The end of pregnancy is tough! Everyone is excited, the expectant mama is exhausted and uncomfortable, and the days feel like they are creeping by slowly.
My own children are 11 and 8 and I remember so vividly anxious awaiting their arrival — guessing whether they will look like mommy or daddy and wondering how large or small they might be. This time, I am anxious awaiting the arrival of my niece, Adeline, due July 20th!
I live in New Orleans and my brother and his significant other live in West Virginia. As a proud auntie and doula, I am sure you can imagine how ready I am to hop on an airplane and meet this sweet baby! That being said, no one is more excited than Adeline’s parents for her big debut. As the days draw near, I thought this may be a great time to share some tips for everyone in the same boat, anxiously awaiting the arrival of their little one!
- Try to enjoy your last few days or weeks together! Create a bucket list of the things you want to do while you are kid-free. Life as you know it is about to change (for the better) forever and you will always wear your heart on your sleeve. Schedule some date nights, go see a movie, enjoy a nice dinner, and hang out together.
- Make plans! Sitting at home anxiously awaiting baby will make time slow more than staring at water and waiting for it to boil. Continue life as usual and make those plans! People will understand if you have to cancel due to your baby’s arrival.
- Pamper yourself! Get a mani/pedi, enjoy a pregnancy massage, have your hair cut/colored, get those brows waxed…you’re sure to be busy (and probably exhausted) over the next few weeks/months and feeling refreshed before your birth is always nice!
- Sleep! It is hard to sleep during the end of pregnancy but even harder to sleep with a newborn. Enjoy some naps, go to bed early, sleep in…do whatever you can to get as much sleep as you can now!
- Prepare freezer meals! Spend some time Pinteresting easy freezer meals and prepare them now so that you have something to pull out on those tough days.
- Go shopping! Pick up those last minute baby items, hospital bag items, or some fresh flowers for the house. Little things that make you smile can help bring joy to those waiting days.
- Find a new Netflix or Hulu show to binge! I don’t know about you but binge watching a great series makes time fly by for me. Ask your Facebook friends which series they enjoy and start. They will come in handy to have something to watch during early labor and those middle of the night feedings as well.
- Create a birth announcement! Spend some time finding a great template on Canva, Shutterfly, or your local Walmart’s website and get it ready so that when he/she comes all you have to do is pop in a picture and stats and send them on their way. You might also consider e-birth announcements so you can save on stamps!
- Avoid the mommy groups/wars! I am typically a huge advocate of mommy groups/forums but at the end of pregnancy they can be brutal. You are seeing other first time moms delivering early, hearing stories of tough labors and births, feeling jealous that EVERYONE seems to be holding their sweet baby and you’re just waiting…it can feel discouraging. Unplug and trust that your baby will come at the perfect time when he or she is ready. It may feel like forever but trust me, that sweet baby will be here before you know it.
- Work on your birth plan! Chat with your doula and provider to make sure your wishes are in writing for both you and your baby during labor, birth, and after your baby arrives. Even if you do not wish to have a written birth plan, make sure those supporting you know how they can best do so!
- Try not to obsess over every sign and symptom! I know this is easier said than done but try not to focus and obsess over every drop of mucous, twinge of a contraction, or number the doctor gives regarding your dilation/effacement. Your baby will come and I promise you will not miss the big event!
Good luck sweet mama! Your baby will be here soon! And sweet baby, if you’re listening, the world is excited to meet you! You can come anytime now!
Written by: Melissa Nauss, Owner & New Orleans Doula