The reflection in the mirror startled me. A smile crept across my face as I admire my own hugeness. This pregnant belly amazes me. How the muscles in my torso holds up this gigantic bulge just seems impossible, and sure enough, very uncomfortable.
Carefully I step into the tank. One foot first, holding the bars, as the tank floor is slippery with dissolved salt. My balance is crap. I sit down, shut the door and lower myself in to the water. Everything is so awkward, my whole body aches. But when I am finally laying on my belly, everything relaxes.
That’s right, on my belly! I can lay on my belly, and it’s glorious. I put my chin in my hands and my elbows on the bottom of the tank. I float there, belly down in the water. The baby is comfortable, I am comfortable, nothing feels smooshed and crowded. Instead of the baby resting on my bones and my organs, he lays peacefully in my womb, resting against the salt water.
After a while I turn over onto my back. It takes some strength to turn, first onto my side and then a final role to my back. Sort of feels like a rude reminder of how hard it is to be pregnant. However, once relaxed on my back everything feels great.
It’s like the best mattress ever. It’s better than a mattress. There are no pressure points where all my extra weight is grinding against my joints. Nothing pushing against my sore loosened hips. My spine gets to stretch and extend, my pelvis relaxes, the Epsom salts work their magic.
My hips, oh my hips. No one told me how they would start to ache a horrible pain within the first few months of pregnancy. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t exercise very well. I couldn’t sit in the car very long. Ooh the pain. Thank you sensory deprivation. The tanks were my only relief from this pain. And I got weekly massages and acupuncture, both of which were incredibly helpful, but the tank was complete relief. I also bought a variety of pillows for my bed and my car, but again, the tank was a whole different ball game.