“You better sleep now because you won’t get much when the baby comes!” Whoever started this little gem of wisdom was either A. never pregnant, or B. pregnant so long ago she’s lost touch with reality. (If it’s a man giving you this unwanted piece of advice, you have to right to promptly punch him in the throat…j/k, j/k, that’s just my hormones talking).
For those of us who are nearing the end of pregnancy, we know that getting a good night sleep is virtually impossible.
Here are a few reasons why you aren’t sleeping:
1/ Baby likes to Jazzercise at 2 a.m.
Maybe she just has an affinity for 80s-era Jane Fonda, or maybe she really is just trying to torture you, but this kid is busting out some serious leg workouts at a seriously inopportune time.
2/ Bladder capacity is at an all-time low.
Why is it that the urge to pee is greater at night than during the day? I mean, c’mon…six trips to the bathroom in an eight-hour span? Talk about cruel and unusual punishment. You might as well wear some Depends.
3/ Your body is trapped by pillows.
Tuck one under your belly, wedge one in between your knees, shove another one behind your lower back. Before you know it, you’re so smothered with pillows, the idea of changing positions is just way more effort than it’s worth.
4/ Insomnia has become the new normal.
Perhaps the most frustrating sleep disturbance: the inability to hit your brains “off” button. As if your waking hours aren’t already focused on all the anxiety-inducing realities coming your way, nighttime brings about a whole new intensity to those looming fears.
5/ You’re hungry AF.
Sure, you had a full dinner, followed by a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. But it’s now 4 a.m. and your stomach is seriously growling for red grapes dipped in sour cream (don’t judge). Too bad though, because you can’t get out of bed (see #3)…and now you’re not just hungry, you’re hangry.
6/ There’s a fire in your esophagus.
Hell hath no fury like pregnancy heartburn the minute your body hits horizontal. So either you stop eating your favorite enchiladas, or you buy stock in Tums. Duh, easy choice.
7/ Must. Move. Legs.
It’s an urge you cannot ignore – the incessant need to stretch, move, shake, or rub your legs. It’s like your lower extremities are screaming to run a marathon (ok, maybe just a 5K) even though you get winded walking to the mailbox.
8/ Dreams are scary as hell.
Here’s what’s really not fair: if by chance you actually DO manage to fall asleep, you’re likely greeted by some of the strangest, most chilling dreams of your life. From the bizarre (your 7th grade math teacher is your labor and delivery nurse), to the horrifying (your loved ones facing tragic ends), you’ve never been so grateful to wake up.
So yeah, you’re basically not sleeping. Better get used to it. But don’t worry…you will sleep well again…someday…years from now…maybe. #itsworthit.