Like many people, my morning shower is when I allow myself time to gather my daily thoughts, run the weekly to-do list through my head, and maybe, depending on my mood, squeeze in 30 to 45 iconic (to me) and agonizing (to Nate) seconds of the refrain to Joplin’s “Bobby McGee.” The shower is one of my favorite places on earth – warm water, complete privacy, relatively-soundproof walls – what could be better? It’s the place that revitalizes my eyelids, refreshes my skin, and removes my stink. Most mornings, once I’m actually OUT of bed and well-rested, the shower is my happy place…”na na na na nana Bobby McGeeeeee…”
Oh, this morning was quite a different story. After literally rolling out of bed and maneuvering myself upright, I looked down onto the bed. I saw four regular pillows for my head, one body pillow for my ever-growing body, and one large decorative pillow for my lower legs. Then, squashed in the corner against the wall, I saw my husband and dog sharing one flattened, sad-looking pillow and what little sheet coverage that was able to stretch to that far end of the bed. I wobbled to the bathroom, stiff and sore, and wondered what the heck I did in my sleep that caused my to feel this way. It was sunny and warm outside. The dog slept through the night. I had gone to bed at 10. All signs point to a blissful morning. So, why this feeling of pain and restlessness? Did I sleep on a construction cone? Were my pajamas stitched with barbed wire? Had I unconsciously attended the Kickboxing from Hell class, taught by the Devil himself? I determined, on my walk to the bathroom, that the problem was quite simple. I was very, very pregnant, and THAT is very, very uncomfortable.
I spent my relaxing, mind-cleansing shower time rearranging pillow patterns in my head. Maybe, if I laid on my left side with my arm tucked under the body pillow and my leg draped over Nate, I could stuff two of the other pillows behind my back so I was perfectly parallel to the mattress. The others could be tucked under my shoulder blades for added support to my neck. No, no, no…that won’t work. That doesn’t solve the painful dilemma I am having with my left shoulder. What if I tried the body pillow under my head and neck, wrapped ever-so-gently around my stomach, then I would clutch one pillow, providing the necessary pressure to get my back to press against the two pillows I’d have propped behind me…And on, and on, and on, and on… I felt like Russell Crowe from A Beautiful Mind. If my brain were a chalkboard, it would’ve been covered with possible sleeping scenarios and equations. If X, then Y. If A, then B. It was a pillow puzzle and my pieces were not fitting together comfortably. What a waste of a shower.
Being stiff and sore all day does NOT do a body good. I spent all day rearranging myself in my office chair. People probably thought I had a severe case of hemorrhoids the way I was awkwardly shifting all day. I looked online for ways to get good sleep during pregnancy, and some of tips were decent: 1) Avoid fluids before bed – Done. 2) Exercise before laying down – Tried it. 3) Reduce stress and anxiety – No prob. 4) Have sex – No comment. 5) Support your body – HOW!!? First of all, my body is about 30 pounds more work to “support” than I’m used to. Secondly, I’ve never done this before, so how about a little detail? “Support your body.” That’s like sending a rookie circus clown into the center ring of a sold-out show with a handkerchief and a kazoo, saying “Be funny.” Before I gained these pounds and became a human basketball pump, I knew how to sleep. I knew how to get comfortable. And I certainly knew how to support my body. Now what I’m looking for is a little advice and a lot of strategy on how to accommodate my NEW body. It’s only temporary, so I needn’t perfect it, but it will certainly help in these next three months.
Maybe our bodies go through this process for a reason. Maybe God designed it so He could kill two birds with one stone – the pain is to help increase our tolerance to prepare us for D(elivery)-Day and the sleeplessness is to prepare us for, well, the rest of our lives. What a subtle, clever way to do it. Clever and cruel. Kind of summarizes the whole package of pregnancy, doesn’t it?
All I know is, it will be nice when I can once again look forward to crashing on my pillow-top bed after a long, hard day and can throw the multitudes of pillows by the wayside. I will thoroughly enjoy lying within three feet of my husband again. I look forward to being able to enjoy a car ride without sitting like I have a tree shoved so far up my butt that the branches poke out of my ears. But, mostly, I can’t WAIT to get my precious hippy-impersonating shower time back.
The world can rest assured I will never EVER take a good night’s sleep for granted again. I swear on the pillowless corner of Haight-Ashbury and the body of Bobby McGee.