Sleep has become a challenge in the last couple of months. For starters, I am — and for as long as I can remember, have always been — a stomach sleeper. Occasionally I fall asleep on my back, but I have certainly never been comfortable on my sides. Obviously sleeping on my stomach has become an impossibility now, and it is not recommended to sleep flat on the back after the first trimester (the weight of the uterus may compress the inferior vena cava, leading to reduced blood flow to both mom and baby), so I have been trying in vain to learn to sleep on my side.
So far, it’s not going terribly well. I have tried everything from sofa throw cushions to expensive memory foam body pillows, and nothing really seems to provide the support I need in order to remain comfortably on my side (and not have my arm go numb after an hour). We even upgraded to a king-sized bed to give me more room to toss and turn without disturbing J (and to provide more room for all the darn pillows, which appear to be procreating like rabbits!).
It seems that part of the sleep problem — or at least what may be exacerbating it — is the high level of ambient noise and light in our bedroom. We live in a condo just off of a very high-traffic downtown street, run a humidifier all night to offset the drying effect of central HVAC, and have huge floor-to-ceiling windows with those horrible “regulation” vertical blinds that must be visible from the outside of the building in accordance with the condo bylaws. Manufacturing and installation of blackout drapes for the amount of window space we have in our bedroom alone (never mind the baby’s room) will cost almost $4500! 😦 I know this because we got an estimate a few weeks back. In the interim, we’ve been using ear plugs and eye masks, but these are far from ideal.
Combine all that with the fact that I have to get up to use the washroom at least once, but usually twice, during the night, and I suspect that we are probably not getting much more or better sleep than we will when the baby arrives. It’s becoming a little frustrating, but I suppose we can think of it as training.
On the weekend I had a massage, and the massage therapist had this great pregnancy support pillow that allowed me to lie on my stomach very comfortably. It looked something like this:
Maybe this is the answer to my sleep problems? Sigh… more pillows.