I am not, nor will I ever be, one of those women who “glows” during pregnancy.
It probably has to do with my general malaise surrounding the whole process. Pregnancy just isn’t my favorite. I get big, I get hormonal and grumpy, and I get really uncomfortable.
My disenchantment with pregnancy typically starts around the 6-7 month stage, but when I zero in on those final weeks, I become pretty miserable. I eye-roll strangers at the grocery store as they all-to-cheerily exclaim that I “must be due any day now,” and I all but give up on cooking actual meals and general social pleasantries. It’s not a pretty time.
This pregnancy has been a bit different, though. Despite the fact that I still don’t love being pregnant and that this has been my most challenging pregnancy thus far, I’ve managed to have a much better outlook on these final weeks preceding birth, and subsequently, these weeks have sucked a whole lot less.
1. Fill up your schedule
With my first pregnancy, I all but cleared my calendar for the month leading up to my daughter’s due date. I didn’t schedule appointments or make plans with friends AT ALL. In turn, I was bored out of my mind with nothing to do but wonder if that one thing or the other was a sign of preeminent labor or not. Basically, I was miserable.
This time around, I’ve scheduled hair appointments and nail appointments and made plans with friends. I even have a girl’s night dinner date planned to celebrate my due date. Because of my full schedule, I’m actually sort of hoping this baby doesn’t come early now!
2. Treat yourself!
In conjunction with the aforementioned tip for filling up your schedule, make sure you’re filling up that schedule with plenty of fun things.
Treat yourself to a massage (your aching pregnant body deserves it!) or dessert with friends at your favorite spot. Buy yourself some pretty makeup for postpartum. I realize that money and things don’t buy happiness, but they sure have been doing a great job cushioning the blow during these last weeks of pregnancy. Just sayin’.
3. Change your perspective
Part of the reason why the end of pregnancy is so hard, it that as pregnant ladies, we tend to get incredibly fixated on our due dates. The thing about a due date though, is that it’s really just a “guess date.”
Babies come whenever they please and will not be made slaves to our wishes. I was three days early with my first baby, which meant that being four days “past due” with my second child made me pretty miserable. This time around, I’m holding that due date with a much lighter grip and surrendering to the fact that my baby will get here sooner or later. It may not be on her “due date,” but she will definitely get here on her “birth day.”
4. Mess with meddling strangers
It’s really annoying when everyone and their mother wants to question you about the status of your uterus. Has it been vacated yet? Wouldn’t you like to know. I say, if people want to be nosy, why not have a little fun with them?
While looking like a hot and tired mess at the grocery store the other day, the checker made the comment, “Oh wow! It looks like that baby is coming any day!” Despite the fact that he’s right and it actually could be “any day,” I decided to mess with him and make him feel awkward by responding, “Oh, I actually have 4 months left.” The mortified look on his face was absolutely priceless, and made the fact that I am enormously pregnant slightly more endurable.
I’ll admit, it’s a bit annoying that the pregnancy nesting instinct doesn’t typically show up until the very end of pregnancy when your body is sore and tired, but I say, take it for all it’s worth. Enjoy this little burst of energy and put it to good use by “feathering your nest” in preparation for baby.
If cooking is your jam, work on prepping freezer meals to enjoy postpartum. If you’re a crafty pants, then perhaps you could spend the time tackling fun projects for Baby’s nursery. As for me, I like to nest the good ‘ol fashioned way … by scrubbing ALL the things. I’ve done more laundry in the last month than I have in the past year, and I have scrubbed every surface, including walls. Just embrace it and enjoy having your ducks in a row once your little one arrives.
6. Hire someone else to nest for you
If the nesting instinct doesn’t hit you (or if it does and you’re just too tired to act on it) you can totally just hire someone else to nest for you.
A friend of mine gifted me with a house cleaning as a baby shower gift and it was the BEST GIFT EVER. They did all the tasks that I particularly hate/that are harder for me to do with a big pregnant belly, like cleaning windows, vacuuming the dog’s bed, and changing sheets.
Seriously, such a good investment when you’re a tired pregnant mama!
7. Go on a date
Make some time for your partner during these final days. You’ll both be busy caring for a new little one very soon, so taking the time to reconnect while you can is super important.
During my last pregnancy, we had a “staycation” during my final weeks of pregnancy, and it was lovely. We slept in, went to movies at an actual theater, and ate out at all our favorite restaurants. Basically, all the things we may not have gotten to do for a little while. It was a great way to connect before going through a big change.
If all of this just sounds tiring to you, then you just do you. Stay in comfy clothes whenever possible and binge watch Netflix at your leisure. Order takeout and don’t clean a thing. Pregnancy is exhausting, so whatever makes it more manageable is exactly what you should do!
Just remember that the end of pregnancy is never the most fun time of anyone’s life, but it can be made a whole lot better with the right attitude and a good dose of fun and/or relaxation.