Toward the end of my pregnancy, I spent a lot of time answering the questions, “Are you just so miserable? Aren’t you ready for this baby to get here already?”
It’s a catch-22 kind of question to answer. Of course, pregnancy was hard on my body. Of course, my back was hurting and I was getting up to pee a LOT. But for the most part, the end of my pregnancy was not a miserable experience. And I firmly believe it doesn’t have to be for most people.
There are plenty of things we can do and attitudes we can take on to safeguard ourselves against a hard final stretch of pregnancy. It’s just all about intentionality.
Stay as active as possible during the first two trimesters.
I believe whole-heartedly that the most important thing I did in my pregnancy was to stay active and keep my eating under control. That being said, these things are much easier said than done. During the first trimester, I was sick as a dog. Eating and movement, in general, did not sound appealing. I could basically eat nothing but carbs and exercise was a no-go with the exception of walking. And that was okay! I did what I needed to do to get through those weeks, all while keeping myself and my baby healthy.
But you better bet that the minute that sickness went away, I was ready to get moving again and eat some vegetables. Moderate exercise helped keep my back and muscle pain at bay and helped keep me from swelling excessively. The longer you can put off those annoyances, the better! And exercise (at the advisement of your healthcare professional) is the best way to do it.
Invest in your marriage.
As soon as I hit forty weeks, I took some sweet advice and decided to look at every single extra day pregnant as another day alone with my man. We went out on dates, continued our normal daily routines, stayed up late watching movies and TV shows, and just spent intentional time with one another. I look back on those weeks as hard, but some of the sweetest weeks of my life. They geared us up to meet our baby and take on these new, hard, and precious roles as parents.
Connect with your baby.
During pregnancy, you are the only one your baby knows. It is your body sustaining your child. My daughter knew the sound of my voice best. It was my heartbeat that lulled her to sleep. In the moments I was so ready to meet her face-to-face, her kicks reminded me that I was already her home.
When you’re tired of the wait, don’t forget that your baby already knows you. Talk to your child. Read to him or her. Remind your little one just how deep your love is.
Do the things you won’t be able to do in a few weeks.
Man, did I get this piece of advice a lot! And it was SO good.
Look. I get it. When we’re at the end of pregnancy, we’re carrying around a bowling ball on our stomachs, we can’t eat (I mean where does it go?), and our bodies ache everywhere. It’s not exactly the most comfortable time of our lives.
BUT there are still so many things to do that we can’t once our babies make their appearances! Go see a movie. Go out to a fancy dinner. Go to church and community events. Go to a friend’s for lunch. You’ll be glad you did in just a couple of weeks when the doctor’s office becomes your big outing of the weeks.
Walk, walk, walk.
It’ll be hard to get yourself out the door but DO IT. Some say that walking put you into labor. It didn’t for me, but not for a lack of trying. After I was uncomfortable being in the gym and working out, I walked like a crazy person. I strolled 2-3 miles almost every day from 38 weeks until the day I gave birth (42 weeks on the dot).
You’ll be less achy, you’ll feel less like a blob, and who knows, it might put you into labor! If anything, it’ll keep up your stamina which you will SO need for labor.
Take some trips to Target.
There are plenty of things you’ll need to stock up on before baby comes. Plus, retail therapy is always fun.
Take a break from stressful people.
It gets tiring to be asked when you think your baby will come or what all you’re doing to induce labor. If someone is calling you every day wanting an update, let the phone ring. They probably have the best of intentions, but at this time, sweet intentions can sometimes stress us out. Send a followup text instead of talking. Try to avoid people who just love to tell you how awful labor is or how little sleep you’re about to get. Surround yourself with loving, encouraging friends who know when to stop talking and just listen.
Dive into your Word.
Most importantly, spend every ounce of free time you have reading Scripture and praying, praying, praying. You’re about to go through the biggest and sweetest life-change ever (especially for my fellow first-time moms). And once baby gets here, all non-existing habits will be out the window.
When everything is about to change, it’ll be more important than ever to be planted in the one thing that remains consistent despite time and turmoil: God’s Word.
There’s no doubt that the last little bit of pregnancy is hard. But it’s also such a special season. It’s the last little bit of a chapter. The last alone time you have with your husband. The last time you have to spend solely with your little ones on the other side of the womb. It’s exciting because, at any moment, your whole world could change for the better. So hang on, mama. Make the choice to enjoy the kicks and hiccups and last few days with your bump. You’re about to meet your new tiny best friend, and it is going to be a precious, precious season.
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Check out my pregnancy Instagram story to see the highlights of the 10 coolest months ever.