I’ve mentioned before that the last few weeks of pregnancy are the hardest. As I sit here, 1 day before my due date, I will reiterate this point. They suck.
The build up to the day you will FINALLY get to meet your baby consists of some of the slowest days you’ll ever experience. I seriously need to know — is the Earth REALLY rotating around the sun???
The anticipation is killing you and everyone around you (especially if you have refrained from finding out the sex – which bothers everyone else 100 times more than it bother you, FYI). You also feel like you’re disappointing everyone every time you show up somewhere. I mean, I frequently hear — “OH, you’re still HERE. DAMN.” I know they’re disappointed FOR ME, but it’s discouraging all the same. Particularly when your Dr. says it to you.
Believe it or not there ARE ways to overcome the anticipation and disappointment. Here’s what I’ve been doing…
Doing some “Due Date” shopping and running as many errands as possible
I’m not in the market quite yet to buy any postpartum clothes, the baby is SET, and I’m certainly not buying anymore maternity clothes — but nobody told me I had to stay away from Ulta.
I’m also enjoying QUICKLY running in and out of stores to run last minute errands. I know this sounds like a weird thing to enjoy, but it’s amazing how much harder it is when you have a tiny, cranky boob machine attached to you 24/7. Plus, those cars eats are hella heavy.
Spending time with the hubby
I cannot say that Dan really WANTS to spend that much time with me these days (spouses really get the the short end of the stick when you are cranky, hormonal, and uncomfortable), but it is important to get in that “last date night” before the baby arrives.
Don’t worry, you’ll be spending A LOT of time together in the next few weeks – during labor/delivery and recovery – but it’s usually pretty onesided (and it also usually involves watching a baby being born, which I can only imagine is horrifying and fascinating at the same time).
Chances are, I won’t be heading to the movies any time soon, so I’m taking advantage of all of the early summer movie releases. I can cross Iron Man 3 off my list and if I’m still pregnant on Friday I’ll be able to cross off The Great Gatsby. There are also quite a few movies that have recently been released on DVD that I WANTED to see. In the past few weeks we’ve watched This Is 40 and Silver Linings Playbook. Not sure what it will be this week! Any recommendations?
Reading, Relaxing, Napping
I’m still working – so I’m not doing any of this during work hours (umm sure), but on weekends and during downtime I am trying to sneak in as much R&R as I can.
I know that my days with a newborn will be relatively low key, but it’s amazing how much time those suckers take up! I wish you could bank sleep, but since I know you can’t I will just fondly remember these last few days of straight sleep as much as possible – bathroom trips and all.
Making plans/doing things with friends
This is actually the BEST time to make plans with friends because if you end up having to cancel on them — they can’t get mad. Actually, most of your friends WANT you to cancel on them because that means you are finally going to have that damn baby. So, for the past 3 weeks I have filled up my social calendar with book club, happy hours, and dinners. It gives me something within grasp (and definite) to look forward to.
Thank goodness for friends!
Eating all the things
Truthfully, my appetite is pretty nonexistent (it’s so ironic it’s not even funny!), but when I’m hungry these days I definitely indulge and go with what I am craving more than ever before. As I should.
It’s a perk that you truly don’t appreciate until later – but unless your Dr. specifically warns you from eating specific types of food — nothing is really off limits. Eat up pregnant ladies.
For example, yesterday and today I had pudding pie (it’s literally chocolate fudge pudding in a graham cracker pie crust) for breakfast. I’m pretty sure that trend is going to continue throughout the week and I’m not even the tiniest bit sorry.
I’m not getting my heart pumping like I used to (I’m lucky if I break a sweat these days!), but exercise is definitely still keeping me sane.
Even if it’s just a nice walk around the neighborhood – stop moping about how the baby is still in you and DO SOMETHING. Dance, walk, lift weights, do yard work– whatever takes your mind off what’s NOT happening. Who knows, if you’re lucky if could actually put you into labor!
Spending time as a foursome (threesome, twosome, whateversome)
Even if you have the smoothest transition ever — you are still adding on another family member and it’s never going to be the same. I’ve definitely been trying to spend as much time as possible with the four of us as a family – as well as the kids individually.
When I was pregnant with L, I definitely had a huge freak out about not giving B the same amount of attention once she was born. I was right in that my attention shifted, but I’ve realized over time it’s not about quantity, but quality – and it’s good to bank some quality time before the quantity drops off!
Sipping on a glass of wine/beer
I’m not recommend you chug an entire bottle of wine – but I do recommend pouring yourself a glass (or a bottle of beer) and soak in a warm bath to help you relax.
This will probably be the most relaxed you will be for months, so enjoy it while you can. Plus, I find that it helps me sleep better at night. Any kind of sleep is a good thing.
Face it – once the baby is here your life is no longer about “you.” Postpartum recovery pretty much sucks, even if you’ve had the simplest birth, so now that’s time to really pamper yourself without having to tote a (very demanding) infant around. Go get your hair done, a pedicure, or a massage (or in my case – all three things!).
You will not regret it – plus you will look great and feel somewhat calm going into labor and delivery!
Having a good sense of humor
Just get silly.
It helps when your friends like to be silly with you.
Things I recommend you NOT do? Googling things like “Labor symptoms” and “natural induction methods” because they will just make you batty(but don’t worry – you’re totally going to do this any way). Also, don’t go online and read any Birth Stories because for every good story, you will read one that horrifies you.
Truthfully, I think the most helpful thing you can do to keep yourself both sane and in good spirits is remind yourself that at some point – whatever point that may be and however it happens – you will soon be holding YOUR baby in your arms.
Regardless of the boredom, the pain, and the moments of insanity — (and even though they look like smushed up aliens), it’s an experience that you will never forget and it’s worth every single second.
Is this day over yet?