The last few weeks of pregnancy are the hardest in my opinion. I felt extremely self-conscious between family members, patients, and complete strangers commenting on my bump.
Are you sure you’re due in one week? You don’t even look that big yet!! —Thank you but I don’t know if this a compliment or not.
Are you starting to feel big? Even your face looks bigger! — As if I have control where I retain water…
I don’t think he/she has dropped yet. You’re probably going to go another week yet. —Thank you for your kind support. I’m not sure what pregnant lady would find that comment encouraging.
When is that baby coming?? —As if I know!
You may start to feel very alone. You don’t feel up for having people over. You can’t text anyone or they instantly ask “Are you at the hospital?? Are you in labor?!”. Um, no. I was just wanting your chocolate chip cookie recipe. The texts and phone calls are endless. I get it. Everyone is excited for baby and of course you are too but if you’re anything like me, you’re impatient. You want to meet your baby more than anything but you’re trying to distract yourself so you don’t think that every belch or hunger pain is a contraction.
My advice for mamas in their last few weeks of pregnancy would be to prepare for motherhood. For 9 months the talk has all been about baby but very little is talked about preparing to be a mom. I’m not sure there’s a Pinterest list that can be a “one size fits all” for this but if I could relive those last few weeks, I’d tell myself:
- Relax! Put your feet up, take a bath, book a massage or pedicure (or both!) and relax. You have given your body for this baby but you need to prepare for the fourth trimester. You need your rest mama for all the sleepless nights (and days). You need to rest mama. You’ve got this!
- Shut off your phone. Shut out all those people pestering you day (and night) about whether baby is here. Stay off Facebook and seeing all your other friends having their babies and you’re still pregnant.
- Go out on dates with your significant other! This is the last time you’ll be able to go out without booking a babysitter and worrying while you are away. Did baby eat okay? Is baby sleeping now? Or trying to entertain your toddler through a meal (if you’re like me). Go somewhere fancy! Get an appetizer! Splurge.
- Shampoo your carpet. I realize this is completely opposite to #1 but hear me out. This is going to be one of the easiest times to get your carpet cleaned. Before you know it, that little one will be crawling all over your house, putting things in his/her mouth and you will want those carpets cleaned. Now is the time to utilize all those family members/friends asking you what they can do to help you. Please shampoo my carpets! Then return to #1.
- Do something you enjoy! A hobby you say? When you’re large and pregnant? Yes! Read that book, cook that recipe you keep putting off, finish that quilt, do something for you! It may be awhile before you return to your hobbies.
- Take care of yourself! This might sound similar to #1, are you getting the hint here? You are important mama! If you don’t want to host the in-laws the weekend before you are due, politely decline.
- Enjoy every moment! Enjoy the kicks, the turns, the hiccups, even the cervical checks (totally kidding on this one) because before you know it, you will no longer be pregnant! Take those last belly pictures!
I know this list doesn’t include the freezer meals to make before baby or what you need for your nursery or how to induce labor but I trust that you have already googled or searched Pinterest for these things. You are preparing to be a mama which is the most important thing. Everything else will fall into place. You’ve got this!
Tell me, what would you tell your former 38 week self?!