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HAGEN: Baby may have to fight bed-hog dogs for space

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Luke Hagen, Daily Republic Assistant Editor  I share a bed every night with my pregnant wife, our rat terrier and our 75-pound black lab.

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No, we don’t have a king-size bed. It’s a queen, and it’s cramped.

Long before Shannon and I learned in September we were having our first child, the two of us squeezed under the covers and barely got any room of our own. Our dogs are bed hogs.

Now, she’s four months pregnant and her stomach is starting to grow and her sleep pattern has been horrible.

She can’t sleep through the night. She tosses, turns, rolls and moans because she’s sore, she’s tired of my snoring or the dogs are annoying.

Early in the pregnancy, it was like clockwork that she would wake up at about 2 a.m., and she wouldn’t be able to fall asleep. When we asked our doctor about it, he said it’s Mother Nature getting her ready to become a mother. That way, when baby Hagen arrives, Shannon is accustomed to waking up in the middle of the night and can take care of the little one.

I liked that answer, because it was going to be my reason to use when we become new parents and our child wakes us in the middle of the night. Then, when we battle over who would get up, I would say, “You’ve gotten used to being awake at this time. You can take care of the baby. Mother Nature has prepared you for this.”

About two weeks ago in the middle of the night, I was deep asleep and Shannon was yelling at the dogs and about not having enough blankets. She started complaining about how she cannot sleep — again — and how she had to be awake in two hours to get up and get ready for work.

I turned, looked at her and said something like, “What am I supposed to do about it? Won’t you just let me sleep?”

It wasn’t a good choice of words, despite my excuse of not being completely awake.

Shannon didn’t respond to my questions but still made me regret them. She tossed off the blankets, got out of bed and said to the dogs, “Let’s go downstairs. Let’s let Luke sleep.”

There was no going back to sleep after that, at least not right away. Letting a pregnant woman sulk in her frustration over lack of sleep wasn’t a good idea.

After getting out of bed and apologizing, I started going into deep thought. Apparently, as Mother Nature gets Shannon ready to be a mother, it’s her job to get me ready to be a father, meaning if she doesn’t get to sleep, neither do I.

I guess I figured out the meaning of the phrase, “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

Recently, the doctor told us Shannon’s sleep patterns will get worse in the months leading up to our due date, June 9. I’ve already learned my lesson to think through my thoughts before opening my mouth when awoken in the middle of the night.

And as for our bed, I’ve really started considering upgrading to a king size for when our family grows. Next year at this time, there may be nights when Shannon wakes me up and asks me to take care of our little one.

I will, because she has prepared me through her unpredictable sleep habits. But when I carry our child back to our bed and try to lie down, and I see Shannon sprawled out, our lab stretched from corner to corner and our rat terrier sleeping on my pillow, I’m just going to go downstairs and let them sleep.

Baby Hagen and I will take the couch. There’s no way we’re getting five in our bed.

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