Current situation: knackered.
As I enter the final trimester of pregnancy, this seems to be my default answer to the question “So, how are you feeling?” As if the burgeoning bags under my eyes aren’t giving that away already.
It’s tiring work growing a tiny human. But there are a couple of other maternal stumbling blocks that are hindering my vitally required 8 hours of shuteye each night. For starters, this is not my first journey through pregnancy, and so, whilst I should be used to the process by now, I have two tireless toddlers with the playful and energetic prowess of a pair of baby gazelles, running rings around me all day.
Secondly, and I know this to be an issue for a lot of pregnant mamas, there’s the sometimes unavoidable insomnia. This has really kicked in for me now and as exhausted as I am on a daily basis, I somehow find myself lying in bed at night, completely awake and conscious. With no idea of how long I’ve been in this state, I start to doubt if I’ve actually been asleep at all. The thought crosses my mind to get up and read a book or watch something boring/ soothing on tele’, but my achy, tired body can’t quite make the nocturnal transition.
Having an expanding tum makes it a lot harder to get comfortable at night, that’s for sure. My preferred position of sleep is now out of the question, and that’s the main dilemma. As I climb into bed and build a wall of pillow support around me, I finally get comfy and close my eyes…. And then, I need to go to the loo again. For goodness sake, I’ve just been. There is little capacity left in there for both baby and bladder – especially at night it seems. Urinary condition settled for now, I clamber back into bed, rearranging all the pillows once more.
The next thing to wake me is my aching hip, on whichever side I’m sleeping on. It’s like an elephant is laying on me – only, I’m the elephant in this scenario. Time to switch sides (with a less than elegant technique at this stage, I can tell you) and rebuild my pillow fort. Oh wait, back out of bed, toilet run first!
I suppose I should be grateful, as leg cramps were also a waking ritual throughout my first pregnancy. Maybe this is the plus side of having the girls keeping me on my toes during the day.
There are a few things though that I’ve found to help combat my sleep deprived existence.
- A pregnancy pillow helps hold me in place so I don’t worry about rolling onto my back in my sleep. It also provides cushioned support between my legs and helps take the weight off my hips. A pillow between your knees will serve the same purpose and you will appreciate the difference that this makes.
- Having a milky drink before bed helps me to wind down and start to feel sleepy.
- An obvious one; put your phone or tablet out of reach. I’m so guilty of this and always scrolling for gorgeous baby things. Have you seen MAM’s cute new bottle and soother collections?
- It seems almost impossible, but on the off-chance that I do get to nap in the afternoon, an hour’s kip during the day can make all the difference to my sleep pattern at night.
- Oh, and of course, no nibbling on chocolate just before bed. Who me?