I should be sleeping, but ten or so minutes ago I called out for help in my sleep. It’s been another (now rare) night that my body slipped into sleep paralysis. This has been ongoing for years and happens most often when I’m extremely stressed or laying on my back. Tonight I was on my side, and although there is always a certain level of stress that comes from motherhood, pregnancy and life in general, I haven’t been feeling particularly stressed.

It always happens in the same way and perhaps you’ve experienced this too. I’ll be dreaming and then I’ll want to wake up, so my brain tries to. I start trying to move my limbs, to open my eyes… And nothing moves. I will my toes to wiggle, my fingers to scratch against the sheets so that someone, anyone outside of my body can hear me. I try to call out and in my mind it’s working, I’m shouting for help, I’m calling Curtis to rescue me and shake me from my slumber.

In the past it had been a slight scratching that Curtis has heard and he has awoken me. Other times I finally break free and it’s the sudden spasmodic movement of my body that wakes him. Tonight for the first time ever, my voice broke through first.

I am always so thankful for the times that this happens and Curtis is beside me to comfort me afterwards and make me feel safe. But on the nights I’m alone, waking up and clawing at the sheets for some comfort makes me feel like I’m drowning.

I’m thankful that in more recent years this happens far less often than the nightly torture I experienced ten years ago. Those led me to the hospital to have EEGs to rule out seizures and narcolepsy. I guess sleep paralysis is some sort of mild narcolepsy, I’m still not clear as to why this happens and really what I can do to prevent it other than laying on my sides to sleep and trying to be stress free.

This has been my way of relaxing tonight, to just write this down after an episode and get it out of my head.


Maternity Leave In America – A Depressing Outlook

So this evening I was looking at an interesting info-graphic that shows the differences in paid maternity leave in various countries. It’s not the most well made info-graphic (spelling mistakes/missing data) but it does give an interesting, and quite saddening overview.

Why saddening? Because when you think about it, in America it would seem that the value of a fetus is seen as far more important than the woman bearing it.

I am blessed to have the opportunity to stay at home with my children whilst my husband supports us financially. That isn’t always an option whether the mother would like to or not. In a workforce that still pays women less than men and is unsupportive of maternal growth is it any wonder that in a study by Duke University, they found a direct correlation between the lack of maternity leave (time spent with baby) and postpartum depression?

In another study by the University of Maryland, not only do they show the data that supports this theory, but end the article in noting;

“The study concludes that “the current leave duration provided by the Family and Medical Leave Act, 12 weeks, may not be sufficient for mothers at risk for or experiencing postpartum depression” and that future leave policy debates should take into consideration the postpartum health of mothers. Moreover, “employers should consider providing more generous leaves than the 12 weeks of unpaid leave granted by the FMLA through expanding the duration of leave given or providing paid leave or both,” urged Dr. Dagher.”

If this issue is highlighted in medical studies, why has there been no change to how maternity leave is handled? Does the health of women come in so low on the scale of importance in this society and economy that these types of studies are completely overlooked?

We are talking about the health and well being of a human being, the value of new life goes beyond the fetus, it is equally if not more important that the mother, the primary care giver in the majority of cases is in good mental and physical health to take care of their offspring and themselves. When we start viewing women, in this case particularly mothers in terms of their monetary value, we are treating them no better than cattle.

A Vicious Cycle

I get really frustrated with myself sometimes, okay, a lot of the time! Every couple of months I look at second hand roller skates on craigslist, skate trader and other buy/sell/swap sites. I honestly don’t know why, I’m not planning on buying any and all it leads me to is having the same round about conversation about whether I’ll return to derby or not.

It’s always my husband and a friend of ours who I talk to about it and they are probably getting pretty fed up of my flip flopping and to be honest, so am I! I’m not a fish, I need to grow a bigger back bone and move the hell on!

So why does it crop up every few months? I haven’t even watched a bout in probably two years, so much had changed in Roller Derby and in my life. Soon I’ll have a 2 year old and a newborn baby, not exactly the time to start thinking about dipping my toe back into that cesspool.

I do have a fitness goal however, and that’s to lose my pregnancy weight, gain muscle, work on endurance and kick the ass of a Tough Mudder!

In the meantime, I feel like I need a memory wipe of just my involvement in Roller Derby to break me from this stupid cycle! So, if anyone sees these guys, send them my way!