Today I am exactly 39 weeks pregnant! I cant believe that a whole 39 weeks have passed since I found out I was pregnant (well…..I guess about 35 weeks have passed but you know what I mean!)
Everything is purchased, cleaned, and washed. The hospital bag is packed. The car seat is installed. The crib is all ready to go. Diapers are unpacked and organized neatly on the changing table. Clothes are washed and folded (and unfolded and folded again). Everything is set for our baby to arrive…
Yet, there is still no baby.
Ever since I was 37 weeks (considered full term) I have been hoping that every little cramp or pain might be the first sign that I am going into labor. (Have you read Early Signs of Labor! What you need to know!?) Still, two weeks later, I am still just as pregnant as ever (and still growing!)
My due date is technically October 29th, which is exactly one week from now. But for some reason I was convinced that I would be one of those lucky moms that had her baby at 37 or 38 weeks! So far, no such luck! I have been trying everything I can think of, including these natural induction methods, to get my labor and Delivery on, but still its just a waiting game.
But what exactly is your due date and why is it so important? That was the big question I was starting to wonder about. I started to get terrified that I would go over my due date which I realized, after hitting up Google, was totally normal!
What exactly is your due date?
Your due date is 280 days from the last day of your last menstrual period. The due date is actually the median gestational age, which means that 50% of mothers give birth before this date, and 50% give birth after. The due date isn’t some magical date by which all babies have to be born. It is simply an indication of when your baby MIGHT be born. It is totally normal (and healthy) to go over your due date. There are some medical concerns when a baby goes over 42 weeks so many doctors and midwifes try to induce the mother after 41 weeks!
Check out this awesome study for more information on Gestational Age and pregnancy length!
Of course, this information isn’t very encouraging for us very very pregnant soon to be mamas! But it is important to understand that it is totally normal to go over your due date, and it is nothing to stress about.
So my advice to you (and of course myself) is to take it easy and relax during these last few weeks of pregnancy. I know its much easier said than done, especially when these last weeks seem to drag on and on! So here are a few tips on how to stay sane during these final moments!
Surviving the Final Weeks of Pregnancy!
1. Hide The Calendar!
Okay, don’t really hide the calendar! You don’t want to miss any important OB/GYN or Midwife appointments during this time. But you can move the calendar somewhere a little more discreet. We have our calendar in the middle of our kitchen with a big fat DUE DATE written on the 29th! I decided to move the calendar to a different spot where we don’t have to look at it every time we enter the kitchen!
2. Connect with People you love
I had been so concerned with getting ready for the baby that I had neglected some of my closest relationships. During these final weeks, when I have been finished with work and moping around the house like a lost puppy, I decided to reach out to old friends and family members. Connecting with people can be so encouraging and can really take your mind off of your giant (still growing) belly! Not to mention, you may not have as much time for these people in the few months after your baby has arrived so it is nice to see or talk some people while you can still get a solid nights sleep! (Unless of course, you are having some major pregnancy sleep issues!)
3. Get Dressed!
So If you are anything like me, you have spent the last couple of weeks moping around the house in your pajamas, obsessively vacuuming and mopping the floors! My advice to you is to actually get yourself dressed in the morning! It may be hard, and it may seem pointless since you only have a few outfits that actually cover your belly and you can barely waddle out of the house, but it will make you feel so good! Do your hair, put on crazy makeup, paint your nails….maybe you will be reminded of the person you were before you acquired that giant belly.
4. Get out of the House
This goes along with getting dressed! It may seem hard to get yourself to leave the house when you can barely manage to waddle, but getting out and doing something fun will take your mind off of your impending labor and delivery! Daniel surprised me with a little trip to dolphinarium this week (Its the Dutch version of Sea World) and it was a total blast! It totally took my mind off of all my pregnancy aches and pains! Here are some ideas of what to do to get out of the house
- Go see a movie (who knows the next time you will be able to get out to the cinema!)
- Take your partner on a romantic dinner date!
- Go shopping! Pick up some last minute baby clothes or supplies that you may have forgotten. Regardless, its super fun to just look at baby clothes!
- Take a stroll through a farmers market. Maybe pick up some fresh flowers to celebrate your little arrival (when he/she comes)
- Visit old friends who you may not have time for once your baby arrives.
5. Pamper Yourself
Like I said in #3 its nice to remind yourself of who you were before you got pregnant. Before you broke out in pregnancy acne, had swollen feet, and varicose veins! Go get your nails done or get a haircut (last week I finally got a much needed haircut!). This way, you can sit back and relax as someone else pampers you! From now on you will be pampering your little baby so think of this as your time! You could also go get a pregnancy massage or acupuncture to help induce labor as well!
OR you can soak in a nice warm bath with these Pregnancy Bath Flakes for a nice relaxing bath!
6. Take a Nap
At this point in time, you may be feeling some extreme fatigue as your due date approaches! This is normal and is one of the signs that labor is near! But instead of trying to fight your mid afternoon (or midmorning) dip, go ahead and take a nap. You want to be well rested for whenever your labor strikes!
7. Go for a Walk
Going for a walk is not only a great way to get your blood pumping, but it can also induce labor! It can also help take your mind off of the fact that you are still pregnant! Grab your partner, a friend, or your mom and go for a little jaunt around the neighborhood.
8. Find a new hobby
Although this sounds sort of impractical, especially since after your baby arrives you wont have much time for anything else. But this could be a good time to start a new hobby or learn something new! Now, this isn’t the time to join your local softball club or decide to run a half marathon, but a small household hobby is perfect!
I, for example, started this blog! I was doing a ton of research on pregnancy and everything related to new motherhood so I thought I would start a blog about it, and it has been incredibly rewarding so far! Also, a great way to take my mind off of my giant belly!
9. Hit the Kitchen!
This is a great time to make a bunch of meals that you can freeze for after the baby comes! You will probably be wayyy too tired to cook after your little arrival has arrived, so use this time to get ahead and make some meals! Casseroles and Chili make great freezer meals! Also try these healthy pregnancy muffins!
10. Make a Pregnancy Scrapbook
Do you have a ton of belly pictures, ultrasounds, and cards lying around the house? This is a great time to make a scrapbook commemorating your pregnancy! You can put all those pictures and tokens in one book to look back on in a few years! Its also a fun way to look back on your pregnancy and remember all the good parts like how excited you were when you found out, or telling your family, or having a baby shower!
If you aren’t into scrapbooking per se, you can grab a pregnancy journal like this one (or this one) and fill it out with all of your juicy pregnancy details. My Best Friend sent me this book when she first found out I was pregnant and I love it! I have filled it out in addition to making my pregnancy scrapbook =)
While I didn’t exactly make a “pregnancy scrapbook” I made a scrapbook celebrating me and Daniel’s relationship! I included all our pictures from way back from when we met and included tickets, and cards, and letters! I also included my pregnancy by putting all my belly pictures and ultrasounds in the book! It was such a fun way to look back on all the good parts of pregnancy! Especially since right now I just want it to be over!
With all this being said, remember that your pregnancy will eventually be over (its not going to last forever) and your baby will be in your arms before you know it! Try to take it easy, relax, and sip on some Third Trimester Tea. Stressing about your seemingly never ending pregnancy will not do you (or your baby) any good!
If you ladies are in the same position as me, I wish you all the best of luck! Remember to check back with A Day with Fé to see when this baby finally decides to arrive! And don’t forget to subscribe for more updates and pregnancy information =)