You are 21 weeks pregnant! Your baby is now measured from the crown of her head to her heel (instead of the crown to the rump) and she is around 10 ½ inches long, tall, whatever you want to call it. Funny visual: a 10 ½ inch person actually standing. Anyway… Your baby is most definitely not standing although you may feel occasionally that she is standing on your bladder, your stomach or your ribcage.
Her kicks and pokes and punches are getting stronger and stronger. You may even notice she starts to follow a pattern – moving more at certain times of the day and night and repeating certain movements. Here’s a hint about what’s to come after she’s born: you lay down for a rest, baby wakes up – it’s a pretty common pattern that you might be noticing already. Don’t expect it to end any time soon. There’s a reason sleep doulas and sleep experts have jobs.
Maybe you could use a sleep doula? Pregnancy sleep is tough. As your belly grows, you are restricted to one position: lying on your side, trying to figure out a comfortable place to put your hands and trying to keep your sweaty knees from touching each other with some manipulation of the pillows and blankets worthy of a navy recruit. Some women find a body pillow works well, others find it too hot, too cumbersome when rolling over or just plain creepy (it’s a giant, body-sized pillow that you hug and side-straddle – it’s a personal choice, really…). Sweaty knees are not the only reason to keep a pillow between your legs. Keeping your top leg elevated with a pillow between your knees will help ease the strain on your back as you sleep and make it less likely you’ll awake, aching and moaning like your great grandfather. However you manage it, stay off your belly and off your back. The weight of your uterus (and the person inside it) is so heavy now that lying on your back can place pressure on blood vessels and restrict blood flow.
Chances are, if you can’t take lying still on your back, you probably can’t take any… um… bouncing around on your back. Experiment with different positions when you and hubby are fooling around. Most women find side-lying works best and others (who have more energy than they probably should, but life is not fair, after all) enjoy the woman-on-top straddle position. Another favourite is the unfortunately-named “doggy style,” which has you on hands and knees with partner behind. Woof woof.
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