So, I don’t want to be whiny, but sleeping while pregnant is hard. I’m a back sleeper, but when you’ve got a baby filled uterus they recommend you sleep on your left side to prevent compression of the inferior vena cava. (The major vein that returns blood from your lower extremities to the heart.) It took me many months to get used to the position so that I could sleep more than a few hours before becoming uncomfortable. Of course right when that happened, I started having to get up every few hours to pee so it was irrelevant. Now I wake up every two hours for no apparent reason – maybe the baby is kicking me, maybe my back hurts, maybe I’ve gotten a headache again, maybe I have to pee. Usually I have no idea why I’ve awoken, but it is very hard to get back to sleep after this happens.
In many cases I wake poor Will up while I try to get comfortable again. Today I told Will that I’d only woken up 3 times last night and Will remarked that he actually had a restful night. My response was that I knew I hadn’t woken him up because he was snoring every time I woke up. He chuckled and said that multiple times he had considered recording a snapchat of me snoring, but thought better of it. My dad is a legendary snorer and apparently in my current state I’m nearly able to compete with him. Discouraging.
While we’re on the subject of annoying Will while he sleeps, I have to tell you about my pillows. When I had to switch to side sleeping, every forum I looked at recommended this pillow the size of a man – the snoogle. It is a c-shaped pillow that you are supposed to lean either your back or your belly on. For me, my back is the thing that hurts most while sleeping on my side, so I use it to lean my back against while I sleep in a little nest. It’s like having a third person in the bed. Plus when I have to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, I have to disentangle myself from the pillow so not to kill myself. Both reasons add to me inevitably waking Will up at night.
In recent days, even the giant third man in the bed has been unable to solve my current problem – belly support. My mom gave me an old memory foam pillow to counteract the belly issue, but the pillow itself has a groove in it. I guess the point of the groove is to keep your neck cradled while your head lies in the valley. Normally I sleep with my belly in the center of the groove with the walls of the valley cradling my stomach. Unfortunately this means the long side of the pillow protrudes 18 inches out from my belly, directly into Will’s ribs. He didn’t complain about the pillow for several weeks, but one day I felt so bad that I cut the pillow in half. This solved the problem completely and Will is almost able to have 1/3 of the bed to himself again!
Unfortunately after I cut my belly pillow in half a normal pillow case would no longer work, so I had to make my own. Follow the instructions below with your pillow’s measurements to make your own button-up pillow case. It worked great even for my odd shaped pillow.
Button-up Pillow Case
You will need:
- 3 3/4″ buttons
- 1-1.5 yards of cotton
Seam allowance is 1/2″ unless indicated.
- Measure the length and width wise circumference of your pillow. Divide measurements in half and add 3 inches to the lengthwise measurement and 1.5 inch to the widthwise measurement. For me, the pillow’s widthwise circumference was 29″ and the lengthwise circumference was 34″. I divided both in half and added the measurements above to get 20″x16″
- With the shorter edge on the fold, cut out a double thickness rectangle of the size above. Skip to step 4. If you don’t have enough fabric to do this, add another 1/2″ to the lengthwise measurement, cut out two rectangles of this size and go on to step 3.
- With right sides together, stitch along one short end.
- Press under 1″ of material at either short end of the pillowcase. (Wrong sides together.)
- Stitch close to the unfinished edge.
- Mark out 3 equally spaced dots on one of the finished edges you created above.
- Using a machine buttonhole stitch, or by stitching by hand, stitch a 3/4″ buttonhole over every marking in step 6.
- With right sides together, fold the pillowcase so the two finished edges are lined up. Stitch along the long sides of the pillowcase.
- Open pillowcase out. Stitch 3 buttons on the folded fabric below your buttonholes.
Insert your pillow and enjoy your new pillowcase!