Waiting for Baby: How To Spend Your Last Week of Pregnancy
My first baby caught us all off guard and arrived a whole month early. My second baby made her debut into the world a week early. So based off my past pregnancies, I naively assumed Baby #3 would be arriving a bit before my due date. Well, my due date came and went without any signs that Baby would be coming anytime soon.
And let me tell you, going past your due date is a total mind game. Everyday you wake up thinking “Is today the day?!” “Surely, Baby is coming today!”. But then the day slowly passes by with no contractions, no water breaking, no other signs of labor and you concede that today is in fact NOT the day.
While it can be very difficult to wait patiently for your sweet baby to enter the world, there are many things you can do to pass the time. As an experienced expecting mama who has officially gone “past due”, here are my recommendations for how to spend those last few days (or weeks), while you wait for your little one’s arrival.
1. Embrace and Enjoy Your Sleep
Trust me, this is huge. Enjoy going to bed and knowing that you will (hopefully) get at least 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Appreciate sleeping in your comfortable and cozy bed. Take naps. Try to get as much sleep and rest as you can. Because after Baby is here, you can probably count on waking up at least every three hours for feedings, diaper changes, or comforting a newborn baby. Plus getting good quality sleep can be difficult when you have postpartum night sweats, sore breasts, a recovering pelvic floor, and other aches and pains.
2. Spend Time with Your Older Children or Spouse
I spent a lot of time with my older children the week of my due date. We played outside, went on hikes, read books, colored, cuddled, and did all the activities I knew I might not be able to participate in once Baby #3 entered our lives. I soaked up every night time snuggle and bedtime chat, knowing that in a few days, I might be busy nursing our newest family member. I also spent time with my husband. Not going to lie, we didn’t do anything thrilling or exciting, but we chatted, had dinner together, and watched our favorite Netflix shows. A new baby can sometimes bring added stress and make it difficult to do activities together, because we are often “dividing and conquering”. So really embrace and enjoy the uninterrupted time you have with your children and spouse before your little bundle of joy arrives.
3. Finish Last Minute To-Do’s
While I had been preparing for Baby weeks leading up to my due date, there were definitely a few things on my “to-do list” I had put off. These were tasks that didn’t necessarily need to be completed, but would definitely make my life much easier if done prior to Baby’s arrival. This included organizing my older kids' closets, washing/sanitizing my pumping parts and bottles, grocery shopping/stocking up the pantry and fridge, giving my dog a bath, and a few other random tasks. With the extra time I was given, I felt like my house was “in order” and I could focus on my family and our new baby after he/she arrived.
4. Participate in Your Hobbies
I knew once the new baby was here, I would have very little (if any) time to myself. In the days leading up to Baby #3’s birthday, I tried to get out and do the things I enjoyed. This included long walks, pregnancy workouts, a bubble bath, baking, and making a few Cricut projects. Focusing my energy on activities that brought me joy and pleasure really helped time go by quickly. Plus participating in these hobbies helped keep me emotionally grounded, happy, and joyful. The anticipation of a new baby can be stressful, especially when you are expecting Baby at any moment. But doing activities you enjoy before you have a newborn on the scene can be a great way to unwind and relax.
5. Relax and Know Your Baby Will be Here Soon
Speaking of relaxing, this is definitely one of the most important things you can do when you are anxiously awaiting the arrival of your baby. Know that you won’t be pregnant forever and your baby will be here before you know it. Breathe and take the time to just enjoy life as it is in the moment. Try not to wish time away. I definitely tried to practice a little bit of mindfulness and living in the moment the last week before Baby #3 entered our lives. It can be so easy to get swept up in the anticipation of Baby’s arrival. Slow down, enjoy the ride, and know you will be holding your baby in your arms very soon.
- Monica (Moving Like A Mother)