Today was a particularly bleak day in Seattle, the rain moving seamlessly from drizzle to downpour. Feeling exhausted, I chose the option of an early afternoon nap on the sofa with the dog over taking her out on a walk. One thing pregnancy has taught me, although it's been a difficult lesson to learn, is to listen when my body is tired, to take the nap or head to bed early as time allows.
Only in the past few weeks has this tiredness come creeping back in, seeping slowly into my bones. A nap, I have found, can make the difference between a productive afternoon later on and one lost to restlessness and irritability. It's common knowledge that good sleep habits mean better health and even productivity, yet I still feel the subtle pressure of a society that admires those for whom sleep is something of a nuisance, that which keeps us from accomplishing our all. "I'll sleep when I'm dead," indeed.
I've always enjoyed a good night's sleep - when I could get it. And far from being one of those go-getters who routinely hit the sack for a mere six hours maximum, I've always figured that an average of at least seven hours a night was doing pretty well. But now I see that it's not even about me, it's about this new life I'm carrying, and I have no choice but to bow to his needs. My body does it without needing even my permission; if he needs nutrients, he gets them, no matter if I come up short. My body is focused on growing my child, and it will wear itself out if that's what it takes. My personal needs at this point are secondary, and if I don't eat well enough or sleep well enough for the both of us, my body is not going to show me any sympathy.
So I give in to my body, hoping all the while that by acquiescing to its demands now it will treat me kindly this week when I won't have the time for naps. For today, though, I am almost thankful for the bleak weather - it made taking that nap all the easier.