dee said...

Love the pic. TOO CUTE!! Love the squint.

Glad you got some sleep. Ambian scares the hell out of me as well.

And, I also get paranoid about taking something to help me sleep even with another mother, and a uncle, living in the house. It's a control thing. For some reason I think I have to be in control at all times.

I can't wait for more on "the whole big issue".

Inlocoparentis said...

Have you looked into whether you have seasonal affective disorder and/or a circadian rhythm issue? Both of these things caused me to have low-grade melancholy and trouble sleeping at night. I started light therapy this year and it has helped tremendously. I was a big cynic before and have taken Ambien and SSRIs in the past, but am TTC so I transitioned off. I also got a lot out of the book "Winter Blues" by Norman Rosenthal. Drop me a line if you want to talk about this more.

K J and the kids said...

Good luck with the sleep thing.

Jen said...

OMG, Lexapro gave me the WILDEST dreams. I thought if I could just remember them clearly I could sell them in Hollywood and make big bucks. Alas....

I echo the previous commenter in saying you might think about what time of day you take it IF your sleep pattern has changed since starting the drug. If it's a preexisting problem, it might not make a difference.

Good luck - sleep stuff, whether yours or the kids', is no fun.

tracer123 said...

That face! *more giggling*

From some of the reading that I have done Ambien can cause a person to exhibit strange side effects, such as the insomia it is supposed to help. Maybe it is time to reassess that particular drug?
I take an anti-depressent every day, mt father died and I needed grief therapy, and it took 6 weeks for it to take real effect. It has made a difference.

psapph0 said...

Maybe you need a tarot reading.