Hey mama at the end of your pregnancy…
So you feel approximately 86 weeks pregnant, everything is swollen to 14 times its original size, and no matter what you do, You. Can. Not. Sleep. Comfortably. Ever.
Sleep is an illusion at this point. It's a distant memory, and now you lie awake at night dreaming about it, as one irrelevant thought after another chases itself infuriatingly through your restless mind.
You can't even toss and turn—if only you were nimble enough for such luxuries!
But have faith—one day very soon (though you probably can't imagine it right now)— you will sleep comfortably again. One day soon, heartburn will be a thing of the past and you will no longer need the giant box of TUMS you keep within arm's reach.
One day soon you may even be able to make it through the night without needing to pee—but if you do need to go, you'll be able to spring up lithely and skip to the bathroom if you want to... rather than lying there having that agonizing debate with yourself about whether or not the relief on your bladder will outweigh the Herculean effort of getting up and walking there.
One day soon you'll be able to relinquish that enormous maternity pillow that takes up 45% of the bed and acts as an intruder in the night—a barrier between you and the husband who used to sleep with an arm around you. That's if he's even still there and hasn't decamped to the guest room to escape your snoring. (I know... we don't like to talk about it but don't worry mama—the snoring will stop one day soon, too!)
Very soon you will have your baby sleeping next to you instead of attempting amateur acrobatics inside you, using your womb as their dance floor and your bladder as their trampoline the moment you lie down to rest. One day your body will be your own again and, believe it or not, you will fall asleep the moment your head hits the pillow, the sweet snuffles of your newborn the only sound that will fill the room.
One day soon your mind won't need to play tricks on you in the dark of the night. Because you will know that your baby is exactly where they're supposed to be.
You won't have to wonder what kind of mother you're going to be and if you're up to the task—because you'll be right there in the thick of it, up to the task in every single way—surprising yourself with the strength you'll find as if from nowhere, and doing your best for that beautiful little bundle every moment of the day and night.
Yes mama, it's the truth: one day—very soon—you will sleep comfortably again.
But here's the other truth: you'll never again sleep the sleep of your past. You may never again sleep soundly.
This is something you can't imagine right now—because if you could, it would be overwhelming. Mama—everything is about to change, the stakes will be higher, and although your body will be your own again, your heart will always—always and forever—be elsewhere.
You will be more in love than you ever imagined.
You will find yourself tuned into that little person more than you ever believed possible. When he's hungry you'll respond, when he cries from reflux you'll feel his pain, and when he's wet you'll change him no matter how exhausted you are.
When she needs soothing for no reason other than that she's been attached to you for the last nine months, you'll walk as you bounce her up and down. When her tiny fingers close reflexively around yours you'll ache with the perfection of her.
This is the eternal truth of motherhood. Your body is returned to you but everything else is given away, gladly, forever. And it's hard to explain. I think that's because on some level—it's magic.
But for now, mama, prop yourself up on cushions. Be thankful for that maternity pillow. Drink plenty of water but not in the two hours before bed. Sleep on the side closest to the bathroom. Read a book that's not about babies when you can't switch off your mind.
Breathe. And wait for the magic. It's coming any day now...✨