deer in the headlights

I’ve been dealing with some pretty serious insomnia for the past couple weeks (among other things), which is all part of this new uncharted territory.   The sleeplessness is partly due to hormones, partly due to the fact that I have to pee all night, and partly due to the state of low-grade panic that sets in once it’s quiet and still in the house, and I have time to really think.  Night-thinking is rarely a good thing.   I’ve noticed something funny when I share this frustration with people.  A lot of the advice you hear when dealing with the fears and freakouts of early pregnancy are quite familiar, mainly this old gem:  “Just Relax… and Enjoy It!”


I haven’t slept more than an hour at a time in about a month and a half,  driving to the store and back makes me so motion sick I feel like I lost a fight on a roller coaster,  and every time I get a gas pain I think I’m having a miscarriage– so “Just relax and enjoy it” hardly feels like a satisfactory response when I can’t stop crying because Husband brought home root beer instead of creme soda.   I know it’s temporary,  I know it’s all part of the big beautiful miracle that’s happening inside me,  but I am as terrified as I am ecstatic and I have no idea what to do with that kind of energy.

I think the whole experience and my hard time dealing with it are exacerbated by my sleeplessness.  But how can I sleep?  Last night I took a Benadryl and managed to conk out for a couple hours, but I always wake all the way up by 2 or 3 in the morning… starving and anxious.  I get up and feed myself some fruit and try to fall asleep again,  but my mind starts racing like it’s in the freakin’ Indy 500:   Do we have enough money?  When am I going to be able to go back to work?  What will my child be like?  What will the world be like to my child?  What’s going on in my body?  What was THAT cramp?  What if he gets sick?  What if I do?  What if I’m not eating enough greens right now?  Should I get up and eat broccoli?  Why do they keep checking my blood?  Why won’t the cat shut up?  Does Husband always snore like that?  What about the economy?  I need new pants!  These sheets suck- we need new sheets, too.  I’m hungry.  I need to throw up.  I need to pee.  Holy crap there’s a living creature inside me right now and the world is a scary imperfect place! What can I do to fix the whole entire world before my child gets here?!

Yeah,  it’s pretty hard to sleep with all that noise in my brain.  But how do you NOT think about all that stuff when faced with the weighty prospect of being in charge of a new life?   How DO you Just Relax?  I would love to Just Relax.

We live in a kind of wooded area, and we get deer in our yard a lot.  Particularly since there has been this killer drought here in Texas,  we make sure there is water and food out for the local wildlife, so they know to hang out in our yard.   The bucks are bold and don’t run away when I go out to toss leftover veggies at them.  The does, however, all have fawns right now and consequently are jumpy and nervous as hell.   It’s their job to protect the young ones, and to teach them to be nervous and jumpy, too.  At the slightest noise, Mama Deer  is standing at attention with her giant frightened eyes on the lookout for danger.  She assumes everything is danger, so she stomps her foot and barks,  letting the rest of the crew know it’s time to run away.  I read somewhere that deer only sleep a total of about 3 hours a day, and not all at once.   Always on the lookout for danger…

I was watching one of the Mama Deer in our backyard recently.  I moved the curtain too quickly or something and she looked up at me, her eyes filled with panic.   I saw myself in those nervous mama eyes and I automatically said those well-meaning magic words to her “Just relax, Lady.  Calm down, you’re fine….”  She barked at me and ran away, sure to not sleep later for wondering if I’m coming to harm her little one.

I totally know how she feels.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. JDragonfly
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 14:05:53

    Hey M.G. I’m 7 weeks with twins, and I’ve been feeling all the same things as you! I’m going to try a meditation CD I found on Amazon called “Heartstrings: Visualizations for Pregnancy.” I ordered it, but it hasn’t arrived yet so I can’t actually give a review. But, maybe that’d be a good wee hours activity for you too when you can’t sleep. Best of luck to you – you’re in my thoughts and I’m sending prayers for peace and joy your way!


  2. melissa
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 16:05:59

    Nightthinking is the worst!!!! You can’t escape all those worries and fears you can distract yourself from during the day! And since when has telling someone to relax actually done anything other than further stress them OUT? The best that I can say is hang on!


  3. Melissa
    Oct 20, 2011 @ 18:40:03

    I miss your posts….I hope everything is okay!!


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