My dear friend Ana* had a baby on the 27th of last month. As is typical of new moms, she went MIA from Facebook and most other social media for a few days after the birth. When she resurfaced to share news and pics of her new addition, catch up on emails, inquiries, and well-wishes, she made sure to send me a note bidding me good luck with my own impending arrival, and to outline the harrowing experience that was her (unexpected) C-section (gee, thanks). She ended the note with “sleep now! You won’t get any once the baby comes!! xo”
Now, Ana is not the EATBR that I mentioned earlier this week, but her last sentence caused a searing-hot rage to bubble forth within me, and I fought an overwhelming urge to write back with a curt, “Go f*ck yourself!”
There but for the grace of God, and the love and affection I have for her likely saved her life. Here’s why:
In previous posts, I have touched upon the difficulties of sleeping with a small sack of potatoes strapped to my front. The truth of the matter is, I haven’t had a full, uninterrupted night’s sleep since sometime before my birthday. And now that I’m just simply too big to slumber peacefully at any given time, I’m stymied by (and frankly, envious of) women who claim to sleep through the night in their third trimester.
I’m also bound to suspect they’re either lying, sleep-medicating, or about to give birth to the world’s most compact, lightweight, carbon-fibre hybrid babies. ‘Cause let me tell you something, kids, this mama hasn’t logged any satisfying shut-eye in months.
It’s not like I’m a stranger to sleeping odd hours or getting by on little to no rest, either. Those who write for a living can attest to many a late-night parked in front of a monitor, working into the wee hours to make an early deadline. Too wired to sleep afterward, it’s either a cup of coffee (or some other stimulant) for fuel, and then off to trudge, bleary-eyed, through the rest of the day like some kind of Walking Dead.
But that’s a different kind of sleeplessness. It’s not quite as angry-making. And in many cases it can be remedied by a simple faceplant onto any soft surface at the end of the day (or whenever the fuel source runs out). What’s maddening about my inability to sleep has nothing to do with the length of the zonk, but the quality of the Z’s.
My Aisha is not going to be a big baby; I can feel the outlines of her tiny little head as she bounces her way through my sleep cycle. However, I am carrying 40+ extra pounds of fibroids and amniotic fluid…combined with an active baby-to-be, my womb is akin to a snowglobe that’s constantly being shaken.
Case in point: I went to bed this morning at around 2:47, only to wake at 3:13, 3:52, 4:30, 5:09 and then again for the last time at 5:57. I tossed. I turned. I groaned in frustration. I’ve been up ever since. A series of unsatisfying siestas punctuated by clock-watching.
So…yeah…sleep? What f*cking sleep?
7 thoughts on “my queendom for a nap.”
So I stumbled across your blog recently because I just had a baby with Down syndrome and I was looking for people who are working through the same kinds of things that we are in my family…. in any case, I feel the EXACT same way that you do about people who say “sleep now while you can!” Ugh!!! It was one of my biggest pet peeves. And to be honest, I sleep better now, AFTER having the baby, than I ever did while I was pregnant. Hang in there.
Maggie, thanks for chiming in. And I’m glad you found my blog, and I was happy to read yours. In about two weeks, I’m going to meet my Peanut and then the adventure will begin.
I haven’t seen a whole lot of blogs about parenting with DS (ones that I like, anyway) that tell about things like EI, OT, PT etc…and not from a “new” baby standpoint.
I have a feeling I’ll be sleeping better once she’s here, as well! Or, I hope so… because right now, I’m the grumpiest mama bear around! 😀
Keep in touch!
OMG! Wow!!! You wake up often!!! That sucks!!!! Don’t get mad, but I sleep pretty well through the night. I definitely get up to go pee like 4 times a night. When I lay down I feel awake but I force myself to do deep breathing + I end up passing out somehow. And now that I’m getting bigger I don’t toss + turn anymore because my stomach is like an anchor that keeps me on one side.
LOL I’m not going to get mad… unless you tell me something like, “sleep now before the baby comes!” 😀
Most of the time, I do fall asleep again, but interrupted sleep is brutal for me. My stomach is SO heavy and I’m SO uncomfortable. Sometimes it’s just not worth it to try and settle down again.
And every time I get up to pee, I have a wicked Braxton Hicks. Bleh.
In defense of Ana, you pretty much forget how uncomfortable were in 3rd trimester after having a baby. It must be Mother Nature’s way of getting you to have more kids. I kept asking my husband and my mom if I had complained as much with my previous two pregnancies and they assured me that I did. I have no recollection of it whatsoever.
Hi there… I’m almost two weeks in to having my little one, and believe me, I haven’t forgotten! 😀 I’m so relieved not to be pregnant anymore. I’m also finally starting to get over the debacle that was her birth. I don’t think I’ll ever forget.