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35 weeks and cannot relax - help!

(18 Posts)
NewChallengeforJen Wed 10-Aug-05 21:15:47

Hello all
I am 35 weeks pregnant and finding it almost impossible to relax. I am constantly agitated - I cannot read or book or watch a film without getting up every few minutes. I also have insomnia and cannot get more than a few hours sleep a night. News 24 and Big Brother Live at 4am are regular events in my night time schedule! I normally have a very structured and demanding life as a teacher and expedition leader, but since my maternity leave a week or so ago I have felt like this. I am also a bit weepy and generally quite pathetic!

All the books say you need a good nights sleep and an afternoon nap. I am on a few hours sleep a night and hardly sit down from the moment I get up to the moment I attempt to sleep. The dog has never been walked so much.

I have no real worries in my life. I can't wait for the baby, I have a fantastic and supportive partner and a job I am looking forward to returning part time when I want it.

Life should be perfect but I am just miserable. Has anyone felt like this ?? Any advice greatfully recieved. Jenny x

CarolinaMoon Wed 10-Aug-05 21:22:50

umm, no real solutions here, but I found the first week or two of mat leave really weird - I just didn't know what to do with myself. After that, I was too knackered to care (I started mat leave at 38 weeks and ds was born at 42 weeks).

I think you will probably settle down into it soon. If you are getting plenty of fresh air and eating properly there isn't much more you can do.

It is annoying when you feel you should be making the most of your last baby-free weeks and you just can't enjoy it - at least it'll be over soon ,

moondog Wed 10-Aug-05 21:23:15

Poor you. Know just how you feel. Was dropping with exhaustion and yet just like you say,couldn't rest.
One thing that did help was areflexogy treatment at about 39 weeks during which I fell asleep and slept properly. If I had known I would have gone for a lot more treatments.

The only consolation is that it really is nearly over.

dinosaur Wed 10-Aug-05 21:30:26

Ooh, I sympathise. Insomnia was one of the only two really bad aspects of pregnancy for me (the other being heartburn). And I do remember finding it very hard to relax when pregnant with DS1.

I know this may be difficult, but I think that if you can you should stop worrying about relaxing, iyswim, and just let your body tell you what it wants to do. You've only been on maternity leave for a week - give yourself time to adjust.

Why not try arranging some specific appointments - for hair-cut, facial, massage, manicure, whatever is your bag. Or go out for lunch, or to a gallery. And have you tried yoga? I did it in all three of my pregnancies and it was brilliant.

And don't put pressure on yourself by thinking that "life should be perfect".

Good luck! It will be fine!

moondog Wed 10-Aug-05 22:20:54

Forgot to add that aqua natal classes and just swimming were very relaxing too. Really felt a sense of calm after them.

NewChallengeforJen Wed 10-Aug-05 22:48:38

Thanks folks. Just reading those messages makes me feel better. I keep thinking I must be going mad. I am so tired and my legs ache from constant walking and wandering and yet I cannot even seem to sit down and watch TV.

One other question for those of you who have been through this all before - does it stop when the baby is born ??!!

moondog Wed 10-Aug-05 22:51:28

Yes,but then there's a whole new set of emotional and physical challenges to deal with!

(Was saying earlier today that I reckon it took me two years to get over dd's birth in physically and emotionally,and I'm a fit and healthy woman.)

Sorry,sure that it's not what you want to hear. Was sooooo glad to have that baby out though.

CarolinaMoon Thu 11-Aug-05 09:31:30

Ha! Yes, it's different once the baby's born, although the weepiness gets much worse IME.

I spent the first few weeks after ds was born glued to the sofa - I felt incredibly dozy and had absolutely no desire to go anywhere or do anything. I spent most of my time fantasising about having a good night's kip without any interruptions.

At least your body will be used to not having any sleep...

MissChief Thu 11-Aug-05 09:35:11

don't know what others haved advised, but think it's v common for some women not to be able to sleep much - hormones, excitement, worry...try to rest as much as you can but also have times of keeping active - nesting stuff if you're in the mood. I always get annoyed when I read 8hrs a night plus nap - I wish! You will survive it though and it could be nature's way of prepping you for the on-off sleep/feed pattern of new born baby - again when you're not in control unlike when you're on schedule at work.
take care.

Kiwifruit Thu 11-Aug-05 09:50:38

Jenny - I would try swimming, massage, pedicure, going to the movies - all those 'me' things that you won't have a lot of time for once the baby arrives. I start my maternity leave in 10 days and can't wait to have some time to myself to do these things before all hell breaks loose when the baby arrives .

You could also hang out on Mumsnet - come and join us on the September antenatal thread...

LadyLazarus Fri 12-Aug-05 09:59:28

I found the transition from working full-time to being on mat. leave a bit weird at first, I guess it took a couple of weeks to get into it, but now I love it! You just have to get used to the slower pace of life, and like Kiwifruit says, plan some things that you might not have time for later on, read some nice books, go for coffees with people you haven't seen for a while... just take it easy on yourself and don't feel you have to cram as much into every day, try to have a few appointments each week (meeting friends, pampering, movies etc) and you'll not feel so out on a limb

NewChallengeforJen Fri 12-Aug-05 18:17:36

I went for a reflexlogy appointment this afternoon, with a bit of reiki thrown in and it really was very relaxing. The lady was really understanding and it was good to just talk to her as well. But saying that I tried to have a nap when I got back and it just didn't happen! Last night I slept for two lots of 30 minutes and one lot of 60 minute so am exhausted. I am worried that I will not have any energy left for the birth if this carries on. Been to the doctor and the midwife and they say they can't do anything. Aaagghh!!

Redhelen Sun 14-Aug-05 14:06:30

Hello Jen

I was exactly the same at 25 weeks (now 36) I paid for a councellor for 8 weeks (an ex mid wife) My stress turned out to be a mixture of anaemia and building stress about the labour. Feel much more relaxed now (still cant wait till labour over and baby here!)

My system had filled up with so much adrenalin I could not relax and sleep was impossible - the counsellor taught me to rid my system of adrenalin - by breating in for 4 seconds - holding it for seconds and breating out for 4 (called gas exchange - I did this as many times a day as I could)After doing this for 2 days I could watch tv and sleep ok (still got back ache and toliet breaks for upto 9 hours a night!) I also got to talk and talk about every little worry I had and clear them out!!

I also struggled when I left work - from having a key job with lots of people - to being on my own alot.

Sorry if this dosn't help - its just my expereience and we are all different. I was very similar when I had my ds too - and it just dissapeared when he was born.

Take care Helenxx

Redhelen Sun 14-Aug-05 14:10:44

PS - As said by Kiwifruit - come join the September ante-natal group - its could to talk to women having similar expereiences!

NewChallengeforJen Mon 15-Aug-05 00:17:58

Hi Red Helen

Thanks that was really useful. It is just great to know I am not the only one! Things have improved just a tiny bit over the last few days. I went for a 4km walk yesterday in the pouring rain in the Brecon Beacons and that helped. I know I am sure I shouldn't be doing that but like you I have constant adreniline and have to do loads to feel tired. I then slept quite a bit for me - 4 one hour slots and one two hour slot (whopeee!) so today I am totally wired with new energy!! Reflexology def. helped me though, and the reiki she did at the end. Am SO glad to hear that it did stop after DS was born. In fact, please tell me that again! Baby dropeed yesterday so that has helped with breathing etc. May see you on the September thread. x

Kiwifruit Mon 15-Aug-05 09:55:11


Just had another thought - have you tried any hypnobirthing CDs? Everyone on the September thread who has them says that they are very relaxing and they tend to fall asleep when listening. I got one from my doula the other day, but haven't had time to listen to it yet - must try and make some time tonight... There's some links on the September ante natal thread for where to buy them (you'll need to scroll down to messages from earlier last week).


LadyLazarus Mon 15-Aug-05 10:43:10

Hello, another "due in September" person here! I have used the hypnobirthing CDs KF mentions, and have found them invaluable when relaxing / falling asleep. I bought mine from Natal Hypnotherapy and cannot recommend them highly enough.

NewChallengeforJen Wed 17-Aug-05 00:16:41

Thanks for all the hellos - you have made me feel very welcome. Actually got a couple of hours kip last night (maximum nap length an hour, but it's a start!). Off to have my horlicks now. Jen x

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