Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sleep now (or forever hold your peace)

When you are pregnant, you get all SORTS of unsolicited advice.

Don't eat this, eat a bunch of that, don't walk too much, don't forget to walk everyday, you're not gaining enough weight, you look huge are you sure you're not having twins, use cloth diapers, don't use cloth diapers, pacifiers are the devil, pacifiers are a necessity and here's the best kind, you're carrying high your doctor is wrong that must be a boy, you're carrying high you're having a girl aren't you, you won't be able to breastfeed because it's too hard, breastfeeding is the best thing you can do for your child, how can you eat that piece of cheese don't you know that babies hate cheese?!?!!?!?

Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

For the most part, I just smile and nod and say thank you when someone offers me advice that I haven't asked for. I think people mean well, and want you to learn from their wisdom (or their mistakes). I get that. I take everything with a grain of salt though, because, as demonstrated above, advice is often contradictory.

In fact, the one thing I've truly accept about parenting advice?? What works for one baby may not and probably will not work for another. Humans are unique, complex creatures with varied temperaments, and I for one am grateful that this little girl bounding away in my belly is, literally, one of a kind.

One piece of advice that I have been hearing non-stop lately: "Oh, you're having a baby?? Sleep now."

Um, what?? I do sleep now. I sleep every day in fact. Though my daily routine varies, the one constant in all of my 27 years has been that every single day, I sleep. It's necessary for survival.

However, as we know because science tells us, you can't "bank" sleep, nor can you truly catch up on lost sleep time. If you pull an all-nighter and crash the next day, you may be able to function, but you're still not going to feel as good as you would have with 8.75 hours of sleep on both of those nights.

So, as well-meaning as the "Sleep now" advice is, honestly, it's not helpful. I completely understand that, as a new parent, I am going to be sleep-deprived. Like, more tired than I've ever been in my life. I am not that naive. But am I willing to be a zombie for a few months/years in order to take home a sweet, healthy baby?? You bet your ass I am. For me, there couldn't be a smaller price to pay.

And speaking of sleep... I have heard so many horror stories about the end of pregnancy. How you're miserable, uncomfortable, and all you want is for the baby to get out. Somehow, I think the universe has decided to give me a thumbs-up on this matter, because I am sleeping like a CHAMP these days. Even better than before I was pregnant I think. Knock.on.wood. Of course, I have a solid recipe of conditions that I think contribute to my blissful slumber:

Me, minus the "Beauty" and asleep for 100 years part
- Dark, cool room
- White noise
- King-size bed with a plush matttress topper
- A hubby who doesn't snore, bed hog, or steal the covers
- Four, yes four, pillows. One of each side of me, and two behind my head.

Ahhhhh, just thinking about it makes me sleepy.


  1. love this post -- you are so right about the unsolicited advice, you're probably more polite than I am, I just get so annoyed I'm sure it shows.... I know, I know - people only mean well I'm just tired of hearing it. haha. I think I need to invest in some additional pillows, I've been making do with two [one under the head, one on my side]

  2. Trust me, you'll hear more and more as you go along! I just have to ignore it because otherwise I would be use some of the horribly sarcastic comebacks I've thought about. But yes, when your belly gets to be the size of a watermelon, four pillows is a must ;-)