Most missionaries in PNG and other areas have two options for mattresses. The air mattress and the water bed. A lot of tribal missionaries go with the water bed because it is significantly cooler in the steamy jungle. We have decided to go with the air mattress. We do like to sleep "cool" (as you can see above since we just have a sheet on our bed for covers) but we have sleep several sleep issues that make a water bed seem like a nightmare. I have back problems. Most mornings I wake up with serious low back pain. (The anesthesiologist when I had Mia thinks I have scoliosis which makes a lot of sense) Also, JM has insomnia and although he wants me there with him in spirit, he sleeps much better alone. Any movement or tiny noise wakes him up, so I can imagine how little sleep he would get feeling like he was on a float in the ocean on a red flag day every time I rolled over. Plus, we have experience with the air mattress. We slept on one in China, and had no problems with it until one of the seams that create the unnecessary ripples in the mattress popped on one side. (In hindsight, it might not have been a good idea to be "cool parents" and let our 2 year old jump on the bed) We spent the last month sleeping on the Chinese "mattress" which is actually a slab of plywood covered in pretty mattress like material.
Anyway, when we moved from Missouri we sold our mattress and box springs thinking it would be easier to just go ahead and get an air mattress (or 2 based on our experience from China) and sleep on that for the 6 months until we head to New Guinea and then we can just pack them up and ship them over. The first one we bought was the taller kind that is supposed to be more like the height of a real mattress and box springs. What we didn't know at the time is that most of these mattresses have ridges on the outside that are raised up and cause you to roll into your husband (especially when you are pregnant and anyone who has ever been pregnant knows that those last few months you will do almost anything for a good nights sleep). Naturally, I went and bought a regular air mattress that doesn't do that, but unfortunately it sits very low on the floor, (see pic above) and has not been easy to get in and out of post c section. We did get a memory foam topper for it which elevates it a little and feels like what I imagine sleep in heaven will be like.
When we get to the tribe my handy husband can build a base for the mattress to go on, but it really isn't worth the time and money now to do it. We recently realized that we are going to have to purchase yet another air mattress soon because the next container headed to New Guinea ships out in October. We have to get all our stuff on this container if we want to receive our things sometime in the next decade. This brought about the realization that I am going to have to get all new stuff to ship since we will still have to live, sleep, cook, bathe, etc. in the United States for the next 3 months. Oh the JOY!! Like I said before, I am very much looking forward to moving to PNG, but the process of getting there is killing me! Oh well, I guess it all part of the life we are called to, and I am very thankful for that calling... (but I might still complain about annoying things every now and then)
If only I could sleep 20 hours a day like this little thing. She doesn't seem to have any trouble with her sleeping arrangements.