Sunday, August 9, 2009

Catching Those Elusive ZZZzzzs

Sleep is something I'd wager most people take for granted. You lie your head down on the pillow and usually within a few minutes you're sawing logs and giving your body plenty of time to decompress from what was likely a very long day.

I still go to bed at about the same time every night, but the process of finding a comfortable position and actually drifting off to Dreamland is now a bit more challenging.

According to the "bible" of baby books, "What to Expect When You're Expecting," moms-to-be are not supposed to sleep on their backs after they hit the mid point of their pregnancy, because it can reduce blood flow to the mother's heart. Instead, prego women are encouraged to sleep on their sides.

This sounds easy enough. For a normal-sized person. But, add two babies in your belly, and that's when things get interesting. Don't believe me? Strap a large watermelon to your tummy and see how simple it is for you to switch from side to side.

Yeah. That's what I thought. :)

I have a devised a special method to ensure better sleep quality for the Wonder Twins and me for the remainder of the pregnancy. I took two old, full-body length pillows and put one under my regular pillow to help prop up my head and the other next to me. When I get under the covers, I angle the second pillow, so it provides support under the side of my belly that is touching the mattress.

This works pretty well. Until I have to turn over. Pillow #1 remains stationary, which is good. Pillow #2 has to pull a Shamu-type flip in the air in order to shift sides under the sheet with me. After a few awkward wiggles, I usually get settled fairly comfortably.

The bad part is I typically wake Geof up in the process. Often times, I find myself taking up a solid three-fourths of our queen-sized bed, and poor daddy is holding on for dear life to the remaining fraction of mattress. Because he is an incredibly patient person, he never complains or tries to regain his bed real estate. Maybe he's scared I'll pelt him with a pillow.

When I'm lying on my left side (facing him), pillow #2 separates us. I have jokingly started calling it the "Berlin Wall." Not exactly romantic, but necessary to keep me from waking up every hour with back pain and general discomfort.

The other thing I have to monitor to ensure I get a good night's sleep is the amount of time I spend on my feet. If I'm standing on a hard surface for hours, I'm guaranteed to have back pain later. Any aches from the neck to the base of the spine make it tough for me to sleep, no matter how tired I am. By making sure I sit enough during the day, I can protect my precious ZZZs at night.

In less than 14 weeks (!), snoozing will definitely take a backseat to feeding, changing, holding and loving the babies. That's why I'm willing to do whatever it takes now to drift off to Dreamland.

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