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I have a minor problem with stuff. Maybe it’s from moving six times in seven years, but having too much stuff makes me anxious and grumpy. (I am also admittedly terrible at picking up after myself, which is probably the cause and effect of being anxious and grumpy about too much stuff. And so the sneaky hate spiral swirls merrily on!)
I realize that babies come with a lot of gear, but even in my nesting rampage over winter break, I was determined to stick to the basics and the budget because we don’t have a lot of space and may not have a lot of disposable income after Fire Monkey arrives.
So my aversion to acquiring stuff (and the causative Asian frugality) combined to make me procrastinate far longer than probably necessary in procuring most of my maternity essentials, including maternity clothes. (I finally gave up on the hair elastic trick for my pre-pregnancy pants this week and am determined to live in nothing but muumuus and leggings after spring break.) I think on some level I was also stubbornly determined to continue on with life as usual as long possible because change ruffles my feathers. But now that I have less than 6 weeks to go I thought I’d finally embrace all the wonderful things that have made my pregnancy (slightly) easier.
1. Memory foam mattress topper – This was probably the first major change we made to our home routine, besides occasionally finding dirty dishes in the cereal cabinet. (Yes, we have a cabinet for cereal.) Science Guy had a twin size memory foam mattress topper for camping, and since about second trimester when my hip started hurting pretty consistently, it has occupied 40-60% of the bed. The first night I slept on it was literally life-changing. I was able to move and sleep pain-free for about three months, and now I just wake up with a bit of ache that usually goes away after I move around for a bit.
2. Leachco Snoogle Total Body Pillow – People told me to get one of these from day one, but I procrastinated, choosing instead to build an increasingly precarious pillow fort on top of the memory foam foundation mentioned above. (I think I was up to three pillows by the time I finally got the Snoogle.) Science Guy patiently endured the suffocation hazard without much complaint, but when he went out of town for a week at the beginning of third trimester I finally decided to bite the bullet. I found a gently used one on a B/S/T site for just a couple bucks, and like the memory foam, it made a huge difference, though not quite as dramatically. (I guess wrestling an alligator is more restful than juggling three flattened wombats in my sleep. I don’t actually know if our pillows are the size of flattened wombats but whatever.) When Science Guy got back, he saw the bed (which I also refused to make for a week) and protested, “You replaced me!” At first the Snoogle really helped support my back and kept me from rolling onto my back too many times. Now I sleep with it in front as often as not, just to give my belly a little extra support.
3. Roll a Lotion – I’ve always had dry skin and pregnancy hormones have not been kind to my epidermis, though my keratosis pilaris seems to have improved. Add to that a warmer-than-typical-but-still-cold-gray-and-sad-Ohio-winter and my integumentary system has not been a happy camper for several months now. Enter the Roll a Lotion…where have you been all my life?! Unlike some made for TV products, this one actually worked pretty well for me. The rollerballs applies a nice even layer of lotion (and provide a decent, quick mini-massage), and the long handle makes it possible to reach the portion of my mid to lower back affectionately known as the Dust Bowl.
4. The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide for Dads-to-Be – Science Guy bought this at the suggestion of his graduate adviser and I’ve actually stolen it to read at least once a month. Mommy books tend to focus on the physical growth and development of the baby and mom’s body, which is totally fine and helpful, but the dad book, as it’s known around our house, has really good practical, life-with-a-baby-in-general advice that the mommy books just don’t cover. It’s probably partially because of this book (but mostly because my husband is who he is) that his before-the-baby to-do list consists of things like:
- Establish a will and redesignate savings and insurance beneficiaries.
- Install the car seat.
- Pack the hospital bag a month in advance.
- Learn and practice driving different routes to the hospital.
And mine has things like:
- Sew 17 blankets.
(Don’t worry, I do have an actual practical list that I’m going to conquer over spring break.)
So there you have it. The top four things that have made pregnant life a little easier for me. Until next time,