Sleeping On It

Sleep. A precious commodity for new parents, so we keep being reminded. There is no chance whatsoever, however, of cherishing some final months of uninterupted sleep. I’ve reached a stage now where I just simply can’t get comfortable.

I’m a very active sleeper. I never stay in the same position for very long, mainly alternating between my back and my front, but favouring my right side over my left side for any side sleeping that I do. For obvious reasons the front sleeping is now out of the question. Back sleeping has become problematic as it makes my back and neck hurt. It’s also advised against on medical grounds, since the enlarging uterus can press on blood vessels decreasing venous return to the heart. We don’t want to do that.

So side sleeping it is. I try very hard to sleep on my left as advised – again for blood flow reasons – but if I’m honest I just find the right so much more comfortable. And whichever side I start on, you can guarantee that I won’t stay there for very long. My sleep is disturbed by the effort of moving from one side to another. It’s disturbed by pain when I inevitably roll on to my back, and also by pins and needles in various parts of my body depending on how I position myself.

Then, just to make me feel worse, I read things like this study, which suggests that sleeping any way other than on the left side can increase the risk of still birth. Granted it’s a small scale study and the risk it identifies is still very tiny. But it’s another thing to lose sleep to: worry. I guess I’d feel better if I really thought I had much control over my sleep position. The trouble is, once I finally am asleep, I have no control over where I’ll be when I wake up.

I just hope I’ll still have a healthy baby when I wake up. With all these things to think about, I’m sure there will be no sleep until…. university, at least!


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