It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Personally I think Charles Dickens was really a woman. That line from the opening of a ‘Tale of Two Cities’ is one of the best descriptions of pregnancy I’ve comes across. The best of times, certainly, a new baby is worth celebrating. The worst of times, well fortunately it’s only a few months, but with morning sickness at the start, back pain, swollen ankles, painful breasts and just not being comfortable ANYWHERE at the end, it can also seem like the worst of times.
I will never forget my first pregnancy. The morning sickness was unpleasant because I was traveling a great deal, but once that stopped and I spent most of my time at home writing, I began to ‘bloom’, Then, about the end of the sixth month sitting just wasn’t comfortable and not too long after I began to find it difficult to find a comfortable position in bed. By the time I hit 36 weeks I could remember vaguely that at the beginning I had been worried about the experience of birth. Would it be painful, and if so, how bad? By that last month all I could think of was how much I wanted the baby out. My biggest problem was lack of sleep. With all those helpful people telling me how little sleep I’d get after the baby was born, I wanted to be sure I got some in before hand, but it really wasn’t working out. At 38 weeks my consultant said he felt a cesarean was in order and I nearly kissed him.
Of course they were all right. After the birth I had a hungry baby to feed, and that was another problem. I was determined to feed him myself, but none of the chairs in our house seemed designed for the purpose. If I was propped up with cushions everything went well, but it was really difficult to do by myself, which meant daytime feeding often went badly and I’d be a wreck by the time my husband got home.
Fast forward some years and I was pregnant again, but this time I was prepared and determined to go into motherhood in an altogether calmer, more organised fashion. Morning sickness was worse, but I limited my travelling. All I needed was the solution to the sleep problem. I’d just had an ultrasound scan which confirmed I was carrying a boy ( I wasn’t), when a very good friend brought me a pillow. Not just any old pillow, it was a really funny shape and we all had a good laugh at it, but just in case it was useful I took it to bed,and had a great night’s sleep. I stuck to that pillow throughout and never suffered from the sleeplessness that plagued my first pregnancy. I joked that the pillow was my favourite bedtime companion, we even gave it a name: Bob. After the birth I found Bob the pillow was ideal for feeding, and my husband often came home to find my son and I, the baby and Bob, all warm and cuddled together dozing happily.
If you know someone who is pregnant, do them a favor and save them from hours of lying awake thinking. Give them a pillow like Bob. There are many pregnancy maternity body pillows around, you’re bound to find one to suit. There’s no greater gift you can give a new mother or mother to be than the gift of comfortable sleep.