Monday, January 31, 2011

My Pillow

I haven't been sleeping well for the last couple of weeks.  There have been several contributing factors to my interrupted slumber:  sick kids, a nursing newborn, and a lingering cough to name a few.  Probably the greatest factor, though, is that I haven't been sleeping with my pillow.

I have this wonderful squishy pillow with an ugly green pillowcase.  The pillow is pretty old.  I think it was Ray's before we got married.  The pillow case is probably even older than the pillow.  I think my mom gave it to me.  If my mom rejected it, then it must be pretty bad.  And it is.  The thing is green, floral, and hideous.  But it covers my wonderful squishy pillow, so I can't help but love it.

I claimed the green pillow when I was pregnant with AJ.  It was the only way I could sleep comfortably with my belly so big.  I think I also kind of used it to replace my husband.  Things with Ray were pretty awful that year, and I'd often cry myself to sleep while hugging that pillow.

After AJ was born, my big belly went away, but the pillow did not.  My pillow became a source of comfort in more ways than one.  It helped me sleep more comfortably, but it also somehow made me feel less alone.  I was able to use my pillow as a barrier between Ray and I in bed.  I used it to cover up and hide my post-baby body, and I used it to keep him at a distance.

Ray made comments about it a lot.  I think he always knew that I was using that pillow as a barrier between the two of us.  He knew I was covering up and keeping him away.  My excuse was that it helped me sleep more comfortably, which was true.  But I never let myself consider that maybe my comfort shouldn't come before the health of my marriage.

After Melody was born, I started to think about my green pillow.  I started to realize that maybe it was causing more harm than good.  So for the last couple of weeks (give or take), my green pillow has stayed on the floor at bedtime.

I have to be honest, I'm not sleeping well at all.  My body has forgotten how to sleep without that pillow and I wake up with my hands and arms all twisted up and tingling from loss of blood flow.  I'm just not as comfortable.

And to be honest, I'm not sure it has really helped my marriage at all either.  I'm pretty sure Ray hasn't even noticed that the pillow has been staying on the floor.

But I think it has been good for me.  It has forced me out of my comfort zone.  It has made me think about the space I was choosing to keep between me and Ray.  When I wake up in the night, I often put my tingling hands on Ray's chest or arms instead of wrapping them around a pillow.

Hopefully soon my body will get used to sleeping without it (and if not, I'll just keep loading up on coffee each morning), but even if I wake up with tingling achy arms for the rest of my life, I think it's worth it.  He's worth it.

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