Tales of Tired

I could start off the New Year on my blog by saying that I’m going to blog more often.  Or perhaps, it might be more appropriate to apologize for disappearing and not blogging for an inordinate amount of time.

I am sorry that I haven’t been around.  I am sorry that I haven’t been reading everyone’s blogs.  I know how it feels sometimes when bloggers “disappear” and you never really know why.

I’d like to think that this year I will get back to blogging more regularly.  The truth is that I do really miss it.  I think often, usually daily, about what I would write on my blog if I just had the time to make it here… If I just wasn’t so tired.  My phone is filled with notes containing one line thoughts and ideas that would make for good blog topics.  I have pictures and interesting nuggets that I imagine sharing.  But I also miss writing – and being a good writer, at that.  I used to be an amazing writer and I used to have profound things to say.  Now I don’t know where that all went.  I want my blog to mean something, even if it only means something to me.

The real truth, though, is that I’ve been so tired.

Since I started back at work, it’s been a inordinate effort to ensure I am giving off the right message of interest, commitment, and hard work.  I can’t afford for even one person to think I could do better, and that is exhausting.

Three kids is a whole lot of tired, too.  It’s been an exciting ride, and little El is already 8 months old.  I’m not sure how that amount of time has flown by, but it has and I am still managing.  I find it a challenge to really give each of my children the time they deserve.  I especially feel bad for E, my middle child, who is at that horrible age of 4-5… he’s straddling the line between toddler and kid and he embodies the worst characteristics of each one.  It is not my favourite age; I did not like it when A was that age and I suspect I will not like it when El is that age either.  And so I feel that I fall short as a loving, attentive mother to E.  Feeling like I need to do better is tiring.

Breastfeeding while working an 80 hour week with call shifts… now that is a whole new level of exhaustion.  I love breastfeeding.  I am already sad thinking about the possibility of it ending.  I still exclusively breastfeed El when I am home and I pump all the milk she drinks while I am away.  Finding time to pump between clinic patients and OR cases is like trying to solve an impossible puzzle.  Amazingly though, I leave each shift with enough milk to fill El’s bottles for the next day.  It is fulfilling, even though I loathe being attached to a breast pump each and every day.

Not having time for myself is also… just tiring.  I haven’t been running.  I haven’t been reliably going to Taekwondo. I haven’t been getting pedicures, or going for massages, or blogging, or doing anything other than working, mothering, and pumping milk.  I want to do better and hopefully (paradoxically) this will lead to less “feeling tired.”

I will set some goals for this year, like I did the past two years.  I’m optimistic that this will help with getting me back where I want to be.  I was extremely successful with this endeavour in 2015 (which was documented on my old blog, before I had to close it down), but looking back at the goals for 2016, I was very far off the mark.  I still need some time for reflection on what these goals will be, but I know they will follow a similar pattern of fitness goals, wellness goals, and personal life goals.

Maybe the first goal will be: “To be less Tired.”

And to achieve that, I should probably get to bed.

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The “No Time” Life

Everyday I come up with some great thoughts and ideas that I want to blog about.  Everyday, however, I never find time to sit down at my computer to write them out.  Right now I have borrowed some time: baby El is awake but content in her swing.  A is at school.  E is distracting our Nanny.  I am sitting at the kitchen table drinking cold coffee, awkwardly holing my breast pump in place with my forearms as I type this post  (I’m still waiting for my pumping bra to arrive from Amazon).  I am lamenting the fact that today was A’s year end party at school and I missed it … because it it totally escaped my mind after I read the notice sent home last week.  I am not looking forward to explaining my absence to a sullen little boy when he gets off the bus in about an hour from now.

Yesterday I eagerly sat down on the bed, ready for my marathon afternoon of nursing El to get her to sleep, and I placed my computer within reach – hoping that maybe I could blog about one of the many thoughts that have been floating around in my head.  Unfortunately, El wasn’t going to cooperate.  After an hour of struggling to get her to sleep, I decided to wrap her up in the carrier and take her for a walk.  While on my walk I came up with a great idea: I could make a voice memo of my blog ideas and then transcribe them another time. So that’s what I did!  I walked and I recorded some great blog ideas.

But this morning, with my borrowed time to blog, I didn’t feel like listening or transcribing any of my ideas from yesterday.  I felt this overwhelming sense of sadness and disappointment; like the emotions that go along with the posts was missing and I was just transcribing some sort of task.  My sadness was extended because I didn’t want to listen to or write down my thoughts from yesterday (really, for the past week or so that have been neglected).  Instead, I decided to write about these feelings of disappointment.

My lack of blogging is just one place that I have been feeling disappointment.  For weeks now I have been trying to find time to add some breast pumping sessions to my day with the hopes of increasing my milk supply.  I want to do this slowly in anticipation of my return to work in 3 months, and also to counteract the likelihood that my supply will decrease when I have my IUD inserted in a few weeks.  Alas – that hasn’t been happening reliably.  Let’s also not forget about my unfortunate omission of A’s celebration today.  And then there is the complete lack of time (and energy) to get back into an exercise regime.  The weight loss has slowed and it’s time to kick it up a little, but there is no time.  My only form of exercise comes as leisurely strolls around my community with a fussy baby strapped to my chest. Oh, and there is also a serious lack of quality time that I spend with my other two kids… I feel like an epic failure.

I know that;s not the case; but it doesn’t stop me from feeling that way.  I want my life to go back to having some reliable structure and from, even if that structure is different than what it used to be.  Like most, I am a creature of habit and I thrive on routine and schedule.  This daily routine of “no/poor sleep – nurse fussy baby all day – maybe eat – maybe drink coffee – maybe shower – maybe do something I want to do” is really starting to eat away at my will.  I’m not sure what to do to change things up…

Sick Day

I am taking a sick day today.  This is the first sick day I have ever taken at this job in 1.5 years, and really, the only sick day I think I have taken in all of my medical training career.  I always feel guilty about taking sick days.

Two days ago I was in the OR all day with difficult cases which required me to do a lot of pushing, pulling, and of course, a lot of standing.  At one point I was pushing on a lady’s belly so hard (because her baby was stuck at the c-section) that I actually felt something in my own belly – and I realized I had been pushing harder than my body can handle right now.  If my day had ended at 5:00pm like normal, I might have been okay.  But, I was on call.  By about 10:00pm, I was starting to have cramping.  It wasn’t bad, but it was starting up, my legs and body were also sore, and I still had more than 8 hours to go until my shift was over.  Things only got worse through the whole night.  I tried to sit when I could, but that didn’t seem to help too much.  I had to go to the OR again, where we had another difficult delivery (and again, I was doing the pushing).  By the time my shift was over, I was constantly cramping and in pain.  I couldn’t even stand up or walk without holding back tears.  I managed to get out of the hospital by 7:00am, and when I got into bed, I just started crying – I was hurting so much.

I eventually fell asleep and had a broken sleep until 3:00pm.  Every time I moved in my sleep, I would wake up from pain.  After getting out of bed and moving around, I noticed some cramping starting up again.  It was never as bad as the night before, but it didn’t let down all night.  Despite knowing that this was likely happening because I was “working too hard,” I went in to the hospital just to be safe.  Since I see women who come in with cramping at this same gestation all the time, I knew what they were going to do and what they were going to say to me (after all, these are my colleagues).  I also got up the courage to call in sick for today – so that I could give my body a good rest.  I’ve got a weekend of heavy call coming up starting tomorrow, and I’ve either been on call, working, or post-call (the day after call when we go home to sleep) every day since December 28th, including over last weekend.  My body is clearly not coping…

Every thing turned out okay at the hospital: my cervix is closed and I have no bladder infection.  My doctor told me to take it easy and get some rest.  I made it home by 11:30pm when I promptly went to bed.  I woke a few times in the night with some pain, and then when husband and kids got up and out of the house.  However, I seemed incapable of getting out of bed until 10:30am.  I feel like I could sleep even more… Maybe I should, seeing as how I took off this day to rest, and all.

End of Lonely Days

For the past eight weeks I have been working at a smaller community hospital.  While there are many nurses and other doctors around, I’m not part of those groups.  There have only been two other residents around, and one of them is that one who refuses to talk to me.  For the past eight weeks I have felt myself go into a deeper and lonelier existence as I come to work every day and have little meaningful interactions with the people around me.

It doesn’t help that I am an introverted person by nature and that I find it difficult to just insert myself into other people’s business and conversations.  It also does’t help that I’ve spent the majority of the last eight weeks feeling exhausted and sick and I’ve been unable to talk to anyone at work about how I’m feeling.  To add to those two things, knowing that someone who (for reasons I will never quite understand) seriously dislikes me and will likely talk smack about me behind my back is lingering in the halls and around corners, I have been very tight lipped about anything I say.  While I really enjoy the more laid back work environment at this site, I miss the personal and more human interactions I usually can have at our busier, home-site hospital.

After my call shift tonight, I am done here and will be going back home.  Remind me of this post when I complain about how busy and tired and overworked I am after a few weeks of being back there.

Week off Work

I am off work this week for “vacation.”  I have nothing planned except to study for an upcoming exam and to get back into some sort of exercise routine.  Today, though, I have already found myself tired and overwhelmed with nothingness that I have locked myself in my bedroom under the muse of studying.  So far I have: done a headspace meditation, drank my coffee, checked in in facebook, and ignored my child.  Now I am blogging.

I have found myself to be extremely tired.  I was on call over the weekend, but for the few nights before that, I went to bed right after I put my kids to bed.  I have been doing nothing but eating, sleeping, and working, quite literally.  I am feeling myself getting grumpier and heavier and somewhat depressed.  I am hoping that this week will help to cheer me up, but I fear that it’s just going to make me realize more of what I miss about my home life – or else make me feel like a bad mom for locking myself away from some time to myself.

It was my goal to stay on top of running and exercise during this pregnancy to prevent myself from gaining 50 pounds like I did the last two times.  I was also hoping that I would be able to curb some of the complications I had in my last pregnancy by being more active.  Unfortunately, the exhaustion and nausea has been overwhelming and I haven’t been doing anything.  Last week I only went to TKD once and even that was a challenge.  I have already been gaining weight and it is making me grumpy.  I know it is my own fault, but I can’t seem to stop myself from eating, especially when I am not nauseous.  It also doesn’t help that I have continued to have spotting all week, which makes me feel like I should be taking it a little easier, physically.

Today I am setting less-than-lofty goals.  I am going to go for a massage, since I had that booked a while ago.  But then I am going to go for a 5K jog/walk around the neighbourhood later this afternoon, likely with my older son on his bike.  This will make me feel better about being active and also about spending time with my kids.  Later I will take my younger son to his little soccer game/practice.  I will go to TKD, and I will also get a little bit of studying in as well.  That’s all for today.

Wish me luck as I try to lift this cloud of grumpy exhaustion from around my head this week.

Combat Exhaustion

I am losing the battle against exhaustion.  It is now taking its hold over my mental skill and mood.  I am sure that I could sleep all day and never feel rested.  I can’t decide if this is a normal physiological change, combined with the medications I take for nausea, or if it is other, more worrisome factors.  You see, along with exhaustion comes a certain level of disinterest, irritability, grumpiness, and an all around dismal mood.

Today I have the day off to “study.”  I plan to do a little but of studying, but so far I have slept in, walked my older son to the bus stop, eaten breakfast, dropped my nanny and younger son at the grocery store, picked up a coffee and a muffin (which I didn’t really need, seeing as how I ate breakfast), and drove across the city to an appointment I made to talk about “options.”  It may sound like a productive morning, but what concerns me most about the whole morning is that I didn’t really feel inclined to spend time on my day off with my kids.  I was glad to bring one to the bus stop, and even though I am 45 min early for my meeting, I thought I would use this time to “study” instead of hanging out with my younger son.  Interesting, considering that my biggest complaint in life is that I don’t get to spend much time with my kids.

Even last night, for example, I had a very half-assed approach to the bedtime routine: I was half passed out on the bed while my husband got the boys ready and when they were tucked in I went and spent less than 5 min with each of them to say goodnight and give them kisses.  Dead-mom.  Totally.

I am worried that maybe my mood and my anxiety are taking over a little, but I don’t know where that leaves me right now.  The medications that I took before are not safe in pregnancy, and I have never really tolerated the ones that are safe in pregnancy.  And, if it isn’t my mood, then will all of this pass when I am feeling less exhausted?  And, when will that be, if ever?

I am feeling a little lost, guilty, and unsure of what to do.  This meeting I have coming up has everything do with “options” for my training program.  Do I continue doing what I’m doing or do I do something else.  I love what I do (except right now when all I care about doing is sleeping) but I don’t like doing it for 11 hours a day and two weekends a month… for the next 4 years.  But does that mean I find something else that I maybe don’t enjoy as much but will give me more time to spend with my kids (and to also sleep?).  I really don’t know the answer and that stresses me out.

How do I get more sleep?  How do I become a better mother when I’m this exhausted?  What do I give up?

Do you ever feel like your level of exhaustion gets in the way of your parenting?  What do you do about it?