When you're at the tail end of pregnancy, doing literally anything can run opposite to every instinct you have. You're big, tired, and done. You'd rather focus on various ways to try to induce labor because get out baby. However, as someone who has been there (twice), I'm telling you that it's worth the effort to treat yo' self before your due date. Other moms agree, too. In fact, I asked 18 of my nearest and dearest "What's the best thing you did for yourself before your due date?" The fond and fuzzy feelings that surfaced in their answers confirmed my theory: indulging in something special (other than napping and staying home) is something all pregnant women should, at the very least, consider.
Throughout a lot of my first pregnancy I was a total homebody, mainly because my body liked to be asleep by 8:30 p.m. In retrospect, I wish I'd forced myself to get over that apathetic hump just a little more often. Nowadays, with two children under the age of 6, spontaneous outings of any sort are just not happening. Ever. However, one night, a week or so before my due date, my best friend planned a dinner on the roof of his building (which happened to have an amazing view of Manhattan). This wasn't anything particularly out of the ordinary and I was a regular fixture at their apartment. In other words, we had enjoys similar dinners a million times. It was so very not out of the ordinary, in fact, that I considered not going because I was so tired. But I realized that I wouldn't have too many opportunities to just jaunt on over there in the future, at least not without either bringing my baby or arranging childcare. So my husband and I went over and now this evening is among my fondest memories of life before children.
What are other moms glad they took the time to do for themselves? All aboard the Self-Care Express to find out!
"I was put on bed rest at 36 weeks, but I broke curfew a week before my due date because I was gifted tickets to see Shakespeare in the Park and it was a mild summer day."
"I was scheduled to be induced when I was six days overdue, so I enjoyed a pedicure a week before the procedure. My husband and I went on amazing date where I indulged in Guinness ice cream with a salted caramel sauce. I'll never forget my pretty purple toes while pushing, or the feeling of knowing it was truly our last date before baby."
Went out to breakfast with my husband the morning I was due to be induced. We took our sweet time, knowing it would be our last time eating slowly for awhile!
"A few days before my daughter was born, my husband and I took a walk in the snow on Christmas Eve. Everyone was out (probably at church) and we were — for once! — alone in the house. There was no one to tell me it wasn't a good idea to go out in the snow so close to my due date. Snow was falling, no plows had been through, I was cumbersome, but we strolled to the end of the street and back, arm-in-arm. It remains one of the 10 most pleasantly memorable events of my life."
"It was after my due date, like five days over. I went to the local pottery painting place and listened to my labor playlist and painted all by myself while sipping an iced herbal tea. It was very relaxing, which I absolutely needed at that point."
Bought and installed a new dishwasher (with a sanitize cycle) when I was a week overdue. No way was I washing bottles by hand!
"I took a day just for me. It was heaven sent. I went in the morning to get a mani/pedi and then took the rest of the day to walk around the mall by myself, knowing this could be the last time in years I did so. We have an awesome local bookstore in our mall, and I bought a new book and a muffin and sat and read in the café area. A friend of mine, who'd recently had her first, had urged me to do something like that and to appreciate that last opportunity for "me time" that didn't require a babysitter and a million plans. So I did, and it was divine. I've not forgotten it."
"It was about a week past my due date, but the day before I went into labor, we went to Governor's Island and walked the whole thing, very slowly. It was a beautiful fall day and really nice to spend the time outside just my husband and me."
Got a mani/pedi and a massage. Was lazy AF. Continued to eat whatever, whenever, and nap whenever possible. Totally shameless.
"My husband and I rented a car to drive out of the city to go to the Chuang Yen Monastery in Carmel, NY. It's such a beautiful, calm place. I'd been there a few years earlier and I just felt compelled to go back and visit before the baby was born."
"I did not make it to my due date for either pregnancy. With my first, my birthday was a few weeks before my due date so I scheduled a hair cut/color and a pedicure. Then I developed pre-eclampsia and had to be induced the day after my diagnosis. I had to cancel my appointments on my way to the hospital. They asked if I wanted to reschedule and I told them I couldn't because I was on my way to the hospital to have a baby three weeks early."
Took the tiniest smidgen of Ambien (with my doctor's approval) so that I could get some really good sleep.
"I got a prenatal massage and had separate dates with my first-born and my husband. It was so nice to soak in some time with each of them before the newborn craziness."
"I pulled an all-nighter. It sounds crazy, since I was going to be doing a lot of all-nighters as a mom, but not a video game and pizza all-nighter with my friends. I regret nothing."
"I went to the beach in a bikini. I had always wanted to but was too self-conscious to go for it. But once I was a week past my due date — and at the end of a really hot, sweaty summer — I had no f*cks left to give and went for it."
"I had a day of fun with my first baby. He was 3 at the time and I knew we wouldn't have too many opportunities to have one-on-one time for a while. We went to the zoo, had ice cream, and went to the toy store. It was a joy to spoil him."
"I went to see Moana. I'm a Disney nerd, and I was looking forward to it so much. I was determined my daughter wouldn't be born until after I saw it, and she complied."