Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Beauty of Sleep...

I suppose if I'm going to be truly honest about being deaf, one upside would be sleeping. When I sleep, as I imagine most people who wear hearing aids do, I take them out. Several reasons: one, gives my ears a physical break from having something shoved in them all the time, two its not really comfortable if you are sleeping on your side, and three, entering into silence is highly conducive to a good night's sleep.

I wouldn't say I'm a "good" sleeper but I definitely don't have to worry about being woken up by noise. I don't hear other people talking and getting up to go to the bathroom, the dog snoring or jingling his collar, rain, the baby, or any of the other wonderful little noises that wake people up at night. The only sound that wakes me up are heavy, booming ones, such as heavy thunder, the dog barking if he's right next to me, or my husband knocking something over as he fumbles in the dark.

Why is he fumbling in the dark? Mainly because a downside to sleeping in silence is that just about any change in light will wake me up.

There was a brief time when our son was born that I insisted on sleeping with at least one hearing aid in. This led to a massive ear infection (basically every time I woke up, I would take 1 aid out and pop the other in, allowing me sleep on my side without irritation.) But the constant taking in and out led to a different type of irritation which led to an incredibly painful ear infection. And my husband pointed out he could just nudge me when the baby started crying. Of course, whereas I bolted to life as soon as I heard the slightest whimper from the bassinet, my husband didn't awaken until the baby was in full-fledged crying mode. And boy, you should see him now, two years later. He, like husbands all over the world, can sleep through just about any level of crying. Fortunately our kid is a great sleeper and there are very few nights that he actually does wake up crying.

(As a side note, while pregnant I searched in vain for a baby monitor that was similar to my alarm clock---something that vibrated that I could put under my pillow or strap to my wrist. The problem I found was that all sounds caused vibration, including the road noise from outside the baby's window. I would love to know if anyone out there ever found a baby monitor that works...)

ANYHOW, I was reminded last weekend of how nice it is to slip into complete silence for sleeping. We attended a wedding/high school reunion type event for my husband, and opened our home to another couple (one that he knew, I did not.) Of course, my husband (having had a few too many cocktails) was a bit loud when we came home and our son woke up. As I was the designated driver for the evening, I was also the designated take-care-of-the-baby-if-he-wakes-up person. Like I said, this doesn't happen often, but when it does...

Holy crap. Took about 3 hours to get him down (normally I'd let him cry it out, but we had guests and I didn't want to keep them up). I tried bringing him in our bed, which was an utter fail since he thought it was one big pajama party. I was kicked in the stomach, had little fingers shoved up my nose, and was assulted by a stuffed duck and a pacifier. Finally I threw him back in his crib and he mercifully went to sleep.

Since his last act of fun before being banished was straddling my sleeping (er, passed out!!) husband like a pony and jumping up and down, I decided it would be in everyone's best interest if I slept with a hearing aid in, since I didn't think after 3 hours awake I was going to just "wake up" at 7am. Man, what torture. Between my husband's snoring, the baby's murmurings, and the outside noises, it took me FOREVER to fall asleep. Then, all too soon 7a.m. came, but instead of being awakened by the little man, I was awakened to the sounds of doors opening and shutting as our guests prepared to leave. UGH.

So, all of this in a roundabout way to say: I guess there is ONE upside to having this problem...wonderful sleep!!!! If only it was also a cure for insomnia...but that's another topic for another day!

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