The Sonia Show

Writer. Mocker. Beer drinker. Old movie watcher. Mother. Goober.

The big sleep


Yeah, so, sleep is my friend; a friend I sorely miss.

I’ve written before about how tired I am. It’s tough to sleep when you’ve got something the size of a pineapple in your belly, and you like to sleep on your back, but you’re not supposed to sleep on your back.

Sometimes in the middle of the night I wake up on my back, and I’m trapped under the weight of this pregnant belly. I usually wake up because I’m having trouble breathing and the weight starts to hurt my back. I need to roll over, but it’s easier said than done. I’m like a turtle on its back, slowly teetering back and forth trying to roll over to my side. It’s really pathetic. I’ve been thisclose to waking up David and asking him to give me a push. Of course, all my rolling back and forth wakes him up anyway. I should just wake him up and save us both some time.

David has graciously said that after the spawn is born, and we’re all home from the hospital, he will take the first round of feeding the little guy so I can get some sleep. That’s all I’m asking for: I just want one night (or afternoon, I’m not picky) with eight hours of sleep on my back. After that, I’ll be good to go.

When I share this little bit of information with people who are parents they say, “Good luck with that. You won’t be getting any sleep,” insinuating that David isn’t going to be getting up to feed his son.

I can’t figure out if they are being sexist or just rude.

I want to snap at them, “It’s not only my responsibility to feed the spawn, you know? By the time he is born I will have been carrying him around for almost 40 weeks and not getting any good sleep. You don’t think David can handle 8 hours?” And then I throw something at them; maybe a coffee mug. Not that I’ve been fantasizing about this or anything.

Of course, parents tell me a lot of things:

  • You will never go to the movies again unless it has a CGI talking animal in it.
  • You will never see your friends again.
  • You will never go to a bar for a drink again.
  • You will never go to a restaurant for a nice dinner again.
  • You will never do this again.
  • You will never do that again.

I don’t know why people take such pleasure in trying to scare me or upset me. Maybe, in their minds, they think they are giving me a heads up, but they say these things with such condescending attitude that it comes across as, well, kinda mean.

I’ll never go to the movies or see my friends or go to a bar. Really? You don’t think the spawn’s grandparents would love to babysit every once in a while so David and I could go out to a nice dinner? Please! My dad already bought the kid a BB gun. He probably wants to take him target shooting immediately. Babysitting is his opportunity. You don’t think David will watch the spawn so I can go to yoga every once in a while. If David wants his wife to get her smokin’ hot yoga body back, he will.

I know plenty of parents who have gone to see non-animated movies. I’ve met my fair share of friends, who also happen to be mothers, at a bar for a drink. I have friends with babies, and I see them. I know someone who packed up their baby and went backpacking through Europe, which makes me think I could pack up the spawn and leave Glen Park for a trip to a friend’s house in the Sunset.

I told Michelle about these scare tactics, and she said that people always leave out the part about how much you don’t mind not all the things you used to do because you love your baby so much and you just love staying home with them.  And then she added, “Oh, just so you know soon enough your car will be filled with useless crap and trash from your kid.”

“Well, my car is already filled with useless crap and trash from me. What’s the difference? At one point there was an empty six-pack of ginger ale cans rolling around in my car, and I keep my hardcopy Examiner archives in the trunk,” I told her.

Of course, I realize I’m not going to be living the same lifestyle I did before the spawn. My life has already changed. I already don’t go out as much as I used to. I don’t see everyone all the time anymore. I’m pregnant and tired, and after the spawn is born I will be busy with a baby and tired. But don’t tell me I won’t EVER do the things I used to. I’m not buying it.

I have a friend who is pregnant, too. She’s a few months behind me, and I’m so careful not to say assy things such as, “Oh, just you wait,” because I hate it so much when people do it to me. But when she says, “Do your hips hurt at night when you are trying to sleep?” I am more than willing to jump in a commiserate. “Yes, yes they do hurt. It sucks, right?!”

Some of my coworkers are the worst offenders, sharing horror stories about how they never sleep anymore. I get it. I won’t get as much sleep as I used to, but don’t tell me I won’t EVER get any sleep. That’s a dirty lie. [Side note: I also have another coworker who likes to tell me how big I am every day. It’s doing wonders for my self esteem.]

Dear all the parents who keeping telling me I won’t be getting any sleep after the baby is born:

I will get sleep if I take a Unisom with a red wine chaser.

So there.



Author: The Sonia Show

I'm a writer/podcaster/mother/goober in San Francisco who likes to drink beer, shop, laugh and make other people laugh, watch old movies, feed my unhealthy obsession with pop culture, kick breast cancer's ass, go on adventures with my mighty, mighty good man David and my awesome autistic son, Calvin, wear orange and root for the San Francisco Giants, participate in general jackass-ery, talk about TV, eavesdrop on strangers' conversations, make nerdy “Star Wars” and “Simpsons” references, and post personal things about myself on the web for all to read, which makes me some sort of literary exhibitionist.

11 thoughts on “The big sleep

  1. Please punch your coworkers in the tits or nuts (whichever is applicable) on my behalf.

    There’s one guy at work who asks me how I’m sleeping and then gleefully tells me that having trouble sleeping NOW is just my body’s way of preparing me for not sleeping when the baby is born. He also asks me if I’m eating for two and even had the nerve to ask when my next dr. appointment was. Okay, you have a kid, I get it. That doesn’t make us soul mates or besties and certainly does not entitle you to ask me personal questions. Fuck.


  2. I don’t know why, but it is mainly coworkers who try to scare me. I guess besides eating lunch it’s one of the only things we have in common and they are trying to make conversation. They are failing.

    The coworker who might require some roughin’ up is the one who tells me how big I am every day. No joke, every day! Yes! I’m pregnant! I’m big! I get it! Get out of my cube!

  3. I have some friends who never leave the house, and they don’t even have kids. I have other friends who get babysitters — mainly, baby-crazy friends and relatives — all the time, and we do game nights, movie nights, dinners out, what-have-you. Maybe “friends” tell you these scary tales to make themselves feel better about not having the gumption to be active?

  4. On the practical side first, get a body pillow. Yes, you won’t be able to sleep on your back, but you’ll be able to sleep somewhat.

    on the feeding, it’s a question if you’re going to use formula, breastmilk or a combination. My wife has decided we’re only doing breastmilk, so sadly, yeah, she does get up to feed our son. After two months, he’s had his first night of five hours sleep. And there’s no guarantee he’ll repeat it.

    As for the unwanted advice and comments, yeah, there’s no easy remedy for that. I’d laugh at them, and then tell my wife it’s going to be okay.

    Also, we’ve been to a bar, had an adult night out, and while we haven’t made it to a movie yet, the drive-in theatre in Walnut Creek gives us hope.

    • Alan, I am so happy you commented!

      I already have a body pillow. In fact, I have two body pillows, and they help me get about two hours of sleep before I have to wake up, use the bathroom and/or roll over to the other side. Sadly, the body pillows can only do so much.

      We are going to be using formula (I wrote an entire post about why I’m using formula if you want to read it, so David can help out with the feeding. +1 for formula!

      What’s funny about the movie thing, is we don’t go to the movies that often anyway. We tend to watch movies On Demand or on Netflix, accept for the movies we just have to see right away (Harry Potter, etc). But, for some reason, being told I will NEVER go to the movies really pisses me off.

      The drive-in is a great idea. Usually a ride in the car makes a baby fall asleep so he would go to sleep before the movie starts and then you could watch it somewhat uninterrupted. Plus, it’s fun!

  5. You will sleep. You might even sleep 8 hours. They might not be 8 consecutive hours right away. 🙂 It IS one of the benefits of using formula that you can switch off who’s feeding your baby. Hopefully you’re not like many parents I know where you’re kind of a light sleeper to begin with, but once your baby makes any kind of cry in the night, you really have a hard time sleeping. I think nature makes parents — moms especially — keenly wired to respond to any such cries, and that can interfere with sleep for a while until you get used to it. Even if someone else is ultimately getting up to respond.

    You WILL do those other things again, if they are a priority for you. Some people either don’t have the resources (family, babysitter) to cover child care, feel guilty going out and getting a break while their children are young, or just never felt so attached to those activities anyway and are using childbearing as an excuse to skip out on them.

    Pro tip: when babies are newborns they sleep a LOT. This is a FANTASTIC time to go out to dinner with friends, go to a bar in the happy hour time frame, or even go to a movie. Just pop ’em in a sling or other baby carrier so they’re close to you, and pack diapers/formula to keep ’em happy. We did quite a few dinners out and a few bars when L. was under 4 months — the noise kept her sleeping through much of the event. I wish we’d done that a lot more, but I had a hard recovery and was tired a lot, so we weren’t really able to.

  6. My best friend Erin had a baby in December (she’s been my introduction to the world of pregnancy and now motherhood), and she and her husband trade off nights for waking up and feeding their daughter. They are both (all three!) well-rested, happy people who see their friends all the time! We’ve taken the baby to BBQs, beer festivals, restaurants, etc. Plus, their parents and Erin’s sister are always happy to baby-sit. So yeah, I realize my knowledge is very limited on this topic, but still – I felt compelled to comment. Congratulations again – can’t wait to meet the little guy this fall!

  7. As someone with no babysitting family possibilities at all, I got all this crap too when pregnant with my first daughter. In fact, as Beth says, very small babies sleep a lot and we took her (our daughter, I mean) to all manner of things. Our younger daughter was less cooperative at this level, but by then we already had a 2-yr-old, so the point was kind of moot anyway. If you train your kid well, however (ie, how to “cope” on his own in the mornings) you can sleep in as long as you like: my girls are now 7 and 9, but for the last 4 years or so have been sufficiently self-sufficient in the mornings that they can turn on the TV, get their own breakfast (it’s simple stuff, no “heat” involved) and leave me to sleep. I’ve been known to get up at 10 or even 11, no problem. Being separated from their dad means I have weekend afternoons to myself on general, but even when we were together, going out would certainly have been possible. You’re right to find the comments people are making annoying – it’s so untrue! Or, rather, they’re only true if that’s how you want it to be (a friend on mine became a kind of recluse, totally in the thrall of her tyrannic baby, but it was HER CHOICE (a bad one, in my opinion, but I kept that to myself) so no problem).
    Good luck with the rest of the pregnancy!

  8. I’m going to make you and David go out so I can have baby all to myself. Gimme, gimme, gimme 🙂

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