One of the most common questions I get from my day-to-day is about sleep. “How much sleep are you losing these days? <wink> Little one keeping you up at night? <wink wink>” I always feel bad when I have to say that most of the time I’m not losing much sleep at all – my problem is actually getting to bed at a decent hour but that’s another story. No, our little Princess Slumberbum is a model sleeper. As most of you know by now, we put her to bed at about 9pm and we wake her up 11-12 hours later. One of the benefits of continuous feeding through the night is that your baby won’t ever wake up hungry (unless the tube pops out some time in the night and you end up feeding the bed for who knows how long but it’s not like that’s ever happened around here, no sir, that would be embarassing). It doesn’t always work out though – she is a baby, after all – but really that just leaves soother malfunctions or diaper maintenance as possible sleep disruptors…unless you count the bipap hose…and if you’re counting the bipap hose, you have to consider the oxygen tube because they’re attached together…then there’s the food line (see above)…can’t forget Mr. Satprobe…and oh right, she’s teething too.
And that’s how I found myself one night last week – up for the sixth time in a four hour span – trying to untangle a sleeping-yet-screaming Nyana from all of her tackle. Her arm had become stuck in an upright position (again), trapped, perpendicular to the mattress, sandwiched between her chin and the bipap hose wrapping around her torso and back under her head. All this in an “upside down” position in the crib, which always causes the food line and the satprobe to get tangled in feet or hands or blanket or all of the above. When she’s this far gone, the best thing you can do is a full reset – pick Nyana up, let all the hoses and cables and tubes fall away to the crib, reset Nyana, and then sort the tackle around her. Twice that night I had to reset her, twice she couldn’t find her soother (one of those times she decided she was over it anyways), once she needed a fresh diaper, and I’m not sure what happened the last time. I woke up to crying, and when I got in there she was settled and in deep sleep. What I do know is that when my alarm finally sounded its last snooze, I got out of bed grumpy – only to discover that Karen had also made several trips to attend Princess Crankpot. It had not been a good night for anyone.
And then that day Nyana went to the hospital and was admitted. It wasn’t something we had planned for, so after work I went home to take care of some things while Karen got Ny all settled at the hospital. When I walked in that night the silence was so thick. Even the cats were taking advantage of a baby-free apartment and were dead asleep. The place was quieter than it had been in months. It was creepy quiet. Even after Karen got home, the quiet remained. I think we could have thrown a party in here and I still would have thought it was quiet. There was just no…babygirl. I spent the whole night noticing the sounds that were missing. All the hisses and beeps and squeals. It was so damn quiet, and it kept on until last night; she spent three nights away. Despite sleeping in this morning until 9:30 – something we haven’t done in ages – we still didn’t feel like we really got a good night’s sleep. Her absence was the last thing we felt when we turned out the light, and the first thing we noticed each and every time we woke to toss or turn through the night.
But she’s here right now. Once again in reach. At any given time (and there have been many so far tonight) I can just get up and go see her. She’s right there, right where she belongs. She’s a little worse for wear this time, she was pretty tired from a long day and we’re still working out the kinks to make her new tackle fit into her lifestyle. She’s got extra gear which means extra care (more on that soon), but she’s right there in the bedroom. Right at home, right where she needs to be. Karen is already alseep and I really should be too. It’s almost 3am (told you I had a problem!) and I’m looking forward to a getting some good shuteye tonight. All of our monitors are plugged in, all of our breathers are breathing. Our food is pumping (and draining now!) and our oxygen is being compressed. Nyana is back, with all of her sounds breathing life back into this place.
Now, if only the would turn the heat on in this building, we’d be laughing.