Get your sleep now

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Get your sleep now

I am 34 weeks pregnant. If all goes according to plan, I have just 6 weeks left to go before Baby M gets here. Of course, I know that plans mean nothing – Max was a month early - something that I LOVED at the time. I couldn't wait to meet him. One month early felt like the biggest gift in the world. Of course, the other thing that didn't go according to plan was losing him after only nine and a half months. I had planned our whole future together. I want Baby M to cook inside of me as long as possible. Max's early arrival is one of the MANY things I pray did not cause my baby to die.

At 34 weeks pregnant with Max, I did not sleep well. I had a lot of work things on my mind constantly, like a trip I was helping to organize for two of my board members to go to Israel and meet with the Mayor of Be'er Sheva. In fact, the night that my water broke, I was still emailing details to them and to the Israel contact while in the car on the way to the hospital....and then from my hospital bed.



We were also still working on our kitchen renovation (I should say TED was working on our kitchen renovation) and we were staying at my mother's house. We were so lucky to be able to stay there. Trust me. I know it was a blessing. But, Ted is too tall for the guest bed so we were sleeping on a mattress on the floor, which was actually quite comfortable but SO hard for me to get up from for my hourly visits to the bathroom. It's my fault really. I could have slept on the guest bed, but I wanted to stay next to Ted. There was also a heat wave and our room was not really getting air conditioning.

Ok – but really, it was being super pregnant that was making sleep so impossible. It is hard to sleep when you are super big and there are a million hormones surging through your body and there is a little dude inside of you who always wakes up and starts looking for a comfortable position inside of your body as soon as you lay down.

Ted and I always thought the most ridiculous thing that people said to us was, “Get your sleep now, while you can”. First of all – who was sleeping? Secondly, can you bank sleep? I wasn't aware. It was just one of those things people say. What they mean is “I know something you don't know. You aren't going to get much sleep when your baby comes! Your life is going to change SO much!”. Of course, that is true, but I still think that you can't prepare for it. Sleep your face off, it won't do much good once the baby comes.

Which brings me to my next point – which is, I've been sleeping my face off. I have ALWAYS been a good sleeper. In the past, I was out the second my head hit the pillow. These days, I have a little bit of trouble falling asleep but once I am sleeping, it literally lasts for a minimum of ten hours. MINIMUM. The only time my life seems manageable is when I am asleep. That is probably not a good sign. My grief counselor says it is fine – it is restorative. Other grieving parents have told me that they also slept a lot in the first couple of years. Of course, I didn't sleep much at all in the first four months after losing Max – so, does that banking sleep thing work in the opposite direction? Could I be making up for all of the sleep I lost?

What I know is that it doesn't matter if I sleep fifteen hours a day until my little peanut gets here, it won't help me through the sleepless nights of nursing. But, see, the difference between this time and last time is I DO know what it is like to not get enough sleep with a newborn. But, I have a comparison that most other mothers do not have. I ALSO know what it is like to get no sleep because you have no baby to wake up to or for and because you are haunted by the nightmare of your tragic loss. I am thrilled that in just a few (long) weeks, I get to be up all night again with a newborn. In fact, I am trying to sleep the time away, in part, to get there quicker. Hopefully, all of this sleep I am getting now will come in handy when I can't get it later....AS IF! 

2 comments:

Tiffany said...

i can relate to this too. i slept horribly while pg with our girl. grief and being very pregnant make for a terrible combination. i had many sleepless nights due to constant worry about her.

a few months before our girl was born i overheard my coworker complaining about being so "sick and tired of being tired" because his newborn was keeping him up during the night. i was infuriated.

Susan Ireland said...

I think becoming a mother again is really different. I remember some idiot wrote on my work leaving card - enjoy your babymoon. Tosser.

First time motherhood is a bit of a shock - you get so little time to yourself, and I think that takes some getting used to. Losing a child is a far bigger shock. When M was born I just fell back into being a mother again. It was easy compared to the worry and pain of having empty arms xx

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