Some of the most gruelling military selection processes in the world put applicants through unimaginable tests. Besides the hours of physical endurance exercises and mental games played, one of the most effective ways of weeding out weak candidates is through sleep deprivation. I am currently undergoing a similar process of testing.
Things are pretty intense at work at the moment for both me and the missus, so we are desperate for sleep. The problem is that we are in completely different patterns for completely different reasons. I am a heavy sleeper; I’m that annoying person who can sleep anywhere once I’m off. After working for years on the doors in a previous life, I am also fairly accustomed to not sleeping much. Working in the cold until 4.30 in the morning isn’t something I have to do anymore (thankfully) but I’m seriously tired at the moment. With a pregnant wife, I dare not say it though!
Because the baby loves a wriggle around bed time, my wife struggles to get to sleep. I’m merciless and I drift off pretty fast… the problem is that once she does eventually fall asleep she wakes me up. It isn’t deliberate, but she has developed the most persistent and ruthless pregnancy snore ever – yep, a pregnancy snore is a real thing, I’ve done the research. This is no normal snore, I’m talking a mix between a growl and a sqawk. It is killing me. On average, I bet I’m waking up about 30 times a night. The fact she has a cold at the moment isn’t helping things. Bless her, when she wakes up in the morning, she asks if she snored last night and I don’t have the heart to explain that I thought a small animal was being slaughtered every time she breathed. She must be wrecked – she is the one with the baby growing in her, constantly kicking and rolling around – but the snoring is killing me. I don’t know what to do!
I have tried to employ some tactics to reduce the audibility of the snoring. The pregnancy pillow keeps her on her side and give me pockets of relief. Unfortunately, this is normally discarded a few hours into the night. I then revert to more drastic tactics; reasoning is out of the window and a “fake wake up” is certainly off the cards at this stage. My current go-to move is the encouraging roll – a light inspiration to move position and reduce the monotony of the snore. I know stopping it is almost impossible, but I like to change the pitch sometimes to mix things up a bit. Recently however, my calm and kind approach has been met with hostility and aggression. My subtle rolling is now quashed with kicks and my new personal favourite, the inadvertent head butt.
People always say: “you don’t know tiredness until you have a baby”… Absolutely not true. I’m wrecked, but I’m not going to say anything still. She can’t help it and bringing it up is just selfish. I’m trying to take the positives from this and I’m seeing this as my dad boot camp. Marines, Navy SEALs and SAS don’t have anything on the gruelling sleep deprivation of an expectant father with a snoring wife.