With my due date just a few days away I’ve been thinking a lot about ways I’ve spent the last couple of months & there are a few things that I think every soon to be mama should put on her list.
- Prenatal Yoga – the hospital I’m delivering at offered a 6 week prenatal yoga class & it was some of the best $100 I’ve spent this pregnancy. Each Monday I walked to the yoga room & for 90 minutes was able to focus on stretching, breathing & getting to be around other very pregnant soon to be mamas. Since the class ended I’ve been trying to stick with stretching because I know it can only help me with delivery day comes. If your hospital doesn’t offer a class or you don’t want to shell out money just head to YouTube and search for 3rd trimester yoga and see the results pour in. I promise you won’t be disappointed!!
- LadyMoon – As much as I talked about how great it is to go on a babymoon with your significant other, I think if you can swing it some kind of Ladymoon with your girlfriends can be just as important! It doesn’t have to be overnight, it doesn’t have to be fancy, it can be as simple as a dinner out somewhere that makes delicious mocktails. There’s nothing being surrounded by some of your favorite women & if you have the opportunity to get pampered why not go for it.
- REST! Whenever you want, how much you want & don’t feel guilty about it. In the third trimester I revisited the power of an afternoon nap. The last six weeks or so of this trimester my sleep at night really started to be impacted. I know a lot of women who have trouble sleeping much sooner than that, so I certainly count myself lucky, but once I stopped working & could really indulge in the afternoon nap I went for it. Chris typically calls me when he’s leaving work to say he’s on his way home, and more often than not these days that phone call finds me asleep on the couch!
- Shower – this might sound odd, but one of my goals this trimester was to shower whenever I felt like it for as long as I wanted, uninterrupted. I’m not always the biggest fan of showers, mostly because I hate washing my hair & having to blow dry it afterward. I’m typically a wash my hair every 3-4 days gal; but this trimester it dawned on me showers will be harder to come by & I know hearing a crying baby will definitely make a shower far less enjoyable. So I decided this is my last chance to be under hot water for as long as I please & not feel any guilt.
- Meal Prep – Come up with a handful of meals you can make ahead of time & freeze. A few friends of mine picked a random day & dedicated it to cooking these freeze ahead meals. If that sounds far to daunting then try to cook one meal a week that you can make a double batch of & freeze the second half. Some of the meals we made were: Lasagna, beef chili, chicken teriyaki, squash soup & a jumbalaya. All of these items reheat nicely & I know will be such a lifesaver in the weeks to come. Because we live in an apartment our freezer situation is pretty tight, so I went ahead and sent a couple meals with one of my friends who I know will come visit me in the first few weeks & told her when she comes just to bring one or two of the meals! Whether you’re cooking or your enlisting the help of friends or family, having some meals ready to go that just need to be heated up will take some of the pressure off in the first few weeks.
- Go out to dinner – Chris & I made a little list of some of our favorite restaurants in San Francisco & decided to make an effort to go to them one last time before the baby came. I personally tried to pick places that have yummy desserts, now that I’m not indulging in a fancy cocktail or a glass of wine I’ve become quite the dessert connoisseur. It’s been so nice to have a leisurely dinner at some of our favorite places & just relish in this moment of time right before our world gets turned upside down.
- Acupuncture – I’ve talked about my love for acupuncture in previous posts & how much it helped in the first trimester with keeping morning sickness at bay & energy levels up. Now in the third trimester I’ve been going more & more frequently. Throughout this trimester I’ve started to experience more pregnancy symptoms, when I was still working my back began to hurt from standing all day. In the final six weeks or so of my pregnancy I began developing significant carpal tunnel & hand swelling & acupuncture really helped alleviate some of the discomfort that went along with it. And as of the past few weeks I’ve been going to try to prepare my body for birth. One of my biggest goals is to try my hardest to avoid induction, I really trust my body & although my doctor is okay with being going to 42 weeks, it honestly sounds a little terrifying to go that far overdue. My acupuncturist specializes in women’s health / fertility & is very confident in her ability to send the right signals to my body to promote labor. As someone who was going to acupuncture long before I was pregnant & saw the results I can’t help but recommend it for almost everyone! Stay tuned for what I think about the “induction” sessions & if they really work to bring about labor!
- Take a birth class – no matter what your ideal birth plan is it’s probably a good idea to take some kind of class just in case mother nature has other plans. Often times women can be sent home from the hospital if they are not far enough along in their labor, and having ways to cope with labor before you can be admitted and get an epidural is a smart idea. If you’re in the bay area I highly recommend Bay Area Birth Education. This class was awesome. It was a little daunting when we saw that it was an ALL day class, but we both felt so much more prepared for what is to come afterward. I anticipated a fairly granola approach, with lots of discussion about natural births however I must say I thought they did an amazing job of presenting all the options women are faced with in an incredibly non judgmental way.
- Get organized – As someone who appreciates a good list this was definitely a must for me. Chris & I created a list of things that we had to get done before the baby got here. It included things like getting our cars oil changed & detailed before installing the bases to the carseat, specific tasks to finish up the nursery like hanging shelves, setting up our baby monitor etc. I’ll be sharing our list in case anyone is curious, but I highly recommend sitting down & thinking about the things that must get done & things you would love to have done before baby is here & setting aside a couple tasks each week. By breaking the list up it can make it seem much more manageable. Plus if you have family or friends who want to help you it’s a great way to know what tasks you can ask them to do for you. For instance my parents came to town for a few days & wanted to help me so I had them help me wash the cover for our sectional couch which was something that absolutely needed to be done & is a huge pain in the butt.
- Finalize your maternity leave plans – every state has different benefits & amount of time they give to new mothers. Navigating this process can feel very overwhelming so the sooner you start asking your colleagues, researching online & getting things in order the better. California is generous when it comes to time off for both pregnancy & in the weeks following the birth. & Even though I had a few women at work who could help shed some light about how to navigate the system it was still very confusing & involved me having to calculate out how much vacation time, sick time, holiday time I would be using.
- Bonus ENJOY! – As hard as it can be, try your very hardest to enjoy your third trimester. As I sit here writing this post just a few days shy of my due date, I honestly can’t believe it’s already here. It feels both like yesterday & forever ago that we sat in the car in awe with our first ultrasound photos & had this nervous excited energy buzzing in us. Now with the birth upon us it’s so crazy to think that we’re on the brink of a completely new season of life. Chris & I often talk about seasons & we really made it a point to enjoy this season of being married but not having babies. Even though having a family is incredibly important to both of us & was something that we looked forward to & talked at length about even from our first date! We really made it a priority to relish in the season that led up to it because we won’t ever have that time again. I know we are about to embark on an experience & feel love bigger than we can even imagine right now but I think anytime a season ends it inevitably feels bittersweet. So I’m really trying to just be present & enjoy this time right now.
Did any other mommas feel this end of season bittersweetness I describe? I know that in a week or two I probably won’t even remember I felt this way!