Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Chronicles of an Overnight Shift


6/22/2011- 3:46AM
Tonight has been tough.
Since the new baby arrived today, I had a few extra chores to take care of. Installing car seats, washing all of her clothes, filling out/organizing paperwork, etc.
One of my roommates came by to help me, which was exceedingly nice of her. But it did make it take a bit longer. We like to talk. I was hoping to finish everything quickly so I could start studying while my mind was still able to function, but by the time she left at 2 o’clock I had already missed by optimal study-time window.
I opened up my psychology book and started reading about behavioral neuroscience. My goal was to read a whole chapter and take the quiz on it by the end of my shift.
At this point in time, things are not looking promising.
After reading approximately 3.2 pages, I lost almost all ability to comprehend the words on the page. It took me about 20 minutes to realize I was just staring at it blankly, so I decided to put my work to the side and take a really quick power nap.
(Don’t tell my boss.)
Unfortunately (but actually fortunately), my maternal instincts seem to kick in during these shifts. I somehow develop the ability to hear every sound in the house, so each time a child so much as sighs in her sleep I am instantly alert. The boy in the farthest room from me could just shift in his bed, and my heart will skip a beat and then immediately start racing.
According to what I just read in my psych book, that’s my sympathetic nervous system’s response to receiving the auditory stimulus of what could possibly be a child in distress.
Literally- I read that right before my brain stopped working.
Anyway, I couldn’t sleep at all- even though I was unbelievably tired. I was too nervous a child would wake up and- for some reason or another- need me.
Which is exactly what happened about 10 minutes in to my attempted power nap.
The baby started whimpering a little bit, so I thought I’d go in and pat her back for a few minutes to help her calm down. Immediately upon entering the bedroom, however, I realized she needed a lot more than a pat on the back. She needed a diaper change.
Stat.
So I pulled her out of bed- effectively waking her up the rest of the way. I changed her diaper, which was quite difficult given the fact that both of her legs are covered from top to bottom in casts- and started to snap her pjs back up.
It was at this point that I realized she needed a lot more than a diaper change.
Her pjs were soaked. So I had to change them completely.
I managed to do that with relative ease and laid her back down in her crib. At which point- you guessed it- I realized she needed a lot more than a change of clothes. She needed a change of sheets.
This was way more than I bargained for at 3 in the morning.
When I finally got her new sheets situated, I put her back into her crib. Again.
Naturally, she started crying.
A lot.
Worried she’d wake her roommate up, I started patting her back and singing some lullabies. She’d quiet down for a little while, but then she’d remember she didn’t want to be in her bed and start crying again. It was really sad. (And, let’s be honest, a little frustrating at the same time.) I sat there for about 40 minutes trying to calm her, but eventually I had to let her cry it out.
It took all of one minute for her to self-soothe and fall asleep.
Go figure.
She didn’t cry for long, but it was so hard to let it happen! It really is heartbreaking to listen to a crying baby without being able to help. But we both survived, so I decided to go back to the living room to attempt studying once again.
I sat down on the couch and picked up my book, at which point I realized (twist!) the baby was not the only one who needed a change of clothes.
I was covered in everything that leaked out of her diaper and through her pajamas. And I smelled awful.
Really, really awful.
Fortunately, a stack of t-shirts that were donated last week was sitting on the kitchen counter. My roommate forgot to take them home with her- hallelujah!! So, after a quick wardrobe change, I am sitting here now with 1) a dry shirt, 2) only a lingering smell of urine (huge improvement!), and c) a much, much deeper appreciation for Al Roker and the Today Show’s incredible excess of donations.
I am, however, no closer to finishing my homework.
Back to it, I guess….
It’s now 4:25. One and a half hours til bedtime….

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Also...

I forgot to mention...
If you happen to read this before the Today Show airs tomorrow, watch it. That's Wednesday June 15th.

You might see me if you look carefully, but you'll definitely see- and hear- more about Casa.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Poor Neglected Blog...

I know I've been awful at updating this thing, but life has been a little bit busy and I want to make sure I write an adequate post. Because I have a lot of things to say.
I will try- so hard- to write something legitimate soon. Like in the next few days. So... stay tuned. If you want.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hello June

Well, I finished my third day of work with the kids.
I am alive.
And work is good.
But it is very, very challenging.

I'm tired, but I'll try to write a better update soon.

Just know that things are going well!