I’m currently taking advantage of my final weeks where I have the option to either sleep on my back or stomach. Of course, I’m already not really sleeping. I’m just turning myself around for eight hours, like a rotisserie chicken, with three or four pit stops to the bathroom. Because, why not?
I’m not partial to sleeping on my back but when you can’t do it for six months, it becomes the forbidden fruit of sleeping positions. It’s not allowed and you don’t really need to do it, but it feels soooo good. Kind of like sneaking Girl Scout cookies no one in the house even knew you bought.
I thought this rule was a courtesy to my stomach. If I couldn’t roll over on my stomach (not without serious momentum) then why not exclude the back as well? Turns out it has nothing to do with courtesy. Eventually, my uterus will be the size of a St. Bernard—but heavier. There’s a vein that lives in my back and its main job is returning blood from my lower body to my heart. Lying on my back would cause my ginormous uterus to land on this vein creating a biological traffic jam that would make rush hour in Los Angeles feel like a Sunday drive.
Also, my liver resides in the right side of my body and my unstoppable uterus doesn’t care. It’ll roll right over crushing it like a World Wrestling Federation Star: The Ultimate Uterus. My liver is important. I’m going to need it when I start drinking after a long day of chasing three kids in four different directions.
Maybe you’re thinking, “But I’m not a left side sleeper.” And now you’re obsessing over this, which is causing worry to spill into other areas of critical life issues like, should the cat have rain boots to go outside when it’s raining? The answer is yes, if you live in Los Angeles.
My best advice for solving late trimester sleep issues is:
- Get a body pillow.
- Name it “Norm.” It’s like having a third person in bed, so everyone might as well get familiar with each other.
- Put it between your legs and under your belly.
- Wrap it around your back like a tacky mink shawl that you could NOT get away with wearing in Los Angeles.
It’s inevitable that sleep will eventually become a cruel and frustrating game of pillow shifting and flip-flopping. I’ll tell myself a thousand times that I’ll never sleep on my left side again. Ever. Six months of sleeping in the same position is like your own personal rendition of Groundhog Day.
Little sleep during pregnancy is Mother Nature’s way of easing me into nightlife with a newborn. Soon, the forbidden fruit will no longer be back sleeping; it’ll just be sleeping. It won’t matter what position I “can” sleep in, I’ll take ten minutes wrapped around the cat post if it means solid sleep. It’s got carpet. It’s very posh. Los Angeles approved.