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The Sleeping Bug

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A short while ago, I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I was seriously struggling with sleep, and for about half an hour or so I debated with myself on what I should do. Thing is I had so much on my desk, but was being very unproductive as all I kept thinking about was how to ward off the gnawing sleep pangs. Reminded me of days in my first trimester when my sleeping sickness was uncontrollable. I have never had so much sleep in my life like I had then, especially between weeks 7 – 11. I mean, I was a mess! You would be talking to me and I would sleep right there in your face, without the slightest notice that I was doing so. At work, I would attend meetings and proceed to catch a few winks right in the middle of it all. I remember my jaws ached because of my constant yawns. I would yawn so wide you could literally see the small tongue behind my tonsils. And my eyes (when not asleep), were always watery and red, heavily pregnant (pun intended) with sleep. Each time you saw me, I was either yawning or sleeping. It was especially bad when the clock would hit noon, because I would promptly proceed to shut my eyes, regardless of what I was doing. By 1 o’clock, I would be sound asleep, wherever I was – standing, seated, walking, eating, whatever.

The worst was when stuck in traffic and I was driving, because despite opening all windows to get a cool breeze and playing loud music to keep me awake, I would often find myself dozing off. That was very unsafe and irresponsible of me I must confess, because I knew I shouldn’t have been driving in the first place. But just like you, I am a normal human being who more often than not throws logic out of the window. But I learnt my lesson soon after as I crashed head on with a matatu (a public service vehicle) during one of my half-asleep-half-awake stupors. And you would think it was because I wasn’t getting enough sleep but nooooooo, I would wake up at 8am, be at work by 9am, leave the office at 6pm, and be in bed by latest 7.00pm.

Anyway, the sleeping bug has now returned, in my last trimester. While I was quite energetic and active all through my second trimester, it now seems I’m back to square one. But I am proud to say that this time round, my sleeping sickness is of the mature type. What I mean is that I am now more cultured and mannered in how I catch those winks, and especially while at work. If you are talking to me, I assure you I will not sleep on you. If I attend a meeting, I guarantee you that I will not fall asleep. That is until you start speaking in a monotone. And thankfully, I am not yawning constantly like in the first trimester and my eyes are not blood shot. Just a little pinkish but not red.

How I manage my sleeping sickness nowadays is that during my lunch hour, I proceed to the basement and take a snooze in my car. That helps sort out the sleep pangs quite A LOT. So today, the sleep pangs came at about 10.30 am. For the next half hour, I agonized over how I would make it till my lunch hour. Clearly, it was a losing battle because all I was doing was fantasizing about that a nap. The urge was so overwhelming, perhaps comparable to what addicts feel when they need a fix. I badly needed to sleep. So I went ahead and slept in the car, only to be suddenly woken up by my loud snores and drooling I was doing on the car cushion. I actually didn’t know that one’s own snore could wake one up. I was both shocked and amused. More so because the hubby says I snore HEAVILY at night, but I don’t believe him. I am beginning to think twice. Since I slept for an amazing 75 minutes, I’ve kissed my lunch hour goodbye.

But I feel much better now, hoping that I won’t feel sleepy again in the afternoon.

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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.

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