Awake….still awake.

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I’ve started writing two posts in the past two days but feel like the words are all coming out jumbled, or I’m just rambling on.

I’m still having a difficult time sleeping.  So as I write this completely sleep deprived, please over look any errors….or stuff that just isn’t right.

I realize that I hate going to sleep.  I hate the process of falling asleep, I hate the dreaming, I hate the waking…

Ok…so I don’t really hate it, but I don’t have good feelings about any of it.  Most of the time when I’m falling asleep I get the sensation that I’m starting to have vertigo.  I’ll feel like I’m spinning and falling, and I’ll jerk awake, this happens over and over until I’m so shaken I just lie there with my eyes open staring at anything that is still and I know will not move.

I often have nightmares.  Some are just unsettling, some are very frightening, and many are so sad I wake up with tears running down my face.

More often than not lately I wake up with a migraine.  Some days I wake up feeling a bit spinny, but most days my head is killing me.

So with all of this, would you want to go to sleep?

How do I get over these fears?  How do I stop the sensations I get as I’m falling asleep?  How to I at least reduce the nightmares?  How can I ensure I won’t feel worse when I wake up?

Yeah, I don’t know either.

It’s nearly 5am.  We have guest arriving tomorrow around noon.  I need to sleep so I’ll be up when they get here.

A dear friend of mine is pregnant, unfortunately she is having complications.  She and her husband live on the coast, so they need to be as close to a good hospital with a Neonatal ICU (NICU).  The University of North Carolina’s hospital has one of the best NICU’s.  (or so I’ve been told)  Luckily, we live pretty close to UNC.  So friend and her hubby will be staying with us for a while.  She has preeclampsia, and high Cerebrospinal Fluid Pressure (I can relate with her there!)  Right now she’s heading into her 31st week, they are trying to get her to 37.   So they could be here for a while.  I’m glad, and nervous.

I don’t know a lot about pregnancies, especially not pregnancies with complications.

If anyone can answer some of these questions I’d appreciate it.

She’s on bed rest.  Do you think she can climb the stairs?  Unfortunately, we just found out that the shower in our guest bathroom is not working properly.  If a woman is on bed rest, can she take a shower?  Or does she need to have sponge baths?  We have a shower in our bathroom, but it’s not very big.  I even feel a bit cramped in there, I’m not sure if a very pregnant woman will feel comfortable in there.  The only other shower is downstairs.  Which do you think is the best option?

Do you know of anything I can do to make them more comfortable?

Since she’s on bed rest, does that mean she’ll need to stay in bed, or will she want to move to the couch during the day?  (another trip downstairs)  We only have one cable box, and right now we have it in our room, it’s been in here since my surgery.  However, we rarely watch it.  I’m thinking we could put it in their room.  I’ve ordered a book she’s been wanting, bought a magazine she likes, and some snacks I know are her favorites.

Luckily, I have dinner ready to go in the slow cooker in the morning, it’ll be done by late afternoon.  (Meatballs and Spaghetti sauce.  In the slow cooker, how cool is that?)   Oh crap, I just remembered, she’s lactose intolerant, and my meatballs have Parmesan cheese in them.  Well, I’ll have to think of something.

Any suggestions on how I can make things easier on the husband?  I know he has to be stressed, he hasn’t left her side for weeks.  He’s usually such a laid back guy, I just can’t imagine him really being stressed, but then I can’t imagine anyone not being stressed under these circumstances.

Stuart’s worried he will go crazy having people here for possibly 6 weeks.  (hopefully, 6 weeks, we do want that little baby boy to be as close to term as possible.)  He’s also afraid of the extra expense it’s going to be feeding two more people.  And now that I remembered she’s lactose intolerant, that throws a wrench in some of our normal meals.  (I really like cheese.)

So that’s what’s going on in my house right now.

I had much more to talk about, but these are the most important issues right now.

Oh sleep, perchance to dream….but please be good dreams.



8 thoughts on “Awake….still awake.

  1. Sorry you’ve been having trouble sleeping. Sounds like no fun at all!
    I know about waking up with migraines! At that point, I know I should get up and take meds, but I usually just roll, which means I later wake up with a really BIG migraine.
    Maybe you could gently ask/hint for your visitors to help contribute to the food bill — especially if she is lactose-intolerant which means either making her a separate meal, or eating something that might cost more as a result.
    We always contribute if we are staying more than a few days — sometimes it’s a small gift (often special food) or some money. But that’s us.
    I’m not sure what bed rest means these days. I think in the old days, it really meant BED REST, but as with everything else — there may be new “rules.”
    As for her hubby, well, if he doesn’t want to go too far from his wife’s side, you could get him to do the housework or grocery shopping at first — just to get him doing something. Then you could pick things he might be interested in that are within a short/reasonable distance of your house — provide him with a map and a guide?
    Does she need to have someone around 24/7? If not, maybe on one of your good days, you could take stressed hubby somewhere (close again). There are cell phones these days which make communication so much easier.
    (I took a stressed friend to a movie (he was providing almost 100% of the hospice care for his wife) precell phone days, so we had to leave the theatre’s number, and tell the theatre manager, everyone behind the popcorn counter, etc. that there might be a phone call for him. I thought he needed to just get out for a little while, the theatre was close, and it was a funny movie to help cheer him up. If he’d had a cell phone, he’d felt much better about going out, I think).
    Once your friends get there, and settled in, you’ll probably know the routine (ie. what does bed rest mean; does she need 24/7 care, etc. That will help you plan things for stressed hubby. Maybe you should take him to your studio and let him paint out his stress and worries!
    Good luck! 6 weeks is a long time to have house guests, no matter what the reason!


  2. deb

    Don’t worry so much!!!
    She will tell you what she needs, but here is my humble opinion having gone through a bit of a “bed rest” pregnancy with my first:

    Put the cable box in a community area where you can watch together.
    Yes she can probably walk to a couch.
    Yes she can shower and hopefully downstairs so you don’t stress about keeping yours clean!
    Not sure about the stairs though. I could do them but everyone is different. Then that would change the shower option.
    Eat the pasta…she can pick out the meatballs 🙂
    Allow them to contribute to groceries..I am sure they will offer!
    The company alone will help relax her husband. He’s not alone taking care of his fragile wife and baby.
    Don’t worry…neither one of you needs the stress in your life!

    Praying for an awesome 6 weeks for you! Friendships are such a blessing and you are such a good friend for doing this.



  3. Ah, insomnia does not lend itself to coping with anything, does it? I agree with Deb, I wouldn’t worry too much. She’s probably not sleeping well, either, so you two will be a pair, Lol! And they probably have all the same concerns you do. I’m sure they’re prepared to impose as little as possible and wouldn’t want you to worry about them. And, like Phylor said, hopefully they will be able to tell what they need and can or cannot do. Good ideas!

    As for the meatballs, I bet she’d be able to eat them. I am terribly lactose intolerant, but it’s not an all or nothing thing like an allergy. A little here and there doesn’t bother me. And aged cheeses, like Parmesan, have a lot less lactose in them anyway. I’d just let her know there’s some in there and she’ll be able to tell you whether or not she can handle them. Do you have some chicken breasts or other plain meat you or the hubbies could easily cook up in case she can’t eat the meatballs?

    I worked briefly in the NICU years ago (those little tiny babies scared me!!) and I learned that babies tend to do very well if they can get to 32 weeks. Of course you want them to bake as long as possible so they can go right home with mom and dad, but it sounds like she is very close to a good outcome already. That is so wonderful of you and Stuart to open your home to them during this stressful time. I’m sure they are very grateful to be able to do this and you’ve brought them a certain sense of relief.

    I agree she’ll likely be able to walk the stairs, get up and move around a bit, etc. If she were to really not move at all, they’d probably hospitalize her.

    I hope you are able to get a restful sleep soon. Awful stuff, Wendy. I’m sorry you are going through this. Hugs!


  4. There’s always something going on in YOUR house, cutie!!! I have never been on bed rest but have known friends that have been. I don’t think stairs are allowed. I know that one friend could go to the bathroom right nearby but that was the extent of her freedom. It may be different these days and every woman’s case is different. I also wouldn’t worry about the food, if you made the meatballs just ask if she can eat them with the parmesan included and if she can’t just have tomato sauce and bread. That will work itself out and I am SURE they will offer or will bring food with them. You are so KIND and they will be so grateful. WOW, it just keeps going doesn’t it. I hope you can get some decent sleep, is there anything you can take that the dr. prescribed or even a Benadryl so you can get some rest? Good luck to you and your friend, please keep us posted. Laurie


  5. I agree with several of the others–you’ll find out more when they arrive and they’ll tell you what her restrictions are. I’m sure they’ll help out with food bills. It will all work out. And maybe if you are more tired from the company you’ll be able to fall asleep faster, who knows? She may be on some crazy hours, too.

    I pray the baby stays put for weeks and weeks! How wonderful that you can help them be close to an NICU for this little one’s sake. Awesome!! Let us know how things are going. 🙂


  6. Fizzy

    Oh, i hear you about the sleeping thing, i was like that for 3 months! Its funny we are similar in that we both have the migraines and the vertigo ! I hate the uncertainty of not know knowing how i am going to wake up too, the thing is i can go to bed fine, and wake up the next day with a full migraine and be vomiting into a bucket, and i think i got into the routine of havig anxiety about going to bed and sleep because of the spinning every night, so mixed with the unknown of how i would wake up, i essentially ‘talked myself into’ the spiining sensation i think. I used to want to nail my bed to the floor, if it didnt spin, the it used to feel like it kept tilting up and down, like my head was onthe floow and my legs were up near the ceiling and it was horriffic!
    I started taking 1mg valium each night for those months (even though the doctor told me it wasnt doing anything LOL) but it made me feel safer because I had taken it. FINALLY, I started taking some panadol before bed, and because i sleep on my stomach, i would wedge my feet in between the end of the matress and the end of the bed, and that made me feel like i was keeping the bed still, and it worked great (i still do it now and i cant sleep if i cant wedge my feet in) it looks funny but i have to do it! and i cant go to sleep without an ice pack on my forehead, and i concentrate on the coldness of that. Thats the only thing that has helped me so far 😦
    I really feel for you, i know how horrible this is, there is nothing worse than waking up in the morning and already dreading going to sleep that night!


  7. See, I’m jealous of you for being able to read, but at least I can sleep! I had a hard time the first two months of this episode, but since then, I sleep well. I have to sleep with my head elevated and cannot sleep on my left side, but as long as I follow those rules, I do fine. I do sometimes wake up spinning in the night if I roll over or turn my head in my sleep, but I’m usually able to go back to sleep. I do take melatonin and 5-HTP – they seem to help me too. I’m always so exhausted – I’d go crazy if I couldn’t sleep. Ugh. I’m so sorry.


    1. Allison, I think not being able to read for long periods would bother me more. At least normally when I can’t sleep until late, I am able to sleep late the next day. Normally I get 8 hours…more or less, but it’s weird hours. I wish I could get to a normal sleep routine.

      But reading saves me. When I’ve feeling bad, like today, I can at least read. If I focus up close things are normally much less in motion. (yes, other people reading that sentence would have no idea what I was talking about.

      I tried melatonin years ago with no success, but perhaps I’ll give it a go again, with the 5-HTP. worth a try! hugs. wendy


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