We’ve all read those posts that give you solid information on things you should be doing in the weeks leading up to your baby’s due date. In fact, Countdown to Baby: Things to Do the Month Before Baby Arrives is one of our most searched and pinned posts. But, let’s be honest, that month leading up to your due date is brutal. Yes – in an ideal world, your baby will keep on cooking for as long as possible within a 40 week time frame; but the reality of the situation is that you’re tired, swollen, moody, sore all over and so over being pregnant!
If that even closely describes you, then this post is for you. We took some time to talk amongst ourselves and identify some of the most ridiculous (and useful) things we’ve done to occupy our time during the final countdown. So, with that in mind, read on if you need a good chuckle; but don’t be surprised if you walk away with a few good ideas for how to spend the last few weeks of your pregnancy.
1. Photograph Your Growing Belly
Oh come on, you know you’ve been taking pregnant selfies throughout your entire pregnancy, so why stop now? We’ve found that just when we think that our bellies can’t possibly get any bigger, they do. This is also a great time to take some maternity photos if you’re still feeling up for it.
2. Get a Mani/Pedi
Having your nails done is incredibly relaxing, assuming that you can find a salon that doesn’t reek of toxic fumes. You’ll also appreciate a well manicured nail when you have photos taken at the hospital of your new family. Oftentimes, photographers will try to provide a close-up shot of mom’s hands holding baby. If your nails and cuticles are all torn up, you probably won’t like the pictures.
As for a pedicure – not that your OB really cares what your feet look like during labor (especially if you are wearing those fancy hospital socks), but if you’re already getting a manicure, you might as well enjoy a pedicure. However, do NOT turn on that massage chair as it may cause you to go into labor before you’re ready – unless of course you’re already at the very end and want to go into labor.
If pedicures aren’t your thing, at least get a foot massage.
3. Shave for a smooth exit
If you’re up for a challenge, attempt to shave your lady parts, because you’ve already mastered shaving your legs while pregnant (which is a huge accomplishment). Since you won’t be able to see anything, grab a mirror. Alternatively, you can schedule a waxing appointment. But, let’s be honest, no one really cares.
4. Netflix and Chill
The pregnant version of “Netflix and Chill” is quite different than what Urban Dictionary might tell you. Have your husband get you a giant tub of ice cream. Then, get comfortable on the couch while binge-watching your favorite 90s television show and eating that entire tub of ice cream. Avoid watching anything too medical (the last thing you need is to watch a show where a baby dies). Instead watch something along the lines of Dawson’s Creek.
5. Eat Everything
Specifically, eat everything you know you’ll stop eating as soon as your baby is born. Although to be fair, when you’re at the end of your pregnancy, you’ll either suffer from heartburn or won’t have any room left to eat much of anything. Still, we find it perfectly acceptable to indulge a little. Powdered donuts, brownies, ice cream? Yes please.
6. Take Yourself On a Date
Most moms will agree that before babies came along, we had all the time in the world (and wasted most of it). Then that sweet bundle of joy comes along and POOF, all of that time just disappears. Therefore, be sure to take yourself on a date before your little one arrives. Spend one entire day doing whatever you want. If you have an older child, hire a sitter. Sneak cupcakes into the movie theater, get your hair or nails done, buy something only YOU will enjoy, eat lunch with both hands and sleep.
7. Have “Fun” with the General Public
In the final weeks of pregnancy, random people will be even more inclined to comment on your current state (as if they weren’t already quite comfortable asking anything and everything). We can’t tell you how many times we’ve been asked “when are you due,” or “what are you having?” We’ve gotten the looks that suggest “woah – are you sure you still have 3 months left?” and the forwardness of “are you having a boy?”
If you can keep a sense of humor about yourself, have a little fun with your responses. For example, when asked “when is your due date,” respond with something to the effect of “today – oh crap, I think my water just broke!” Be sure to bring a bottle of water with you everywhere you go so that you can really play it up.
8. Create a List of Delivery Options
When it comes to meal prep, you have three options: spend the final weeks of your pregnancy freezing homemade meals that you can cook when needed, hope that your friends arrive in the weeks following delivery with ready-made meals, or order take out. An ideal situation would include a little bit of all three. With that in mind, make a list of everyone who delivers (or offers a pick-up option), from groceries to pizza so that you and your family can continue to eat even though you may be too tired to cook anything.
On a similar note, as you prepare to go into labor, be sure to keep up with the dishes as best you can. If you do manage to go into labor before you’re completely ready, you don’t want to have to come home to a mountain of dishes in the sink. In fact, you may want to consider making the switch to paper plates during those last few weeks.
9. Get Creative
The final weeks of pregnancy are the perfect time to get creative. A few dabs of paint and your belly can quickly transform into a basketball, watermelon, pumpkin, Easter egg, fishbowl or any other image you can imagine. This is especially fun if you are expecting a baby near Halloween.
You could also make a cast out of your belly and paint it (or have your other children paint it). We’ve even seen where these casts are used for newborn photos to show how baby fit snugly in your belly.
10. Schedule a cleaning service
It’s funny how one tiny human can cause your house to be turned upside down and become a little messier than normal. Therefore, use this time to schedule a cleaning service to clean your home about 3 weeks after your due date (you can always call and push that appointment up or back). You can plan for them to come during one of your many doctor appointments in the weeks following your baby’s birth. Now, imagine how excited you’ll be when you come home and your house is clean!
11. Mow the Lawn
Maybe mowing the lawn isn’t your thing, but for one of our readers, she truly loved cutting the grass and being pregnant wasn’t going to stop her from burning off some restless energy. Granted, her neighbors thought her husband was a total loser for allowing his very pregnant wife to mow the lawn, but who cares!
If tending to your lawn isn’t your thing, maybe gardening or lifting weights or simply working is. Whatever the case, keep doing what you love doing to the best of your abilities; otherwise you’ll go nuts waiting for the big day to come.
12. Make a Game of “it”
Do you enjoy going out for weekend lunch? Do you frequent the same burger joint or find yourself hitting up the same ice cream shop every week? Then, make a game out of seeing how many times you can enjoy that activity before your baby arrives.
For example, one of our readers enjoyed going out for weekend brunches with her husband. In the weeks leading up to her due date, they thought it’d be fun to see how many brunches they could squeeze in before their first child was born. Each time, they would say “surely this is the last one,” and then they’d be right back there the next weekend. She managed to go over 41 weeks before finally being induced.
13. Shop ‘Til You Drop
If this is your first child, chances are that you’ve had at least one baby shower. In fact, you probably received just about everything you could possibly ever need for your newborn. If this is your 2nd, 3rd or 4th kid, you’re on your own. But, let’s be honest, babies don’t really require that much. Even still, shopping for a new baby is fun.
Spend your days taking inventory of all the things you have or still need; then, use the weeks leading up to your due date to buy those things you still need. Each week can have a different focus. For example, one week, determine what you need for your hospital bag; then, head to the store and fill in any gaps. Another week, you can prepare your postpartum home kit.
Of course, don’t forget your older child(ren). Use the last month to stock up on big sibling books, gifts and activities that you can bring out over the course of the first few months of your new baby’s life. In many cases, you can just shop from home via various online “home shows” like LuLaRoe, Usborne Books, or Zulily.
If you haven’t already, sign up for Amazon Prime and Amazon Family, and start a monthly subscription of diapers and wipes (and anything else you might need on an ongoing basis). The initial member fee is absolutely worth it to have all your needs met within two days. However, we recommend taping a “do not disturb” type of message on your door once your baby is born to prevent your friendly delivery guy from ringing the doorbell and waking the baby.
14. Take on a Project
Have you been wanting to de-clutter the playroom, clean out your closet or the oven, make a rug for the nursery, create a piece of art work, or refinish a piece of furniture? Whatever it is, now’s a great time to take on a home project. Sure, you could wait on your spouse to help out, but all that restless energy has to be spent somewhere; so, you might as well get something out of it.
Speaking of projects, have you written thank you notes to everyone who has already given you a baby gift?
15. Dance or “Prancercize”
You’ve probably seen plenty of pregnant dance videos on Facebook and YouTube. A little booty shaking is a great way to induce labor, so if you’re ready to get that process started, take the opportunity to perform the Black Eyed Peas song, “My Humps” for your husband by gyrating your belly to the chorus.
Alternatively, you can try “prancercizing”. Yeah, it’s as ridiculous as it sounds, but go ahead and try it. What else do you have to do?
16. Go to a Concert or a Broadway Show
It’s quite tempting to just camp out at home as you get closer to your due date; but if you have no history of pre-term labor, you might as well get out and enjoy activities that you won’t likely do for awhile once your baby is born, such as going to a concert or a Broadway show. Besides, at this point, your baby can hear most of what is going on in the world around him, so he may enjoy a little music while he waits out the next few weeks in your belly.
If you’re having a summer (or early fall) baby, take advantage of your neighborhood pool, lake or river. Escape the added weight of pregnancy by floating in a weightless environment (water), thus taking the strain off your body and spine. Who knows, you may even find that you get a better night’s rest after your swim. Just be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen.
18. Have a Friendly Competition
These days, just about anything and everything turns into a competition. People love the thrill of trying to predict a winner, the final score, etc. So, why not poll your friends and family for their best predictions on your baby’s due date, gender, weight, hair and eye color. You don’t even have to have a prize. Once your baby is born, everyone will get caught up in seeing his or her precious face, they won’t even care that they didn’t “win.”
19. Walk. Walk. Walk.
Especially as you get closer to your due date, walking can really encourage labor to start. Whether you’re walking around the neighborhood, an apple orchard, the pumpkin patch, the beach, or simply taking a stroll around Target, getting out and moving your body (if it’s not too painful) is always good for passing the time.
20. Kick Your Feet Up
By the time you reach the last month of pregnancy, everything hurts; so much so, that you don’t even have to say anything to let others know that you’re uncomfortable. From your facial expressions, to the grunting that comes from trying to get comfortable, to the incredibly slow pace of your walk, that pregnancy glow has worn off. We’ve found that by the time you reach this point, it’s probably best not to be around too many people, unless picking a fight will relieve some stress.
With that in mind, if nothing else, be sure to kick your feet up, drink plenty of water and rest. The days may be long, but your pregnancy will soon be over and you’ll miss having that sweet baby in your belly.
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What else are you doing or did you do to pass the time before your baby’s birth? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.
Photo Credits: St. John Photography, Ashley Sisk, Bart Everson, The Art of Making a Baby, pixydust8605