My wife and I made a pact early on in our relationship that, no matter how big an argument we had before bedtime, we would never sleep in separate rooms.
And yet, during the first trimester of our first pregnancy, we have now slept apart three times over the past month alone…not due to any argument, I must stress, but rather as a direct result of the pregnancy itself.
So in today’s blog I ask, is this new change in our bedtime routine perfectly normal or are we headed into dangerous territory?
The reasons for the change in sleeping arrangements have started innocently enough.
As you know, my poor wife has been suffering from all the worst side effects of early pregnancy, with the most notable symptoms being constant nausea and severe fatigue. Unfortunately this means that if she doesn’t get a solid 8 hours of sleep each night, she has been known to turn into a serious monster.
The snag is, I am a relentlessly restless sleeper as well as a world champion snorer… seriously, I could win awards for the decibels my nightly grunts can reach (or so I’m told, frequently, through gritted teeth). Conversely my wife is the lightest sleeper imaginable, woken by the smallest noise or slightest movement – perfectly suited bedtime companions I hear you say? If only…
As a result, on two occasions when the snoring has been particularly bad, I’ve graciously moved myself to the spare room (soon to be the baby’s nursery) to give the wife a restful night of uninterrupted sleep.
Luckily for me, sleeping alone, spread out diagonally across the bed, on my back, snoring with abandon is one of my all time favourite things to do, so I don’t mind one bit.
Our most recent experience of parting ways at bedtime came after I was struck down with a severe case of the Man Flu / a cold, so again we slept apart to:
- Avoid passing on my infection to her and the baby
- Save her from having to listen to me cough, sniff and splutter, on repeat, every 2 minutes for the entire night.
Fair enough (and poor woman), I hear you say. But given how easy it has been to slip into this new routine, my concern is:
Where will it end?
Because, as the baby’s arrival draws nearer, I know that sleep will become an increasingly valuable commodity, which most new parents would do almost anything to acquire.
I can already think of a growing number of new excuses that we might feasibly use to justify why we should keep sleeping apart;
- I’ve got a big meeting tomorrow so need a full night of uninterrupted sleep…
- I was up all night with the baby yesterday – it’s your turn tonight…
- I’m going to be back late tonight, so don’t want to wake you…
Will this new distance between us mean we drift apart as a married couple? Will we ever have sex again?! Will sleeping apart have some unintended psychological impact on our kids? Or will the extra sleep actually make us better partners and more patient parents?
Only time will tell! Just 28 weeks left to go…
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s blog. If you’ve been through this all before or are experiencing the same thing with your partner at this very moment, please do share your own stories via the comments section below!