You've done it; you have made it through morning sickness, the fun prenatal appointments, and all the pregnancy symptoms known to man. You've had your baby shower, decorated the nursery, and have everything all set. You've taken the classes, hired a doula, done test drives to the hospital, or have your birth tub ready to go in your own home, but there's one last thing...
The waiting game.
Nobody tells you that one of the hardest parts of pregnancy is the waiting that happens in the last couple of weeks. Between Braxton Hicks, prodromal labor, pelvic pain, discharge, mucus plugs, and of course weekly checkups, you have begun to keep track of every single move that your baby makes. You may even be to the point where you're up half the night because 'this could be it' has consumed your mind.
I love to compare this time in pregnancy to Christmas as a kid. While there is the difference in that you know for a fact that Christmas happens on the exact day of December 25th, as a kid (and even for adults) that day can't come soon enough. You've prepared by decorating the house, covered the Christmas tree in ornaments, baked all the cookies (and eat some along the way), wrapped all the gifts, and now you're just sitting there starring at the tree, waiting for the moment that you can open those presents to find out what you have received. There is joy in the waiting, but man is it still hard.
You may have picked up on some of the comparisons that I'm making between the two. While not an exact comparison, both are exciting times that have a period of built-up anticipation to a big day. In this case, however, the big day is you getting to meet your own flesh and blood that you have been creating and getting for almost 9 months!
What to do?
So there is the age-old question that happens during pregnancy, what do I do? How can I make this go by faster, easier, you fill in the blank of how you desire to feel. Well, truth is that baby will come when the baby is ready. We can't change that aspect of pregnancy, no matter how much we really may want to. What we can do is keep ourselves busy, within reason, to help us continue to live our lives as normal as possible while awaiting the exciting day that will come!
Believe it or not, things still need to get done, much to many dismay. Whether it is housework, your job, your family, or decorating for the new season (may be easier for those in the fall or winter) there is always something that can be done in your life. Now, when I say keep busy, I don't mean work so hard that you are exhausted. Remember, you are still growing bones, you need your rest (in fact you have the perfect excuse to take a nap whenever you would like)! However, that doesn't mean just sit around your house all day just waiting for the moment to happen. There may be that fear that we will start a project around the house and then go into labor and not finish it. Or that you may be out in public and all of a sudden you go into labor and don't know what to do. For the projects, maybe don't start a messy project such as painting your room. As for labor starting in public, most of the time labor doesn't start in such a dramatic manner as you see on TV.
If you're worried about your water breaking in public, wear a pad or keep a change of clothes in the car or your bag. Always have your phone full charge and make sure your husband or partner's phone is charged as well if you are apart during the day. That way you can call each other, your doctor, and your doula when you need to.
For projects, find something to do that is not the end of the world if you don't finish it before the baby is born, but also won't cause too much strain on you. Sorting through old clothes, organizing a closet or space in your home, or even hanging up some home decor are great options.
Pick Up a New Hobby
Maybe you have always wanted to try out something new. Painting, knitting, crocheting, reading that novel your friend has been raving about, learning to play a new game, learn to scrapbook for your new little one, the ideas are endless. Again do something that if you are working on it and you do suddenly go into labor, it's really not the end of the world if you finish it months later. Who knows, maybe you'll discover a new gift or skill that you can use down the road!
Talk to Friends (Not About Pregnancy)
Catching up with friends and family is a great idea, but if you don't want to talk about pregnancy because it will just remind you of the frustration that you are enduring currently, then make that clear when you talk with them. Maybe watch a show together so you have something to talk about each week (or every day) or even read a book together and have a mini book club. While you are still pregnant, you do not have to be consumed by it, so you don't always have to talk about it, especially if it just increases your stress level.
On the flip side, if pregnancy is all you want to talk about, but your husband/partner is tired from hearing about all the little details, find that friend, mom, or even your doula to talk about all things birth. This could be great especially if you are an external processer and need to get some worries or concerns off your chest.
This goes without saying, but remember you are growing bones (as my husband loves to put it during my pregnancies). Being pregnant is exhausting, especially in the final weeks when you're feeling big, slow, and let's face it just not yourself. Take care of yourself! Paint your nails, or go get them done with that friend. Have your own spa night with a facial, a great movie, show, or book, and enjoy an amazing cup of tea. If you love baths, take a bubble bath, and maybe light a candle or throw in some essential oils. And of course, take that nap!
Continue Living Your Life
At the end of the day, the anticipation is real, and the waiting is hard. There is no denaying. However, it will make things way worse if you cancel all your plans and just sit around all day waiting for the day to come. Life does continue to go on, and by living it, without being afraid of having to cancel plans or leave something unfinished, you can better take care of yourself and even help pass the time more quickly as you wait to meet your baby.
Remember, life is too short to just sit and wait for something to happen.
Live beautifully, love boldly, and embrace the anticipated joy.