Each month has an average of 30 – 31 days… except for the last month of pregnancy which has 1 453 days.
Welcome to longest 4 weeks of your life. I worked for the first week of month nine. Being at the office when you’re nine months pregnant is no joke. Your bladder is taking no prisoners, your baby is settling into the birth position (hopefully) and your ability to concentrate has evaporated. That moment when you finally switch on your “out of office” message and walk out the door to start your maternity leave feels absolutely incredible for one reason: you no longer have to wear a bra, shoes or pants.
Once you’re home, prepare yourself for the daily check-ins from friends and family. “Has the baby arrived yet?” “Been thinking of you!” “Any sign of baby?” They mean well, but no one is more anxious than you and sometimes friends and family forget this. Every night you’ll collapse into bed wondering if tonight will be the night. Even though you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, you are still chartering unknown waters and those plaguing questions about what labour will feel like, will you need a c-section, how does an epidural feel, what if your milk doesn’t come in… all of those will fill your waking hours. You will obsess about your hospital bag – have you packed everything you need?
Heartburn will take over your life. Honestly, I’m not being dramatic, if you’re truly lucky you won’t struggle with this, but I had it bad with both my pregnancies and the one thing that truly helped (even though only temporarily) was drinking milk.
The very best thing about this month is that on your worst day, you can remind yourself that this time next month, you will be snuggling into your sweet little baby, getting high off that new baby smell.
While going into labour can be scary, I found a few coping strategies really worked well for me:
- Making a birth playlist filled with my favourite jams.
- Breathing exercises.
- Having a birth mantra. This sounds a little out there, but I really latched onto my mantra. As soon as labour felt impossible I repeated it to myself and somehow managed to channel the strength I needed to continue. Mine was: I am safe, my baby is safe. Find one that resonates with you.
- Lean on your partner for support.
- Get up and move. Lying in bed will only make the pain feel worse. Walk as much as you are able to.
You have reached the end of one journey and are about to walk through the door into a whole new life. Being a parent is the hardest, most incredible experience of my life. The physical and emotional rollercoaster of pregnancy prepares you for the coming years perfectly.
If I could leave you with one thought to carry you through your birth it would be this:
You are incredible, strong and courageous. Your body was made for this so trust it and don’t be afraid. What you are about to enter into will be one of the most unbelievable, life-changing experiences, relish every second.