Friday, April 25, 2014

thoughts on nights

Just to be clear these are my thoughts on night shifts as the person not actually doing the night shifts. They are not especially cohesive and certainly not all encompassing. Just random thoughts I jotted down this past week as we were trudging through a week of (very long) nights. 

Nobody sleeps! Joe is up all night catching babies and writing H&Ps (and studying). And I am in bed tossing and turning and acutely aware of every little noise in and around the house certain someone is trying to break in. And the kids (who normally are fabulous sleep through the night sleepers) are up multiple times during the night. Just showing their solidarity for their non-sleeping parents I guess?!? And most nights at least one child joins me in my bed, if not all of them.


Each morning my first thought is "We survived. We all survived the night!" Followed quickly by the realization that "CRAP we have to do it all over again tonight."  It's all very reminiscent of my newborn nights (and days) with my babies. 

One morning this week I woke to two urine soaked girls and beds - including their 52 sleep related paraphernalia! I immediately cursed night shift for keeping my husband away in the morning and muttered under my breath as I dealt with that little situation-o-fun by myself. Which logically made no sense at all because Joe is never here in morning. (Unless of course you count 4:30am as morning, then he is usually here. But I don't. That is still middle of the night in my book!) I always deal with the children alone in the morning. And yet it seemed worse than usual because Joe was gone on nights! Logical is not my middle name. Neither is rational.

And then during the day, while their father was trying to sleep the girls seem to be screaming like wild banshees ALL DAY LONG. The more I reminded them to be quiet the louder they got.  They screamed at each other. They screamed at me. They screamed at no one in particular. All much to my dismay.

Awhile back a friend gave me a two-liter bottle of Pepsi. I have been saving it for just the right occasion. I quickly decided this week of nights was that occasion. So I sipped my sleep-deprived week away. It kept me happy(ish) and caffeinated and awake. Perfect. Now the half a loaf of garlic toast I ate for breakfast two mornings in a row? Yeah that was just pure laziness. It didn't really serve a purpose.

I really missed being able to text Joe throughout my day. I mean I could have texted him throughout my day, but it would have been pointless. I wouldn't get fun responses from him. Or any responses for that matter. Plus I don't think he would have appreciated me interrupting his limited sleep time to learn that I found Hannah's missing hat or that Charlotte pooped in the tub (again). I didn't realize how much I text him during the day until I couldn't do it. I tried to make up for it by texting late into the night with important tidbits and requests, like 'I am watching PBS' and 'Could you please send me that really cute picture of Isaiah from your phone?' and 'Why did you unplug my computer? Are you trying to drive me crazy?'

More than just missing texting him, I missed him. On average we were both awake and under the same roof for 90 minutes each day. During which time I was usually making dinner and he was showering and getting ready to head out the door again. Oh and eating said meal with the children. And as much as I wanted to see Joe, I wanted alone time more. Just call me selfish. So I would sneak away to my room for 30 minutes by myself. 

Don't worry, it wasn't all doom and gloom this week. There were some perks. 

Like I FINALLY started packing for our move that will be happening in a mere 48 days!

Oh and one afternoon I was able to go to the grocery store with only one child. (The other ones were either at school or napping.) We ate donuts to celebrate our footloose and fancy-free food gathering expedition. It was glorious. And slightly messy. 

And....hhhmmm. That's all I've got at the moment. Unless I pull out the cliché "absence makes the heart grow fonder" sentiment. But that would be a lie because this absence just made my heart grouchy-er. I am glad that this coming week he will only be catching the babies born during the day. And by "day" I hope that means business days and business hours only. Because I really need some sleep. And the kids would appreciate having their happy mom back. Oh and I am sure Joe would appreciate more sleep as well.

Joe just informed me that one of the residents he was working with is finishing her sixth consecutive week of nights (out of eight total). Oh my! And I thought surviving one week was bad. I am just crossing my fingers (and my toes) that Joe does not end up in a residency program with that long of night shift rotations. Because heaven help me I may not survive. 


  1. Oh goodness! You make me laugh and cry for you all at the same time! I don't know how you do it?!!!!! God speed, friend!!!! I hope this "phase" passes quick!!!!!!

    1. One long day (or night) at a time! I honestly try not to look to far in the future otherwise is seems to daunting. Admittedly with graduation a little over a year away I am not doing so well at staying in the present:(

  2. You got this! Me? I would be in a corner somewhere sucking on my hair, but you got this!! :)