Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Last summer, before I was pregnant, I went for my annual check up and asked my doctor about my insomnia.  I was having trouble sleeping about one week out of every month and, after paying attention to it for about six months, I noticed that it usually coincided with a certain anxious, energetic feeling I got around the time when I would have PMS.  One month, this nervous feeling was so bad that I actually had to ask my friends if maybe I could be bipolar and not know it (they told me that, duh, you're not bipolar just from a few night of insomnia).

But it still didn't seem normal.  I could fall asleep normally, but then I would wake up from bad dreams around two or three in the morning completely unable to get back to sleep.  Sometimes I would wake up around midnight with an idea for a story or an essay in my head that just needed to get written down as soon as possible.  I'd sit in front of the computer for a few hours, pounding it out, and then collapse back to sleep.  And yet, on other nights, I would wake up for no real reason I could put my finger on, and I'd watch TV for hours, trying to lull myself back into something resembling sleepiness.  There were days when nothing worked.

When I asked my doctor, she told me she didn't like to recommend drugs to solve problems.  Fine, I thought, I didn't really like to take them to solve my problems, either.  Then, she told me therapy was probably my only course of action.  When I asked if there was something else we could try, she said maybe I could cut back on my caffeine.  And that was end of her suggestions.  I brought up the fact that it ALWAYS happened at the same time every month and was there any way it could be hormone related?  Could changing my birth control help?  Anything?  But, no, my doctor just told me I needed to talk to someone about my anxiety issues.  The end.

I still have insomnia.  Except now, instead of it coming once or twice a month, I have it every single night.  And guess what?  It's totally related to my hormones.  I guess pregnant ladies get insomnia all the time, mostly because their hormones are out of whack.

There's still nothing I can really do about it.  I get up around two or three in the morning, the cat follows me out of the bedroom and into the living room, and we watch old reruns of Arrested Development or Buffy the Vampire Slayer until it's close to five, and then I can usually fall back asleep (the cat usually follows me back to bed and sleeps next to me on the pillow).  I still think it's a little unfair, though. I have to get up and do stuff during the day, but the cat can just go back to sleep.

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