But now that I'm old (shut up, thirty-seven happens to feel very old lately, okay?) and don't have little hungry babies to wake up for, I sleep like a rock. The problem is, when I do wake up, I'm UP. I even fight having to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night because I know once I get out of bed, I won't be able to get back to sleep. If something manages to wake me up and I actually have to get out of bed, I know I'm in trouble. I won't be able to get back to sleep, usually for at least an hour, maybe more.
It's funny because, as a doula, when I was doing births, I could sleep anywhere, almost instantly, and I could fall back asleep within minutes if I was awakened for some reason. When you have a job that requires you to be wide awake at two in the morning at the ring of the phone, it was quite a boon to be able to sleep whenever, wherever, however.
However, with one exception (a lovely home birth just before we moved here) I haven't done a birth in a year. I got quite burned out after doing six births in a month and decided to take a break. The break turned into a BREAK. Now, just I don't know. As much as I love doing births, that's about as much as I hate being on-call. And my family hates it even more.
But lately I've had time to wonder what this waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep is all about, because Dmitri's been going through a 'bout of nightmares, and I inevitably end up awake, tossing and turning and unable to go back to sleep long after he's snoozing in flying-dinosaur-monster dreamland again.
I guess this waking up and not being able to get back to sleep is called "late waking insomnia" or some such thing. I call it damned annoying. But I'm beginning to wonder if maybe it isn't related to my not doing births anymore? Maybe my ability to sleep was part of being a doula, knowing I had to get as much sleep as I could, as fast as possible, because I might be up for the next 24 hours at a birth?
Whatever the reason, whether it's age or job-related or something else entirely--I really wish it would go away. Sleep is one of my greatest pleasures in life. I hate not being able to sleep.