December 1st: Sleep

I want to try and write one thing a day this month, almost entirely about pregnancy, so I dont forget it all before the next part (the baby part) so dont be surprised if all the windows in my particular advent calendar open to reveal a heavily pregnant woman wishing she had a donkey because frankly it would be better than having to waddle out for a walk one more time.

– Pregnants cant sleep on their back. Theres a thing no one bothered to tell me before I turned into one. After a certain point in pregnancy (and that could be further along for some people than others, because, never forget, NO PREGNANCY IS THE SAME AS ANY OTHER. It is both one of the most charming and annoying things about it) – somewhere in the middle, say – the increasing weight of your uterus makes it slightly uncomfortable to be on your back. A little further on – closer to two thirds of the way through, perhaps – the increasing weight of your uterus makes it so that lying on your back can make you feel dizzy, nauseous, and possibly fainty. And this is lying on your back, remember.

Not something fun and exciting like hang-gliding, or swimming with sharks. This is that thing that youve been doing ever since you were born when you wanted to take a nap. Its lying on your back.

I really, really miss lying on my back right now. Please, if you get the chance, have a little lie on your back for me. And just think about how nice that is. Dont tell me though. It will only make me sad.

– Pregnants cant sleep on their stomach either. Because someone else is already sleeping on it.

– It is most healthy for the everyday Pregnant to sleep on their left side. Though they can also sleep on their right. And they can sleep on both. Left, then right, then left again for a while, and then maybe back to the right. Which sounds simple enough – and it is… until, I am discovering, you are almost fully cooked (say, 8 months out of the recommended nine done).

Then it isnt anymore.

I sleep on both my left side and my right. Fine. But getting from one to the other is currently like moving a three-seater sofa up a flight of stairs. I have to wake up every time and try and consider which end to move first, and at which angle. My objective may just to put a different side of my cheek on the pillow, but its prefaced by all manner of strategic to-me, to-you to get there.

This is not very restful. Especially when you lie on your back half way through and think Oooh, this is nice…, and then remember that its just not going to work out well at all.

– There is money in pregnancy pillows Not literally. Although if they were stuffed with fivers it might, I supposed, go some way toward explaining how expensive they are. Instead, they are just pillows. Special pillows you can buy to help you sleep in pregnancy. Which makes them sound very simple. They are not. Some are shaped like bananas, and filled with beans. Some are shaped like swans, and filled with science. Some, shaped like elephants, have a large flap that you lie on, a lump of foam to support your bump, a long padded trunk to rest between your knees, and take up about half the bed (if you have a king size bed, otherwise they take up about three-quarters of it. Good luck if you have a partner).

I have a banana filled with tiny beans. It is very effective at getting an optimal nights sleep. At least that is what Smallcat (who has commandeered it) assures me. When she isnt using it, I sometimes get to. I also find it to be good.

– Unlike the sleep when they sleep rule I have been told to observe once Doozer emerges, late pregnancy contains the rule: Only one of you will sleep at once. Getting to know the small adorable parasite living in your middle, it turns out that the moving around you do during the day, walking, working, talking etc, helps to soothe them to sleep. When it is quiet and still, that is when they wake up and do the most kicking in the innards with their adorable little feet. Their feet (sight unseen) are very adorable. The kicking is only questionably adorable.

Oh alright, its also adorable.

– The first and last thirds of pregnancy are generally recognised as being the sleepiest: Which is reassuring, because

*Falls asleep*