Here I sit on the eve of my 38th week of pregnancy. I am tired, I am sore, and I pee a little bit when I cough. Life is pretty rough right now.
The days are long, the nights are short. It takes forever to fall asleep. Then once I’m hitting that REM stride I have to wake up to pee. Rinse and repeat. All. Night. Long.
Every night I tell myself that maybe tonight will be the night that I’m awoken in a pool of amniotic fluid, or with the telltale twinge of those first real contractions, and that this will all be over soon. Then every morning I wake up in the same state in which I fell asleep, hopelessly pregnant.
I was whining talking to my husband the other day about how done I am with this pregnancy.
I can vaguely remember the end of my first pregnancy, and how I spent this final leg taking it easy with my feet kicked up, daydreaming about becoming a mom.
Now, I spend these days the same way that I spent them pre-pregnancy. Chasing after a wild two year old whose hobbies include things like eating marbles and jumping on the couch when she thinks nobody is looking.
The reality is that this pregnancy really isn’t any harder than the first. It’s just that the end is so much harder than the beginning.
I want just want to meet my baby. I want to see her, to hold her, and to smell that sweet newborn baby smell.
I also want to be able to take a deep breath and eat whatever I want to again (somewhere there is a turkey hoagie loudly calling my name).
In an effort to make the best of these last few days, I’ve made an end of the road survival guide.
A way to get through these last two to four weeks (for the love of god don’t be another four weeks) without losing my mind.
Make a belly cast
I did it with my mother while my husband watched our daughter. It was fun, it didn’t take too long, and aside from the mess it was relatively easy. As an added bonus I now have this weird plaster thing that I can forget about in my basement for 18 years, only to tearfully throw it away when I discover it right as my daughter is getting ready to leave for college.
Eat whatever you want
It’s the home stretch. Maybe you were really careful throughout your pregnancy and counted calories. Maybe you didn’t so much count the calories as made a mental note that this was your third donut of the day. Whatever, the damage is done. You’re not going to gain 20lbs these last two weeks, go for broke. Eat the candy bar, splurge on the pregnancy safe cookie dough, do you.
Hit the spa/salon/nail place
This one may be easier said than done depending on your physical and financial constraints. I have both a pedicure and a prenatal massage scheduled for this weekend. The massage was a gift but the pedicure is all me. I’ve earned it, and so have you. Have someone else paint your toes. It will be a long while before you get to sit somewhere and be pampered again.
Let it go
Whether it be the laundry, the vacuuming, or some other chore that won’t cause your house to burn down if it goes unfinished. Just, let it go. And better yet, use that time to do something for yourself. Like reading that book you always wanted to read or making a butt shaped dent in your couch.
Treat. Yo. Self.
Go buy yourself something. Tuesday I spent the morning shopping for “recovery” clothes. Meaning I bought myself some nice new PJ’s and a few new nursing bras (#momlife). Maybe your treat would be a sequined tube top or a really fancy bottle of wine. Whatever, just go shopping. You can even make the excuse that walking helps get your body ready for labor. I totally used that excuse somewhere around the second lap of my Target marathon.
Seriously, come up with something that you really want to do. Go see a movie you’ve been dying to see, get dressed up and go out to your favorite restaurant, schedule a girl’s night, whatever. Just as long as you are really looking forward to it, because that will be the moment that your baby will finally decide to make their grand entrance and finally release you from this pregnancy prison.
Above all else, just try to enjoy these last days/weeks, because they will be over soon. They will quickly be followed by those long newborn days, and those even longer newborn nights.
As much as these final weeks of pregnancy suck, so sucketh the first weeks home with your newborn.
They don’t call it the fourth trimester for nothing.