Saturday, September 20, 2008

I just yearn for quiet

It has been a crazy week. The kind I know gets me into trouble emotionally, and physically as well. The kind I was so happy to put behind me by resigning from the orchestra. The kind of week that I got myself into by working at two careers at once. I had one of those this week, and it is more than I can handle.

I accepted two weeks of work with the orchestra, knowing that I have 2 births scheduled also. But, one birth I was expecting to happen right before the rehearsals started (and I was right), and the other one I am expecting is right around Rosh Hashana, after these concerts are finished. I hope. Unless she is early with her baby. It happens.

The birth that happened last Shabbat happened without me being there. I was on call, and I knew they'd have their baby some time Friday night (an induction had started), and I had my stuff ready & the car ready for Shabbat transportation. I barely slept at all Friday night, on edge thinking I'll have to go soon. They didn't call. Shabbat passed, and all day I had my phone attached to me, and they didn't call. I was so worried that something awful had hapened, I almost walked in the scorching heat to the hospital in the afternoon to check on them. But I didn't. What could I do at that point anway, and I'd be putting myself under hardship (walking almost an hour in scorching heat with my lymph edema situation isn't recommended). Saturday night came & I called. No answer. I called again an hour & a half later. No answer again. Sunday morning came and I called again (they hadn't tried at all to make contact with me). We spoke Sunday morning, and they said everthing is fine, the birth went well and fast, and they didn't see reason to call me. Ummmm, what?? We had a contract, and I lost other clients who wanted near that date because I reserved my availablitly for that couple. Not to mention a lost night of sleep and worrying so much that my Shabbat didn't have much Shalom. Now (after a post natal visit which she was extremely grateful for my help & support breastfeeding) they told me they expect to pay much less because I wasn't at their birth. Umm, really? They didn't call me. OK, I won't go on with this discussion with them, but it was a pity that it happened; we had a great relationship.

So this week, I had a rehearsal every morning (till 12:30 or 2pm, depending on the rehearsal schedule), *two* breastfeeding consultations which tend to be lengthy and involved (another former client also needed some help) and after school activities driving every day of the week for the children. There was no time to do the lymphatic draining treatment, so I skipped that. Every day of the week I didn't get to sleep until 2 or 3 am... really. That's because I am so wound up emotionally that I just stay up and do things. Wood putty to fill in holes in a wooden box I want to paint at 1:30am, laundry folding at 2-ish, feeding & petting Emma and holding puppies in the middle of the night, and one night a long bath from midnight to 1:30 because of swelling & pain going on with my thigh. Sometimes it's just energy bursts to clean & organize that gets out of hand; I find projects to start and need to see them through to the end.

In short (I know this is already not short), I am faced with a very hard decision. Doula work, or part- time orchestra work. I *cannot* do both. This is exactlty why I quit the orchestra- when I was still completely healthy, to get myself a more sane life, and be there more for my kids.

I am not even sure if I am ready to do doula work & all that it entails; the nights & days of no rest (and very physical and emotionally draining work) out for what could end up being up to 15 or 20 hours. And the uncertainty of not knowing when it will be. Then the pressure of running my own business, knowing that people may change face when pay time comes and I just have to turn away and go on to the next one. It is so much pressure that I am not convinced I want right now. I love being a doula, but the pressure isn't what I need in my life right now.

The orchestra, on the other hand, is easy work, and I can do it part time, on my terms. If my terms aren't acceptable, then I won't do it at all, I am clear on that. I have a meeting tomorrow with the orchestra general manager to see what the options are.

It's the choice to take it easy, or commit to doula work with all it's uncerainties. Though I love being a doula more, I also need stability and predictability. I feel it's part of building my life after nf. So much of last year was so extreme. I had lots of doula work, after which I landed in the hospital again before I got the message to STOP working. I need quiet, and stability.

Sometimes I wonder if I should be working at all. I so desperately need quiet; my brain is so frazzled. That's a big part of why I stay up so late at night; I savor the quiet.

Life after nf is changed forever. I just have to somehow figure out what change *I* need. I need quiet. It's been so crazy. I need quiet and calmness.
Maybe I shouldn't work at all.

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