Yes, it’s true. Marta has kicked me out of the bed.
All is still well between us, but our bed is a double. And Marta is double her size. Or almost.
The problems started a couple weeks ago. Marta would occasionally ask me if I minded sleeping on the futon so she could get a solid night’s sleep. Or I would wander off to another sleeping spot on my own after being woken up one to many times by her trips to the bathroom.
I’m a light sleeper. Before the pregnancy, this meant very little as Marta sleeps like a rock. But in the past few weeks our bed has been the scene of a strange new horizontal dance routine. Marta shifts to one side. I wake up, switch sides as well to accommodate her protruding belly. Ten minutes later: She switches sides again. I wake up, switch sides too and snuggle up against her, hand on her belly. Ten minutes later: She wakes up, claims to be overheated and asks me to give her some space. I sulk and turn my back. She tells me she loves me. We fall asleep. Ten minutes later: the whole process begins again.
To make matters worse, Marta is trying to finish a dissertation. She has about two more weeks before it’s due. And she’s enormous (ly beautiful). Getting a good night’s sleep has taken on extra import. After sleeping apart for a few days last week, we decided on Friday to try sleeping together. I slept like a baby. Marta, not so well.
The next day she was a wreck. Until the dissertation is done, she declared, you’re sleeping on the futon.
Which hasn’t been so bad. We still start the night in bed together. I’ll read and she’ll do some work…until just at the point when I’m ready to go to sleep. Then I’ll tiptoe down the hall, unfold the futon, set up my blankets and pillows and wake up Finn so I can carry his dog bed over to the foot of the futon (if I’m going to be kicked out of bed, I figure, to dog goes with me). Then in the morning, the first one of us to wake up will wander over to the other’s bed for a moment’s snuggle and chat. This morning, for instance, Marta came to me. She was jokey and hyper. Because she’d slept so well the night before.
Me, not so much.
The problem is that, ever since I got sent to the futon, I’ve been sleeping fatal, as the Spaniards would say. I wake up every night and am usually up for an hour or so. Often it’s around 2:30 a.m. Two nights ago I couldn’t get back to sleep until 4 a.m. Which is not normal for me. I may be a light sleeper, but I’m not an insomniac. Last night I slept decently until about 5 a.m., then Finn woke me up. He’s getting old and has started doing this strange thing. He’ll get up from bed in the middle of the night and just stand in the hallway. Like he’s lost.
I woke up when I heard his nails on the hallway tile last night and began to worry about him. My next instinct was to feel sorry for myself. Here I am the outcast lover, separated from my fetus-baby, sleeping on the floor beside my dying dog!
But sleepless thoughts are notoriously irrational. After an hour or so I had a mini-revelation that finally allowed me to drift off. Perhaps I, too, am preparing myself for the baby’s arrival, I thought. Nearly all the pregnancy books I’ve read put forth the theory that expectant mothers have trouble sleeping in the third trimester for the obvious physical reasons (added weight and a constant need to go pee) but also because, subconsciously, they are readying themselves for the even more-sleepless nights to come once the baby arrives. Like a heavy dose of discomfort before the out-and-out torture sets in.
And the thought that I am also being pre-tortured some how makes the sleepless nights seem less painful. Ditto to sleeping on the futon.
As for Finn, I’m sure he’s fine. This morning, when Marta came to visit me on the futon, I told her how worried I was about his erratic, possibly senile behavior. She posed an alternate theory. Perhaps he was just coming to check in on me, she said. Which could very well be the fact. As I explained a while back, Finn has been extra vigilant of Marta ever since she got pregnant. So it’s quite possible that he wasn’t standing, lost, in the hallway, but instead standing attentive and protective in the hallway just outside her bedroom, where she was sleeping like a baby.