Well, I’ll be honest. I didn’t actually think I would have to experience (and then write) a post like this.
I come from a family of women who had all of their babies early… so I just assumed that I would follow suit. But 40 weeks of pregnancy will be here this Sunday, and so far there has been no indication from the little boy in my womb that he would like to join us on the outside anytime soon.
Of course, I know “going into labor” is a mysterious thing, and even science doesn’t exactly understand the “what” or “why” behind the “when.” (Trust me, I have researched it). This only adds to the overall “not knowing-ness” of the situation, which to me is equal parts exciting and frustrating. The mystery of it all can keep things interesting, but it also makes for a LONG last month if your expectations were set on “earlier” rather than later.
Anyway, here I am, trying to make the best out of these last days, and thought I would share with you what has kept me relatively sane…
For starters, at about 37 weeks, baby dropped and nesting mode + energy kicked in. These two occurrences made me feel AMAZING, possibly the best I have my entire pregnancy. I had supernatural organizational skills, a sudden ease in walking / getting around, and woke up every morning feeling like I could conquer the world. I’m so grateful for this, because I know that not every 9-months-pregnant female feels this way toward the end. (Don’t get me wrong… I still DEFINITELY feel my whale status when I try “rolling” out of bed or getting up off the couch and doubling over from lower back pain).
But here are a few others things I’ve learned this month, so thought I’d make a T&TT post out of it for current entertainment or future reference to any of you “been-there-done-that” or “doing-it-soon” mamas out there.
#1 Get Organized
This may seem fairly obvious, and will probably happen naturally if you hit nesting mode before baby comes. But for me, it felt SO good to get the baby room entirely put together, all of his little outfits and blankets washed and put away, and post-baby meals created and stocked into the freezer.
On the days where you feel like you can still move around and be productive, use them to your advantage– I know this is coming from me, a FTM (first-time-mom), but from what I hear, having a baby turns your world upside down. This can only mean that getting as much as possible done is easier pre-baby than it is post-baby.
#2 Treat Yourself
One of my friends told me that her midwife told her to plan a “fun day out” on her due date, just in case baby didn’t come. She actually ended up going into labor ON her due date, and was so looking forward to her planned outing that it was almost disappointing that it never happened!
I also read somewhere that for every day you go and don’t have your baby, treat yourself. It doesn’t have to be something big and extravagant. The other night, I whipped up some cookie dough and made myself a skillet cookie. Today, I gave myself a manicure and grabbed iced coffee and a scone at a coffee shop. Instead of sitting around and waiting like a ticking time bomb, get up and get out… meet a friend for lunch or do something you won’t easily be able to do once baby comes.
Also, don’t forget about the hubs. This is Ryan’s way of treating himself… to a glass of whiskey 🙂 I’m not much of an alcohol girl (coffee is my poison) so it doesn’t bother me that he enjoys his adult beverages in my pregnant presence. But come baby-time, he WILL be involved and helping, and it’s important for him to relax and “treat himself,” too 🙂
#3 Prepare the Pets
For all the kitty-cat and dog owners out there, they probably already sense a big change ahead. My one cat, Lily, has been cozying up to my belly and being extra attentive to me since day one. My other cat, Isabel, simply thinks all of the new “baby props” we’ve brought into the house were purchased for her personal pleasure. I have removed her more than I’d like to admit from places she shouldn’t be, but something tells me that when a screaming child is the new occupant of the changing table and bassinet, she may learn to keep her distance.
At any rate, give them a chance to become acclimated with all the “new things.” Also– cats and dogs learn and become comfortable mostly be scent– so I read that it’s also helpful to bring home something the baby has touched and let them sniff it before introducing them to the actual human form. This allows them to get a sniff for what they are in for!
#4 Don’t Get Discouraged
It’s easy to get down the last month. Nine months is a LONG time to be pregnant, especially if you have already had a rough go of it (first trimester morning sickness or any other health complications along the way). By the time the due date month rolls around, it’s easy to just want it to be over! I have found that the last days seem long, but somehow the weeks are flying right by… must be preparation for what they say about raising kids 😉
Anyway, it’s helpful to talk to others who have been through pregnancy before and find solace in what is normal! That has helped me tremendously. Just today, I texted a picture of my pregnant belly, bulging out of my MATERNITY top that is now too small on me. Guess what? This is totally normal at the end. There are lots of feelings of “I can’t do this another day” toward the end, but in the end, no one has ever been pregnant forever. Holding baby in your arms is merely days (or possibly still weeks– but definitely not months) away.
#5 Keep Your Eye on the Prize
I have only had two sonograms my entire pregnancy, so my only photos of baby boy came at his 20 week ultrasound. But I have them saved to my phone and posted to my fridge, so I often pause and just take in a gulp of his sweetness when I can. I’m also a part of a social media group with babies due in September, so daily I see these 7-8 pound blessings being born. It reminds me what is coming… a sweet little baby! Sometimes, it’s hard to believe that there is an actual newborn in my stomach… not because I can’t feel him rolling around in there every day, but because it’s impossible to look at my flesh belly at this point and see the baby behind it. But sooner rather than later, I’ll be handed my son and will meet him face to face, and I can hardly wait! When I think about this miracle that I will get participate in and then carry out into motherhood, it makes all of this waiting (and the aches and pains that come with it) totally worth it.
Thanks for reading and following along!