Friday, 28 January 2011

Insomnia, radio silence, and links

I haen't been posting lately for a few reasons. First the holidays, then general busy-ness, but also some really unpleasant and challenging sleep disruptions that have been wreaking some havoc with my life and schedule. Long story short, I have no trouble falling asleep and a lot of trouble staying asleep past 5-6 hours. I had this problem once before, when 3 night shifts were immediately followed by 2 doula calls. I was able to get over it fairly quickly. This newest sleep problem seems to have been provoked by a similar period of sleep deprivation, where my body just gets so out of joint that it doesn't seem to know how to stay asleep properly. I can function fine on 5-6 hours of sleep - hell, I can function on no sleep, that's one of the reasons I'm a good doula! But I can't do it night after night after night, never having the chance to catch up, without going a little crazy. And I couldn't seem to get over it. People kept telling me "You need to stop working nights" but it didn't matter what time I went to bed - in fact, when it started I was off for about 2 weeks for the holidays, and a regular evening bedtime did nothing to help (neither did going to bed later as if I was still working). I also had a fan for white noise, ordered new blackout curtains, had a sleep mask, took melatonin, drank warm milk, you name it. At that point I was so miserable that although I am not a fan of them, I took sleeping pills for several nights to try to get myself back into a normal sleep pattern, which helped somewhat. I also added more exercise to each day and started listening to relaxation/self-hypnosis for sleep CDs. None of those alone seems to have been the complete cure, but things do seem to be improving. (They seemed better a week ago than they do now which is discouraging.)

All of that has left me with lots of posts in process and very little energy and creativity to write them. I've been more in the zoned-out blog-reading-and-occasional-commenting zone. There are posts coming...I promise. In the meantime, if anyone has tips for waking-up-way-too-early insomnia (vs. not-being-able-to-fall-asleep insomnia which most people's suggestions seem to be based around) I would love it! Like I said, things are getting better but I would really like to kick this thing to the curb. (My former MCH classmates have suggested a weekend bender...it IS Friday.)

So while you're waiting (with bated breath, I'm sure!) on my posts, check out some good stuff elsewhere.

Molly at First the Egg reposted a really kickass take on some of the discourses around "natural" birth:

Many such comments also seem to imagine that, while women who prefer unmedicated vaginal births are merely “out for the experience,” women choosing epidural pain relief in hopes of a more pleasant birth are somehow exempt from this criticism (that it is selfish and “fucking self-indulgent” to want an enjoyable birth experience). But, in general, these choices spring from a single impulse: to make the birth experience as pleasant as possible, according to an individual woman’s definition of “pleasant,” whether that primarily means “pain-free,” “empowering,” “intense,” “calm,” or whatever (all ranking AFTER, of course, “safe for mother and baby”). And it is wise and good to seek the birth that will be safest given your own medical situation and most satisfying given your own personality and history.


Dou-la-la on When DNA isn't just DNA:

There's an incredible pressure that many adoptees feel to only express gratitude for their situation, with the implied belief that their birth parent was an undesirable person from whom you have been rescued (open adoption is changing that somewhat, in many cases). Expressing any feelings of grief or loss marks you as an ingrate, an "angry adoptee", as Fugitivus mentions, and is seen as questioning the benevolence of one's birth parents. Sometimes even curiosity is unacceptable. Identity is the very definition of multi-faceted: biology is certainly not the only thing, but it is a very real piece of it, and absence of its knowledge can be felt as a loss. Yet wondering about the biological piece of your identity is often viewed as a slap in the face to the adoptive parents. How dare you want to know about these other people? After all we've done for you. Nurture is the only thing that matters, nature plays no part. We're your REAL family now.


Banned from Baby Showers shares tips on exclusive pumping:

Doctors and nurses might tell you that you can try, but they will most likely tell you that you WON’T be successful at it, especially not long term. They will tell you that your body will not respond to a pump, that a baby is much more efficient than a pump, and, well, why bother when you can go straight to formula? Trust me, ladies, you don’t have to. You CAN exclusively pump. Long term, if you want to! I’ve been doing it for 2 years for my son . . . yes TWO!

Note: Not all mothers can be successful with exclusive pumping, but these are great tips for giving yourself the best chance for establishing and maintaining a full supply.