Life right now has me in a very odd place. I am essentially working a night shift...at home. Since Peyton's last hospital stay about a month ago, she has been on round the clock pain meds. This means she gets them every 4 hours - even through the night. What this means for me is that I am having to get up once in the middle of the night to make sure she gets them.
It's not just the pain meds. Since Peyton came home, she has not been sleeping well at all. That means that I haven't been either. I have been jumping out of bed multiple times a night to check on her as she is fussing, needs changed, needs suctioned, and so on. It makes for an extremely poor night's sleep for me. I would either try not to nap at all during the day so that I would be good and tired at night, hoping to somehow get a better night's sleep, despite the interrupted nature of it, or I would nap during the day to catch up on some sleep but then would be unable to fall asleep at a normal time in the evening. This made for some very late nights, coupled with interrupted sleep. By late last week, I was finding myself unable to function properly during the day. Something needed to change.
Ron and I went to lunch last Friday. We had already decided that he was going to stay in Peyton's room Friday and Saturday night so that I could get a better night's sleep elsewhere in the house. Once we got talking, though, we decided that what would probably work best would be if I worked a "night shift" type of situation with Peyton. With no preparation for it, I did that beginning Friday night. I did manage to get a few hours of sleep prior to getting up for the night at about 1:30 or so in the morning. I stayed up through the night and went to bed at 9am Saturday.
I'm nearly through my fourth night shift in a row as I write this. It's challenging, that's for sure. But it seems to be working out. Peyton has not been sleeping through the night really. One night was ok, but the rest of the nights so far have been sleepless ones for her. I guess I would rather be awake and having to go in her room and take care of her needs as they arise than to be trying to sleep through the night only to be constantly awoken by everything throughout the night.
Right now, as we're trying to get used to this, I am sleeping between about 9am-2:30pm. Moira gets off the bus at about 3:30 or so, so I have to be up for her. For some reason, I can't seem to sleep past 2:00 or 2:30. This alone is not a full night's sleep, so prior to beginning my new nighttime ritual, I require a nap. This has generally been between 8:00 or 9:00pm and anywhere from 10:30pm to 1:00am. I am trying to be up for the night earlier because Ron is staying awake until I get up. Since he has to work in the morning, I want him to be able to get to bed at a decent hour. I got up at about 10:30 last night.
It is amazing what you can get accomplished during the night when there are no distractions. I'm fairly tired as I adjust to this, so I'm not getting nearly as much done this time that I did the first night. Still, though it isn't ideal, I think that this is the best solution for us right now. Of course, there will be things that come up that will affect my schedule, like Sunday morning church or Moira's art class later this afternoon after school. We need to figure out a way to work around everything as it comes up.
Peyton's nurse generally arrives at 8 or 9am, so I have between then and 3:00 or so to sleep during the week. Ron can handle Peyton for a couple hours after the nurse leaves at 8 or 9pm, giving me an opportunity for another rest period. Right now, there really isn't a good way to get 8 solid hours. This is also very strange to me as I find myself doing things backwards. I am still showering at 6am and am getting dressed for the day, although I'm ditching the make up for now unless absolutely necessary! Then I go to sleep a couple hours later - in my regular clothes. I'll get my pj's on when I rest later in the evening, and then am comfy in them while I am up overnight. I'm not sure when I should eat what meal because I'm sleeping through lunch and I don't want to eat anything large before going to bed so early in the evening. I am drinking my coffee at about 3:30 or 4:00 in the morning. It's all a little confusing!
All in all, I'd say that this is working. We'll see how long I can keep this up and how effective it really will be for getting regular household things accomplished. I did scrub my bathtub at about 2:00 this morning, so I am getting stuff done!
Do any of you have experience working nights? How do you adjust your routine so you are getting proper rest? Do you have any advice you could possibly share? Many thanks!!