While I was pregnant, I looked up various lists and asked for advice about what essential things I would need while pregnant/after giving birth. There are a few items that stand out to me as the VERY BEST ones, so I thought I'd write them down.
1. Body Pillow- In July I was about 6 months pregnant and starting to feel rather large and unwieldily. It was at that point, in fact, that I got my first "You're about the pop!" comment. Haaaa. No, sir. I have 3 months of this left. Anyhow, in July Niall asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I said a body pillow. He got me this one, which I LOVE. It's like a very long, very nice regular pillow (not one of those funky shaped specifically-for-pregnancy pillows). It's memory foam with some sort of cooling technology built in which was nice for always-boiling pregnant Jules (a stark contrast from always-freezing non-pregnant Jules). I really REALLY liked this body pillow. I would wrap my arms and legs around it and I found that it provided a good amount of frontal support, which I needed more than backal support. I don't like to cuddle with a person in bed, but BY GOD I will spoon the hell out of this pillow all night long and make it breakfast in the morning.
2. Shower Chair- This was a late in the game purchase. Or, end of the game purchase. Last day of the... game... purchase, if you will. That is to say, we bought the shower chair the day I ended up going to the hospital (not the day Clover was BORN (thanks to my excessively long labor), but the last day I was home before I came home with a baby). So I was very VERY uncomfortable at that point. Anytime somebody asked me how I was feeling I always said "big and tired." I was so big and so tired. SO BIG AND TIRED. Everything at that point in pregnancy was uncomfortable and exhausting. I couldn't get comfortable lying down or sitting. I couldn't enjoy eating because everything gave me reflux. I couldn't enjoy a bath because I was too big for the tub to immerse the majority of my body in water, plus there was all the HOISTING in and out I had to do. The only things I really enjoyed were milkshakes and going to the gym. And, to be clear, by "going to the gym" I mean spending 15 mins on the cross trainer and then sitting in the hot tub. As a bonus I got to visually offend everyone around me by being an enormous angry pregnant woman in a bikini. I did get some sick pleasure out of the horrified glances I got for daring to be that pregnant and out in public. So I guess there were three things I enjoyed- milkshakes, going the gym, and scowling at everyone around me. Where was I? Right, the shower chair! I was so big and tired that taking a shower was exhausting, so I decided that I wanted a shower chair. There are fancier and nicer ones out there, but I got the regular old utility one. And it's GREAT. It's sturdy and it fits in my standard sized bathtub/shower combo. I liked it the one time I used it whilst I was pregnant, and it was ALSO good for those several weeks after giving birth when sitting down to shower was a good idea. And now it is very helpful for shaving my legs.
3. Slippers- Another item I requested for my birthday was a nice pair of slippers. Specifically, these (in purple). I actually saved those nice slippers for home use. I brought an old pair to the hospital and wore them while I walked the halls during my seemingly endless labor. They were hot pink with stars on them and actually attracted a lot of attention, so that was kind of fun. If I ever find myself in the position of planning for a hospitalization again, I will probably buy some cheapie, flamboyant slippers for this exact purpose. The pink starred ones ended up um. There was some blood dripped on them so I threw them out instead of bringing them home.
4. Momwasher- Speaking of things that have to do with blood and general grossness after having a baby, let's talk about the Momwasher! It was one of my impulse Amazon purchases that I spent gift card money on. Listen, I know it's not that much different from the squirt bottle thing they give you in the hospital, but I found the Momwasher's angle to be appreciably nicer. And when we're talking about raw, painful sensitive bits I think we can agree that even small improvements can make a significant difference.
5. Exercise Bike- WAIT! Hear me out. My husband is someone who wants to work out just about every day and I love him in spite of this. Shortly after Clover was born, Niall came up with the idea that maybe we should buy an exercise bike to have at home so that he could get his work out in while not simultaneously abandoning me with our newborn. We ended up getting this one. It folds up and stores easily in the closet. And sometimes Niall rides it while holding Clover, which is just about the cutest thing. One of these days I'll probably use it too, but riding a bicycle is literally the last thing I wanted to do after having a baby.
6. Recliner- Now this is more my speed. I decided that I wanted to get a nice, comfortable recliner for nursing the baby and probably sleeping in whilst he was very wee. I came up with a whole list of reasons and went to present them to Niall. "I think we should get a recliner," I started. "GREAT!" He said, evidently not needing to hear my very well thought out list of reasons. And that was that. We bought a recliner and it's everything I dreamed it could be.
7. Yoga ball- Or exercise ball or birth ball or whatever you call it. This was given to me by my friend D and it made a nice addition to our assortment of places for Jules to sit while pregnant. Due to the aforementioned big and tiredness, trying a variety positions/activities was a necessity. The ball D got me has sand or something inside of it which prevents it from rolling the hell away when you go to sit down on it. The closest thing I can find on Amazon is this. We still have the ball in our living room even though I'm not pregnant anymore. We like to use it for sitting or bouncing the baby or just generally cluttering up the floorspace.