Those last few months of pregnancy were the longest of my life. The days dragged, and my partner and I spent an embarrassing amount of time rearranging the baby's room instead of connecting in ways that would prove difficult once our little one arrived. After experiencing, first hand, how parenthood impacts your romantic relationship, we knew how important that time before baby would be the second time around, and took advantage accordingly. Trust me, there are last-minute things couples should do before their baby arrives, and making time for one another in the following ways will only help you succeed as new, sleep-deprived, overwhelmed parents once your little one makes their grand entrance into the world.
I didn't realize that I would miss so many aspects of pregnancy after the birth of my daughter, probably because I assumed motherhood would be great enough to fill any and every void. Motherhood is great, don't get me wrong, but so much changes as the result of being a parent. Honestly, I wish I could go back and do things differently — enjoy the quiet moments, the time with my partner, and the time to myself — instead of obsessing over when the baby when arrive.
Even though I knew I would have to soak up every ounce of time with my partner prior to the birth of my second child, things still weren't the same. After all, we had an almost 5-year-old daughter to entertain during my second pregnancy's final trimester. Long gone were the days of lying around and enjoying lazy one-on-one time with my partner the way we did prior to becoming parents. Sigh. So with that in mind, and because time machines aren't a thing yet, here are some things I think every couple should do during the longest point of any pregnancy. Trust me when I say that once it's over, there's no going back.
Go On A Date
My partner and I used to spend a lot of time together. We were inseparable, so dates and romance were a regular part of our relationship. Once I found myself pregnant, though, I ended up taking those times for granted. In fact, I just assumed we'd get back to "the way things were" as soon as we were able, had more money, and settled into my pregnancy.
During the last trimester of my first pregnancy, though, I experienced some health issues (like hypertension, which is about as fun as it sounds) and once I was ordered off my feet, I so wished we'd gone on more dates together while we still could. Once my bed rest ended and our baby arrived, those opportunities were no longer available to us.
Take A Trip
I can't remember the last road trip my partner and I took solo. When I was pregnant I was so focused on becoming a mom, our relationship was often pushed aside while my partner worked long hours to save for our future. Now that our kids are 5 and 10 years old, I think back on those child-free days and wish we'd traveled even a little bit during those last months of perceived freedom.
Hang Out With Friends
While my partner and I continued to spend time together during the first two trimesters of my pregnancy, that all changed when the third trimester rolled around. I was so uncomfortable all I wanted to do was lay around or sleep, and honestly, my desire to be around other people changed, too. I was insecure about how much weight I'd gained that my anxiety spiked. I know it would have been beneficial for my partner and I, though, to surround ourselves with our friend and feel like our pre-pregnancy selves again.
Do Something That Reminds You Of Your Pre-Pregnancy Selves
I used to be fun, you guys. My pre-pregnancy days were spent singing and playing my guitar at clubs and bars. This is how my partner, a drummer, and I met, actually. Pregnancy stole bits and pieces of us, though, and once the third trimester rolled around I looked up and realized we had changed, as both individuals and as a couple. We should've spent time investing in things that made us happy before the pregnancy — like continuing to play at those bars and clubs — instead of giving into the notion we were about to be parents and should just, you know, let it go.
Enjoy Complete Silence
Ahh, silence. It's been a long time since I've experienced the absence of noise. Through all the hustle and bustle of baby showers, doctor appointments, and just being pregnant, I never took the time to sit and enjoy the quiet. Before the baby cries and constant go-go-go of new motherhood, I sometimes long for the days my partner and I could just, you know, be.
Make Time For Lazy Sundays
The last trimester is perfect for laying in bed all day, or relaxing on the couch together. Seriously, don't take these things for granted. After your baby arrives there will come a day when you'd give up just about anything for an hour of nothingness, let alone an entire day. My partner and I definitely could've used more lazy pre-baby Sundays, especially because now our weekends start at some ungodly hour in the early morning. Seriously, guys: kids do not understand the concept of "sleeping in."
Plan All The Baby Things, Then Be Done With It
When I was pregnant it felt like "baby talk" took over my entire life. It was all pregnancy, all the time, which can be exhausting, honestly. I think couples should have a mandatory "do all the baby things" weekend, checking everything off their list, then leaving it behind them so they can focus on the present.
Discover A New Hobby
I truly believe pregnancy is the perfect time to re-discover yourself as a mother-to-be, as an individual, and as a partner. When my partner and I stopped going to bars, it was important for us to fill the space with something. Finding a new hobby, like crafting or journaling, became things that saved my sanity when I didn't feel like doing much else. And doing those things together brought my partner and I closer together.
Every couple out there going through the third trimester should take all the chances they can get to go to the spa, get their hair done, have sexy time, and whatever else that can relax you both as a couple and as individuals.
All this free time will come to an end eventually, and while being a parent will be greater than you can ever imagine, it won't always be easy. Take the time to focus on just the two of you, before you're a family of three (or more).