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?