Sleep and ChildbirthWednesday, March 15th, 2017
It isn’t any surprise that I don’t sleep much. Years ago, when I was seriously deciding about whether to become and OB/GYN or a Nurse-Midwife, my biggest concern was sleep. My golden sleep and whether or not I was going to get enough of it. I was so concerned with having to be awake at night that I wasn’t sure I could do any kind of work that potentially involved my needing to be awake and/or functioning during non-daylight hours. My passion for childbirth created a dilemma there. Labor and birth, I’m afraid, do not necessarily, and conveniently occur around desirable sleep hours.
Early in my nursing career I did have to do my share of “night” work. It wasn’t pretty. I was a flopping tearful mess at 3am — wishing for my bed. And no doubt creating misery for my fellow colleagues around me who not only had to be up themselves but who had to endure my endless whining!
I’m not sure exactly when it happened. It was definitely gradual and I’m sure was partly due to working in a field that frequently proves to be not only exhilarating but exhausting; physically, mentally and emotionally. At some point I experienced two major changes in my sleep habits.
The first is that I can actually sleep any place and at anytime, if, in fact, I am tired… even if that is during the day. I can sleep sitting in a chair, at a desk or even leaning against a desk. Unfortunately, the second is that now, I frequently do not sleep well at night. Certainly it has something to do with being a parent, having more serious concerns and probably being a tad older. What irony. The thing I most worried about is the thing I most crave now. I could easily be up most of the night and functioning and it would not be a problem. I wish I could sleep at night but something has indeed changed.
Although I am not likely to change my work habits to meld with my sleeping habits I have a better appreciation for the luxury that a solid eight hours of sleep provides. Perhaps it is not too late for me to head back to my college days?