The sleep smackdown

In the past couple of weeks, while morning sickness has been up and down, but manageable, I have been hit with a wave of fatigue. Actually, it feels more than just a wave – it’s more like a full body smackdown. Is that a wrestling thing? Probably. I don’t know, and I’m too tired to care enough to google wrestling. I crave sleep, my entire body aches for it, and no matter how much I get it’s never really enough.

It is so hard to wake up in the morning and drag my sorry arse out of bed. It’s even harder to stay away from the bed (or the couch, if I’m at work) during the day, and once I’m done for the day I can’t wait to get back to bed. The bed and I are spending a lot of time together recently.

As a semi-reformed coffee addict, I was actually being pretty strict as far as caffeine was concerned. Admittedly in the earlier weeks it was easy to avoid coffee altogether because it made me nauseous – iced coffee was different, because it has an inexplicable talent for making me feel better when I’m sick. But even then, I would firmly stick to my “no more than one caffeinated beverage a day” rule.

It’s funny how those self-imposed standards can slide over time. In part, it’s because I actually looked up the recommended amount and realised that what I was having wasn’t even coming close to the bottom of the low-caffeine-intake level, and up to moderate intake is ok in pregnancy.

But in reality I only looked up those standards because I was so freaking desperate for a second coffee. I need it, not because of my sort-of addiction, but because I’m trying so hard to not sleep all day long, and forcing my poor brain and body to try and function at least at 50% capacity at work and 20% capacity at home. Ok, maybe 10% at home. Thank goodness for a husband who can cook.

When trying to conceive, I was all “I’m going to eat healthy food and avoid caffeine and exercise every day!”.

Then reality hit. Hyperemesis gravidarum was so bad that I had to eat whatever I could manage to keep down – dry crackers were often pretty much the only thing I’d manage, along with the occasional cheeseburger, high-carb and high-fat and high-a bunch of other bad shit pasta side dishes, whatever it was, if I felt like it and it wasn’t going to put the baby at risk of harm, I’d eat it.

Exercise? HA! By the end of the day I just want to be horizontal, and not in any kind of healthy, exercisey way. Even on weekends, I end up sleeping late and then the general “get up and do a few things” tires me out so much that the thought of dragging my protesting body out for a walk is just too much.

Pretty much the only thing I’ve stayed strong on is no alcohol, which is easy since I’m not much of a drinker normally, and the big no-nos – listeria risks and all that. The smell of Subway at my local shops makes it difficult, but I intend to resist its siren song until after I’m done. On that, at least, I can be strong! Probably.

Maybe this is all good practice for parenting itself. Starting out with all these ideals and then realising that sometimes all you can do is put your energy into the really important things and let your standards slide a little on the rest.

Or maybe I’m just telling myself that so that I don’t get too consumed with guilt when I indulge in a small latte in the afternoon.

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