Your Pregnancy: Week 39
Don’t be surprised if you have the sudden and overwhelming urge to scrub the kitchen floors and reorganize your living room, as your nesting instincts might be kicking into high gear. This is a good sign that your little one will be making his/her debut soon – but don’t do anything exhausting or dangerous (like climbing on stools). And if you’d rather nap than clean out the refrigerator, that doesn’t make you any less of a mother – in fact, it might make you more sensible. Growing a human is hard and tiring, so don’t feel obligated to do unnecessary work.
Baby’s height, weight and development have pretty much tapered off. It’s just a waiting game at this point.
Snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie (or two) with your partner – but avoid these unrealistic movie birth scenes.
Double check that your hospital received your registration and has all needed information before showing up in the throes of labor.
Try to give yourself a perineal massage (or enlist your partner to do it for you) to reduce the chance of vaginal tearing. Insert your thumbs or index fingers inside your vagina and press down toward your rectum, then carefully and gently slide your fingers across the bottom and sides of your perineum.
Know the best and quickest route to your hospital or birthing center. Also know how long it takes to get there at various times of day, and plan out transportation (but don’t plan on driving yourself).
Advice from Dr. Shari E. Brasner
For many pregnant women, the closer they get to delivery, the more intensely anxious they become. Obstetricians feel quite differently than patients about the whole matter. Just as I don’t view pregnancy as an illness, I also don’t view delivery as a dire or emergency medical procedure. While it’s true that things sometimes go wrong during deliveries (and every woman seems to be familiar with horror stories), having a baby in the 21st century – whether vaginally or by Cesarean section – is extremely safe. For every 25,000 deliveries in the United States these days, there is only one incident of maternal mortality, and most of these deaths involve serious medical conditions that existed prior to delivery, perhaps even prior to pregnancy.”
Babble recommends Dr. Brasner’s pregnancy book, Advice from a Pregnant Obstetrician.
Mom-To-Mom Advice: Is My Life Really Over?
You may be getting a lot of scary warnings lately. Life, or at least life as you know it, is about to be over: you’ll never see your friends again, you’ll never see a movie again, you’ll never, you’ll never, you’ll never. Not a very reassuring message about the world you’re about to enter. It all sounds so gloomy – and maybe just plain wrong. Aren’t there marathon-running moms and couples constantly throwing dinner parties with the baby passed out in a bouncy chair in the corner?
It’s true that your life will be different soon. It’ll have more in it: There will be more to do, more to care about, more to fill up a long Sunday than just a football game and some errands. Something will have to give. But that doesn’t mean you’ll be losing the essence of “your life.” It just means you’ll edit out the less crucial things. Figuring out what’s going to make the cut is an evolving process. In the first year or so of parenthood, you’ve got a lot on your plate learning new things on an almost daily basis. Many people find that pretty much all they do is focus on the baby. It really can feel like your old life is over. But as time moves on, you’ll start to see how and where you can fit things in.
Then you can prioritize. What’s not as important as you thought, and what can you really not live without? Turns out that weekly manicure just isn’t worth the babysitting money? Fine. But maybe the monthly pedicure is doable. Good. Turns out that listening to your officemate’s romantic dramas is no longer so appealing? One less lunch date. But going out dancing with your best friend from high school every now and then is simply what makes you feel like you. You’ll figure out a way to make it happen.
We’re not saying there won’t be things you will miss, it’s ok to mourn the old life and cherish it for what it was. But it’s also important to look forward. Parents of young children aren’t living “no life,” they are living a new life.
Babble recommends From the Hips, by Rebecca Odes and Ceridwen Morris.