Friday, June 1, 2012

Pregnant | 10 tips for surviving—and dare I say, thriving— during those last few weeks

See tip #2 for why this picture relates at all to this post. Thanks, Katie (and Brian)!

If anyone needs a survival guide, I think it’s extremely pregnant women, so here are a few tips from little ol’ moi.
Stick to those things that made your body feel well and healthy in the second trimester. That means keep drinking water, keep eating healthy, and keep exercising. I’ve failed at this miserably, but it’s still a good idea.
Surround yourself with awesome, supportive, and loving friends. Some such marvelous ladies threw me a baby shower last weekend, and it was such a blessing. We talked, we ate, we crafted. A couple days ago I went on a long walk with another friend (you know, trying to walk the baby out in the heat), and yesterday I received some packages in the mail (above) from that very same friend. Good friends definitely help pass the time, and make it sweet. I love that I’ve been reminded daily what amazing people are going to help us raise our boys.
Make each day such that at the end of it, you thank God that you didn’t have the baby the day before. This is one of my best tips right here, so take note! Keep reading those birth books, keep tackling projects around your house, keep doing those kegels. I tell myself each day that there is a reason that I’m still pregnant, and things I need to be doing besides lying in bed with a newborn. If you spend each day like there is purpose in it, you’ll find yourself forgetting about your extreme discomfort, growing stretch marks, backaches and lack of sleep.
Sleep. Now we all know that sleep is an elusive concept at the end of pregnancy, so my strategy is to look at it as bootcamp for a soon-to-be-mother-of-a-newborn. When I was at the end of my pregnancy with Seb, I spent a lot of time thinking wistfully about the day soon coming when I would be able to get some rest. Right... So now, when I have to get up to pee or readjust my huge self every hour or two, I just think of it as training for when I have to wake up that often to nurse my little man. I’m going to dominate the night routine, let me tell you.
Feel free to crank up the air conditioning. It’s only a few weeks of added cooling costs, but if you feel sluggish and miserable because it’s 80 degrees in your home, turn on the AC. I resisted for a while, but it has made such a difference in my ability to cope with being so pregnant. I cut back when I can, but if you can’t, don’t. It’s not worth it.
If you don’t sleep well at night, take advantage of any amount of drowsiness during the day and try to get a few winks. I take naps every day because I don’t get much sleep at night and find that I rest better if it’s in smaller increments throughout the day and night. The reason I think this is so important is because the majority of women go into labor in the evening. If you haven’t been sleeping well at night, and then you deprive yourself of a nap, those contractions, or sudden breaking of your waters just as you’re about to get some much needed rest will make you want to cry. My water broke with Seb at 1:00 a.m., just as I was falling asleep. It was a long labor, so I went a very very long time without sleep, which made it much more difficult to cope.
I have this ridiculous goal for myself. I know that a lot of women could care less if they have shaved their legs or painted their toenails (especially when it’s so difficult to reach them!), but for some reason I do. It makes me feel like I’m ready to go, so you better believe I don’t put off a shower until the next day because it’s late at night and I just don’t feel like drying my hair. There’s not much about your body that you can control at the end of your pregnancy, and if that bothers you, pick a few things that will make you feel better, and commit to doing them. My essentials: razor, Palmer’s body oil, and nail polish. Bam. You’ll feel like a goddess in spite of your swollen ankles.

Give into crazy nesting urges. It's exhausting. It's weird. But it's kind of fun, too.

Save some of that baby laundry. Of course you need to have some essentials on hand in case the baby makes an early arrival, but save some more unnecessary tasks for those days when you're just waiting waiting waiting.

Whether it's through reading, talking with friends who have had babies, talking to your doc or midwife, or simply praying, try to get to a place where you feel at peace about labor and delivery. I went through a patch where I just couldn't think of anything but getting this baby out NOW, and then I went through a patch where I was so freaked out about giving birth that I didn't think I would be able to handle it when my contractions hit, and now, I just feel so good about it. I'm ready. I know what I need to know, my family it taken care of, my refrigerator is full, I have lists on the fridge with household chores, emergency contacts, foods Seb will eat (this is just silly...), and even directions for washing Seb's diapers, in case I have to rush to the Birthing Center right before I get to throw a load in! We. Are. Ready.

And now so are you. Go kick those last weeks of pregnancy in the pants.


  1. This is a great list - I think number ten is especially important. Tommy gave me a gift certificate to a spa for Christmas, and I saved it for those last couple of weeks so that I would have something to look forward to every week... I missed my haircut appointment that I had scheduled for the day he was born.

    1. oh it's so sad to miss a haircut, but at least it was for a super awesome reason. : ) i had a massage that i was saving for those last couple weeks before seb was born, but he came early, and i didn't end up using it until over a year later! lesson learned, haha! those babies just come on their own time, don't they?

  2. I'm totally with you on the AC!!! It may cost a few dollars more this month and last, but I am a much happier, much more rested person. :) And I love eight too... and the rest of them :) We don't have much longer!

    1. yay for not having much longer! there are always good things you can do to make the last weeks bearable or even enjoyable, but there comes a point when you just really really want to meet your baby!!! can't wait to hear your baby news!