1. Never underestimate the cheering power of a one-pump gingerbread latte from Starbucks.
2. Read one chapter from three different books on the same day. Something literary, something lighthearted, something spiritual---I dare you to keep the plot-lines straight! (Do brains get stretch marks, too?)
3. Take 2-3 showers per day. Nothing washes off stress like warm (not hot!) water running down your back. Even with the kids running in every two minutes to ask for a snack, a treat, a turn on The Cursed Xbox.
4. Let the dog get up on the bed. He's a good foot warmer.
5. Let yourself cry. But only 1x per day. And stop once you start feeling sorry for yourself.
6. Then sing. I recommend Handel's Messiah followed immediately by some Alicia Keys.
7. Apply lotion 2x per day to soothe itchy, stretched skin. Skip the shea butter. No matter what they say, shea butter is greasy. And greasy doesn't pair well with pajamas.
8. Let the kids do their homework in bed with you. Crayola Markers will wash out of the sheets. Sharpie pens won't. And Star Wars figurines are very pokey when you roll over them at 2 a.m.
9. Count blessings. Start by praying for people who are suffering more than you are.
10. Lastly, watch QVC for the sheer amusement of listening to women describe the many ways a butter mold has changed their lives. Just don't buy the butter mold. Husbands are highly suspicious of butter molds and any inherent revolutionary qualities. Plus, you don't want to lose your back rub over a butter mold because...
11. Back rubs, above all else, will help you survive bed rest! Protect them with every ounce of your pregnant self!!