my pregnancy

The Joy of (Not) Sleeping

Going to bed has suddenly become something of a routine dreaded chore. Worse than cleaning the drain cover in the shower.

Sleep is necessary. I know this. In fact I hate my past self for taking sleep for granted so much. Burning the candle at both ends, enjoying life on minimal sleep, or in contrast, squeezing in a Sunday afternoon nap just because. All that freedom and control over my own sleep pattern seems like a distant memory, something I probably dreamed in a past life when I was able to do so.

Instead, there’s a wriggly little monster in my belly intent on dictating when I can and can’t get comfortable enough to sleep. Up top, eyes and brain are flagging to the point of talking nonsense and taking extra long blinks that I pray turn into naps. But below the neck, there’s heartburn and acid reflux, working down to kicks in the ribs, elbows to the bladder and someone else’s limbs pressing against my spine.

And when my body does eventually give in to sleep (or exhaustion), that’s not so pleasant either. More like a series of intermittent naps broken by trips to the loo, changes in position and working out if enough time has passed to take more painkillers washed down with a generous helping of Gaviscon.

Whilst still having to work full time and adhere to a 9 to 5 workweek routine, I’m barely coping by running on what feels like empty. Already I’m joking with colleagues and pals that I can’t wait for bump to arrive so I can get a decent sleep.

They all scoff; don’t I know that babies keep you up through the night, waking to be fed or changed? I will never get a proper sleep again, they proclaim, saying I should make the most of the time I can sleep and nap now.

Honestly Sandra, do you think I’d come in here with eyebags bigger than Kanye West’s ego, no make-up and dry-shampooed hair if I’d been able to get my beauty sleep and naps on demand? Do you think I’d be fixated on your fancy coffee like a lion stalking a gazelle if I was awake, alert and fully rested? Might I know what day of the week it is and who was just on the phone 5 minutes ago if I was on the ball from all that rest?

I could go on forever but you get the picture. I’m there in body but scraping by in ability. So although I appreciate the sentiment that I should be stockpiling sleep and rest, it’s actually not proving so easy to do. In fact, I feel as though when bump arrives, any sleep will be an improvement on the current situation.


Need a feed every 3 hours wee boy? No problem – that’s double the length of consistent unconsciousness I’m afforded right now with my pea-sized bladder. Crying in the night for a feed or a change? No problem – there are 2 people around who are able to deal with that in fair and equal turns. Been particularly pesky through the night from teething/colic/just to annoy mummy? No problem – pass the Red Bull and other highly caffeinated beverages.


I so hope I’m not wrong.

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