It's the final count down. Baby is almost here and OMG I'm ready. Hospital bag packed? Check. Nursery set up? Check. Nesting in the middle of the night Check. Baby clothes sorted, washed, and put away? Check. Hospital tour? Check. However, in addition to all of the "normal" check list items, mostly focusing on our baby-to-be, there are some things I did for myself during my third trimester, too. After all, baby needs a healthy, happy mom, and once they are here, there's no way I'm going to have time.
I am currently pregnant with my third baby, so I have the advantage of knowing how these things go thanks to previous experience. Well, at least how they've gone for me in the past because I've also learned that every pregnancy (even multiple pregnancies for the same woman) is different. Half of the things you do to prepare for baby don't end up mattering in the long run, and you are so tired that you don't care about whether or not their clothes are folded anyway. If there's one secret I've learned to surviving the third trimester and those first few postpartum months with a newborn, it's the importance (read: necessity) of self care. No one can deny that babies need healthy mamas.
So, this time around, there are some things I've done just for me. I know that in a few weeks, I may not have the time or energy to adequately take care of myself or show myself some love. Here are a few things I recommend:
Put My Feet Up. Literally.
I have the "advantage" (well maybe not "advantage" and more like a good excuse) of being under doctor's orders to take it easy. I have had a rough pregnancy coping with hyperemesis gravidarum, depression, hip and pelvic pain, and preterm labor. It's nice to have an excuse to put my feet up and, honestly, I feel better when I do.
Spent Time With My Husband
My husband and I try to prioritize time together every day, whether it's sex, conversation, watching John Oliver, foot rubs, or just snuggling. We know that alone time is about to become a rarer occurrence, and we are getting as much as we can, while we can.
Got A Pedicure
I love pedicures, so that was my self care a couple of weeks ago. Now my toes are pretty, and I don't have to figure out how to paint them around my baby bump.
Went On A Babymoon
We got a hotel room for New Year's Eve. Sure, we stayed in bed, ordered Indian take out, and watched home improvement shows (which is pretty much how we'd probably spend a Saturday night at home) but it felt special and great to have a child-free weekend before baby.
Dyed My Hair
I change my hair more often than some people change their toilet paper roll, but I know that my free time is about to get a whole lot more scarce. In that past year, I have enjoyed shades that span the entire rainbow (except orange). #Lifegoals.
Took Care Of My Health
I'm not just talking about weekly OB-GYN appointments, either (although, you know, go to those). I am also prioritizing my physical and mental health, by making appointments to make sure I am in the best shape when the baby comes.
Spent Time With My Kids
I have also prioritized spending one-on-one time with my kid, and to really enjoy these moments before our family changes. I want each of them to feel ready for baby and how things might change to our routine once they are born.
I love retail therapy. It's been fun buying things to prep for baby. Baby clothes are so cute, but I have also purchased more than a few nice bath products for the hospital, pretty bras and nursing tops, and some comfy yoga pants and pajamas for myself, too.
Went To The Movies
We have prioritized seeing movies together before baby comes, too. Another positive of movie-going? It can help you go into labor if you are past your due date (which is surely to happen if you are at a film you want to see).
My favorites have been Rogue One and Arrival, although I have to say that both need to come with a tissue warning. I cried like a baby.
Got A Breast Pump
If you qualify for a breast pump through your health insurance, the time to do this is now and not once you have a newborn and are a zombie and you're unable to complete basic tasks, let alone understand insurance documents or easily go to the store to pick one up.
Took Pictures Of My Bump
During my second pregnancy, I was so depressed and miserable that I didn't take any photos of myself while pregnant. I really regret it. This pregnancy, I am prioritizing documenting my changing body and huge bump.