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Pillow Talk

J came home early and caught me coming out of the storage closet, lugging a giant object.

“Oh, no. Not that again. Please not again.”

“Sorry, honey,” I said, struggling to catch my breath. “I just can’t take it anymore. I really need it.”

“It” is my Snoozer, otherwise known as a “body pillow.” Which is exactly J’s complaint about the overstuffed feather candy cane: It’s like a whole other body in bed with us. When I was pregnant with E, sleeping became really uncomfortable right at the beginning of my second trimester. It felt like the weight of my stomach was dragging my hips and back into positions nature never attended. I tossed and turned most of the night, suffering the aforementioned stabbing pains every time I rolled over. A comfortable position simply didn’t exist.

I read an article once about how our sleep positions are determined in utero, and that they say quite a bit about our personalities. Un-pregnant, I sleep75% on my stomach with one arm curled above my head. I can’t remember what this says about my disposition, but it’s the only way I’m really comfortable. So spending my nights in a less-than-natural position is already a strike against a good night’s sleep. Put that together with my anxiety issues, a sometimes wakeful toddler, and a dog that snores, and I’m doomed.

So last time around, I did lots of web research and found the perfect solution: the Snoozer. The Snoozer, its manufacturer claimed, was specifically designed to contour around a pregnant woman’s body to provide the maximum support and comfort. I was delighted. So delighted, in fact, that when my microfill pillow (the cheaper of the available options) arrived in the mail, I decided it wasn’t quite luxurious enough, stuck it back in the box, and promptly exchanged it for a real feather version. This should show you what a pampered prima donna I was during my first pregnancy. Oh, how things change…

The Snoozer, while not the miracle product it claimed to be, definitely helped a lot. I could rest my stomach on something without feeling like I was about to topple over, and when I rolled over I just tucked it between my knees and took it with me. No more stabbing pains. I became so Snoozer-obsessed that it started travelling with me wherever I went. How had I managed my first 19 weeks without it? However, there were some serious drawbacks:

It took up as much room as another medium-sized person in a bed that already needed to accommodate two full grown adults (one giantly pregnant) and a small white dog.

And it leaked feathers. Everywhere.

The day we brought E home from the hospital, the first thing J did was run to the bedroom, grab the Snoozer and stuff it in a garbage bag. “You won’t be needing THIS anymore,” he sang as he prepared to put it into deep storage. I actually thought I would need it for a while after I delivered, but oddly enough once E was on the outside, my addiction to the Snoozer went away. I was able to quit cold turkey.

Until this week. Just when I’d been thinking how great it was that I didn’t need a body pillow this time around, I suddenly started craving the Snoozer. I thought about it all night long as I tried to fall asleep. As with any lost lover, its flaws were forgotten as I fantasized about how good it would feel to snuggle up with the enormous poof tucked around me.

So I braved a perilous journey into deep storage and retrieved my old pillow friend. Much to my dismay, it hadn’t weathered our two-year separation well. Lack of use (and being stuffed into that same garbage bag) made it smell mildew-y and neglected, and its feather-leakage problem seemed worse than I remembered.

“Don’t you dare try to wash that,” J called over his shoulder as I lugged the Snoozer down the hall. Sometimes—not very often—I swear he can read my mind.

But what was I supposed to do? I needed it. It was wasteful and expensive to buy another one. So I did what any desperate junkie would do to get their fix: I washed it. The good news is, it’s clean. No more mildew odor, no more grayish tint. It didn’t dry so well at first—the middle part of its “J” shape lost its filling completely, leaving me with a barbell shaped mass of twisted, wet mush that smelled like a poultry farm. Not one to give up so easily, I dried it three more times and threw in a couple of (new) tennis balls for good measure. After dryer round four, it emerged puffy, white, and smelling of lavender.

The bad news? There are ten million teeny tiny feathers in my dryer. I’ve been trying to clean them out, using a chopstick wrapped in wet paper towel, for well over an hour. J is upstairs wondering why I haven’t come to bed yet, and there’s NO WAY I’m telling him I may have caused $1000 of damage to our six-month-old dryer by laundering a five foot long feather pillow he hated in the first place. I’m fairly confident I can get the feathers out eventually, and I have a test load of non-essential laundry to make sure it’s running smoothly before I attempt to do his clothes. There is nothing in the world worse than his “I told you so.” So I’m going to get every last feather out of the dryer, and he’ll be none the wiser. And then my Snoozer and I are going to get a well-deserved, better-than-ever night of sleep. Leaky feathers and all.