Friday, September 16, 2005

Levels of Tiredness

I've found that "tired" just isn't descriptive enough. There are levels of tiredness, types of it. The tired you feel after a night fighting insomnia is much different from the tired you feel after having sleep interrupted periodically for potty breaks. The tired you feel after waking up at 4:30 AM due to overactive stomach acid is much different from the tired you feel after just not getting enough sleep. I'm betting that the tired you feel due to caring for a newborn is going to be different from all the types of tiredness I've just described.

The insomnia and stomach acid tired types are the worst. You're tired and you really, really want to sleep, and it's dark out, and the bed is comfortable, and you still have a good couple of hours until you have to get ready for work. But you physically can't sleep. Not because you're doing anything, not because you chose to stay awake, but because your body just isn't getting it. Which is really frustrating because you know your body is going to be complaining about the lack of sleep for the rest of the day as if it was somehow not its fault. I absolutely can't stand that type of tired. It makes me very cranky. It's especially bad if you're in your first trimester of pregnancy and your tummy refuses to handle any beverage beyond water until noon and you know your body can't handle caffeine after noon without staying awake past midnight that night. And it's horrendous if the insomnia or stomach acid sticks around for a period longer than a week without relief. And if it continues for twelve weeks, then things get bad.

Squished bladder and painful hip tired isn't fun, but it's infinitely better than the above. This is because the sleep you do get is usually damn fine sleep. Deep, lasting for at least an hour at a stretch, if not two. And once you visit the bathroom or shift positions, you can usually go right back to sleep without too much trouble. That, and you probably won't have tummy issues to contend with in the morning and can find yourself a nice caffeine jolt somewhere (she said as she finishes her iced mocha).

I'm curious--in that scientific way that years of prepping for a career in research will never let me avoid--how the newborn tired will feel. I'm betting that it'll be much more like the squished bladder tired than insomnia. I'm hoping. Plus there's the added benefit that I won't have to deal with the DDJ while the newborn tired is at its worst. This has got to help matters. And, since misery loves company, it's gotta be better than even squished bladder tired because I won't be suffering through it alone.

Tired is never pleasant--unless maybe it's "I just accomplished a lot of stuff today and I'm tired but it feels damn good to have all that done" tired. But there are some types of tired that are infinitely more preferable than others. I'm hoping newborn tired will rank in the better levels of tired. If nothing else, the joy of caring for a new life (that's no longer putting my stomach on the fritz or squishing my bladder) should keep us away from the hell of insomnia tired.


Andi said...

Tell you what, I'll send Tali to you, and she can start preparing you to wake up everyone 30 minutes-3 hours (random intervals) so you'll know how newborn tired feels. *-* She's gotten remarkably good at waking me up all night - one more reason I'm considering avoiding the children thing altogether (who needs kids when you've got cats?).

Kellie said...

Our cats are pretty good during the night. Addy likes to snooze under the bed or elsewhere in the house, and if she gets on the bed, it's usually close to when we get up, and she just wants to be pet. Nosey just likes to sleep all over our pillows or curl up next to us. She does get insistent in the mornings, though, if we're not awake when she wants us to be. Thankfully, she reserves the nosebatting for Mark and leaves me be.