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From Fear to Maternity: Neglecting that side of marriage


Yvonne Hogan Photo: Marc O'Sullivan

Yvonne Hogan Photo: Marc O'Sullivan

Yvonne Hogan Photo: Marc O'Sullivan

'Oooh," he said with an intense look in his eyes

"What the hell are you talking about?" I replied, feeling a bit panicked.

As far as I was concerned, I had just had a great night's sleep. Don't tell me that I now have to worry about sexsomnia -- a real medical condition where the sufferer engages in sex while asleep -- on top of everything else.

You see, I have been a bit worried about losing my mind of late. I just don't feel as sharp as I used to.

I lose things -- last week I spent an hour tearing the whole house apart looking for my coat, only to discover that I was wearing it.

I forget what I am saying in the middle of a sentence, I zone out a lot, and not on purpose.

And any filter I had between what I think and what I say has completely gone.

On the Luas the other day, I saw a young fella sitting on one of those 'vacate if an elderly or disabled person needs it' seats. "That will do me nicely," I thought.

Having long given up on expecting chivalry and basic manners on public transport, I have started to ask for seats, instead of standing until I faint and then giving out afterwards to anyone who'll listen about people not giving up their seats.

This happened to me one day on my way home from work. Surrounded by men and women in suits, I stood on the Luas with my big bump. I started getting hot and faint and took off my jacket.

Still nothing.

Then, I really started to black out, so I half-sat, half-fell to the floor. Still nobody offered me a seat, but even worse, nobody asked if I was okay.

When I literally crawled off at my stop, no one helped me.

It's not a nice feeling. And it's not just me.

Lots of pregnant women have similar stories. My favourite is one from a friend who was standing in the waiting room at the perinatal (just about to pop) unit, while half the seats were taken up by expectant fathers engrossed in their laptops.


But anyway, back to my mental incontinence.

"I'll have that," I thought to myself, of the seat on the Luas. But instead of politely smiling and saying to the young man, "Excuse me, would you mind if I sat down?" I stood right over him with my bump centimetres from his nose and said, in a dead monotone, "I'm going to sit there now".

Up he got like a shot.

But now, back to my sexsomnia -- you see, my mind is all over the place.

Although concerned at my memory loss, I was kind of relieved at the idea that relations may have taken place. I must admit, I have been feeling a bit guilty about neglecting that side of my marriage of late.

The first trimester was great -- it was like being on Viagra. Couldn't get enough. The second was normal enough, but the third... well, let me put it this way.

Call me unimaginative, but when you are front-loaded with about 30lbs, there is only one position that suggests itself. And I already feel enough like a beast of burden, thank you very much.

"What do you mean I kept you up all night?" I asked. "What did you do to me? Was I not asleep or something?"

"You were asleep," he replied. "Or something. Something unholy."

"What are you talking about?" I asked. "Tell me."

"I'll show you," he replied, taking out his phone.

It began emitting a noise like nothing I've ever heard. It started as a congested rasp and rose suddenly to a loud, guttural crescendo, a sort of mix between a snort and a roar, before tapering off to a groan. Over and over again.

It was truly horrible. And unrelenting.

"Turn it off!" I begged. "What the hell is it?"

"It's you," he replied, "snoring. And when you least expect it, I am going to make it the ring tone on your phone."

Apparently, I am not alone. Snoring is quite common in the third trimester. I googled it.

"So does that mean we didn't have relations?" I asked.

"No," he replied, looking at me with less than lust. "We definitely didn't have relations."

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