Saturday, November 09, 2013

"DST is eeeevil," or: Mixed Feelings

I'm finally going to participate in RambleRamble's weekly linkup. I've meant to, many times, but never quite made it before.

The prompt: "Need to get something off your chest? How about sharing a good rant with us?"

My snarky post would definitely qualify as ranty, but I'm not going to get that one ready by midnight tonight, so a different post and rant it is. I'm sorry if some of the sentences here don't make sense or don't scan easily. I wrote this kinda quickly (for me). I mean, I composed parts of it mentally in the wee hours of the night last night, and mostly wrote it down (and edited, and added the pics and links) during my daughter's naps today. I'm not sure if I caught and clarified all the confusing bits. I tried.

Unfortunately, this rant is going to be watered down a little bit by the mixed feelings. Not that I have mixed feelings about Daylight Saving Time itself, the concept of it. Far from it. Pure evil. But... Well, I'll explain later, after the rant.

Let's start out with a couple little quotes from Facebook. This is what I've already said about Daylight Saving Time ending. In comments on a status.

"As a fellow new (-ish) parent, I'm terrified of what this means for the time change this year. I mean, fall is supposed to be the good one! The magical extra hour of sleep! But I'm sure that as soon as 4:30 rolls around my girl's gonna be like, "Mama, Mama! I'm so happy, Mama! Aren't you? Isn't life great? Let's plaaay!!!" (Roughly. She doesn't actually talk yet.)

Somehow, I'd always heard from parents that Daylight's Saving Time especially sucks when you have kids, but it seems like I only heard about how hard it is to get them to go to bed when it's still light outside, not how hard it is to get them to SLEEP IN JUST ONCE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD.

Weekends are when I get more sleep deprived. Because even after almost a year, I can't seem to get it through my head that I can't stay up later on Friday night. Oh, and the tireder I am, the more I make stupid decisions... like staying up late. It's like an infinite loop of tired and dumb.

Phew. Apparently I had a few things I wanted to get off my chest on this topic. >_>"
Later I said,
"Seems I spoke too soon.

Best. Jinx. Ever."
"She'll sometimes sleep longer if we let her cuddle in bed with us. And there's no light anywhere.

Of course, other times she just climbs all over us, scratches our faces..."

I saw one person on Facebook defend Daylight Saving Time on the grounds that children were walking to school in the dark. Please, think of the children!

Um? Wait, when were they walking in the dark? In the winter? Fall is when DST ends, sooo... yeah, no time change would not affect that a whit.

Even if it did, um... maybe we should start school later in the day? Just a thought? I mean, I know there can be some logistical issues, but if the alternative is Daylight Freakin' Saving Time, seems like a good idea to me.

That's the other thing. Why are we trying to save light in the summer? It's summer! There's plenty of light! What, because there's so much of it, so we're trying to stockpile it for the winter? Sorry, I don't think it works that way.

This is probably a good place to link to The Actual Pastor's very nicely ranty post on Daylight Saving Time: "The Real Reason We Observe Daylight Saving Time: to Kill Parents." It is bitter and lovely.

Yep, once upon a time, at least the evil of the time change in the spring was sort of kind of counterbalanced by the joy and magic of the extra hour of sleep in the fall.

But now? Now that I'm a parent? There is no magical extra hour of sleep, there is only pain and anger. I see Daylight Saving Time's true face now. There is nothing good in it, it is rotten to the core. It should die a terrible, painful death, be burned to ash, and have its ashes scattered to the four winds so that no one might ever reassemble the pieces and resurrect the practice.

And yet, for all that (and I do believe that), I can't end on that note. Last year my daughter was born on the day of the extra hour, and I can't think of it without being reminded of her.

It's kind of hard to maintain the rage of being woken up at 4:30 in the morning because of the most retarded, useless practice ever... when you remember that at that time last year you were also up, because you were in the middle of giving birth to your child.

To be mad about not getting that extra hour of sleep you expected (and maybe to actually lose sleep because you foolishly went to bed planning for it, even though you knew it was not to be), when last year you hadn't slept soundly, for... well, for weeks actually, to a certain extent... but especially not since you checked into the hospital approximately 36 hours earlier.

To be angry that the good chunks of sleep you did get were so short, when last year the epidural gave you some really nice good chunks of sleep too, at least when you weren't literally shivering uncontrollably from a reaction to it, just trying with all your might to keep your teeth from chattering. Or until you were woken by alarms at your baby's heart rate, and a lowering of the pitocin. Or woken by nurses giving you antibiotics for an infection. Still, you think back to the beginning of labor, and ah, that epidural gave some good sleep!
Daylight Saving Time last year. About an hour and a half before Gracie's birth.

It's hard to measure pain sometimes, it's so subjective. Even more so, memories of pain. But there are objective data points, here and there. At first I remember how I was handling it, how I thought I could've kept on going, if I hadn't learned I had to keep going for so long, that I was only dilated 1 cm.

Then I remember. I remember when the labor started, how I could laugh with people in the room, and check Facebook. How that quickly changed, how soon I could only watch a bit of very mild TV for distraction -- had to be a calm nature channel, nothing stressful or demanding to my brain, my attention.

The contractions. The pain always lingered, so to speak, after the needle on the graph stopped showing the contraction. It took a little while to come back down to normal.

Soon I could only watch the TV as a distraction between the contractions. But soon after that there wasn't really any "in between." Maybe there was officially, but the pain never went away. Between having had Braxton Hicks contractions that would last five minutes or more, sometimes, and as little as a minute apart (or less), possibly because of an irritable uterus that wouldn't completely relax for twenty mintues at a stretch at times, and then add in a low level of pitocin to start up actual labor? Things became not happy.

Not that, you know, labor is normally happy. But I've heard inductions can be worse than "regular" labor, and I'm pretty sure I've heard there are supposed to be breaks between contractions, at least until close to the end. Unlike some of the stories from women with an irritable uterus.

I used to get really bad menstrual cramps. Bad enough to throw up, once, and very close to that many, many other times, as I realized after the vomiting incident. Labor... was kind of, sort of, a little like that? You know, besides being a ton worse. But with cramps, moving around, tossing and turning from side to side, will help a little bit, for a moment. With contractions (real honest-to-God ones, not the Braxton Hicks), it's like if you move even a fraction of an inch, you'll be impaling yourself further on the metal pole that's rammed down your center. All you can do is breathe and count, and then you can't even do that, all you can do is exist until it's over.

That's my experience, anyway.

Sorry, I don't know when this became a rant about childbirth. This is not the next part of the pregnancy complications and birth story I've been meaning to tell. But, it's written, I guess I'll go ahead, out of order or not. And I'll remind you that expressing the difficulty of something does NOT mean the person talking thinks it was a mistake, or not worthwhile. Momastery's "2011 Lesson #2: Don't Carpe Diem" is relevant here. None of this diminishes my love for my baby, not even a tiny little bit. Similarly, talking about how hard parenting is, or how I miss long stretches of sleep? Yeah, the appropriate response is not, "Well you shouldn't have decided to have a kid, then." Just in case you were wondering.

Some people say you forget the pain when the child is born, to which I give a very mature and dignified, WTF??!

I mean, I know the Bible has a verse about how a woman forgets her pain for the joy that a child has entered the world (John 16:21), but I'm pretty sure it was being poetic, and speaking very generally. I've heard women talk about this as though they literally forgot. That that's why they would have another child, because they actually don't remember what it was like. And I'm not just talking, "Oh wow, I forgot it was this bad," but like, forgot. the. whole. thing. Seriously? I mean, I was skeptical before I had my daughter. My brain, as far as I know, just doesn't work like that. I didn't think childbirth would damage it in such a way that that would change. It didn't. Childbirth was... memorable.

So, anyway, since I DO remember all that, it's hard to be very mad about Daylight Saving Time, somehow. Well, other than Daylight Saving Time never being an important or necessary part of bringing a child into the world. That little detail.

I almost wish it was easier to stay mad. Like I'm the jerk invalidating my own emotions, saying, "You think that's bad? Wait 'til..." Bleh. Well, here's a compromise with myself. I can be mad about lost sleep the other 364 days of the year. I can sure as heck be frustrated that, with a few exceptions, I haven't had more than four or five hours of sleep at a time in over a year now, or even as much as four at a time in I don't know how long now, maybe weeks? That ohmyGOODNESS I really need to night wean this child.

But I love her, and a day that reminds me of her birth can't be all bad, despite itself. Even if the concept of DST is pure and unadulterated evil.

Around 8 hours after her birth.

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