The countdown is on! As of Friday I’ll be 38 weeks, and yes, I’m getting the comments. “Anything yet? Bet you’re ready! How are you dealing with the heat?” blah, blah, blah
My usual response is that babies are a lot easier to care for inside than out, and I’m perfectly content. Babies come when they come! (Says the lady who’s never made it to 40 weeks… talk to me after August 17 and I may have a different attitude. )
That whole content thing? I really am! Yes, of course I’ve got a few uncomfortable things going on, and there are times during the day when I feel like I’m going to split in two (my discomfort is always in the pelvis/groin/hip region) but good grief, there are worse things! I’m also a firm believer that I’m in control of much of the way I feel. Out with the whining, in with the comfort measures. Here’s what works for me.
That whole pelvis/groin/hip thing I’ve got going on? It gets worse if I get lazy. It’s a good thing no one has the video camera trained on me when I get out of bed in the morning, because I’m sure those first few steps are rather entertaining. My solution? Walk it out. With the insane 105-110 temps that we’ve had, I’ve been walking outside just as soon as I can kick myself out of bed in the morning. I also walk/jog/dance and generally make a fool of myself at the swimming pool in the evenings.
Speaking of the swimming pool: bliss. The whole anti-gravity thing with the water lifting the baby off of my pelvis equals immediate relief. I highly recommend making the effort to dance in some water!
Inside, I try to avoid my favorite recliner (which I’m sitting in now, typing away… oops!) in favor of sitting on a hard chair, the floor, or my birthing/exercise ball. The ball is great because I can sit but still be on the move, rolling around and keeping things loose. Also, there’s plenty to do around the house, and I still do it. Last week I hands and knees mopped our wood floors. On tomorrow’s list? Washing windows. I figure picking things up off the floor, while not the most comfortable thing in the world, is simply another opportunity to practice my squatting and stretching. Just keep moving…
Make Time to Rest
Didn’t I just say to keep moving?! Um, yes, but resting and being lazy are two different things. Fortunately for me, our little dude almost always takes a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon, and the other kids are well-trained for quiet time during those hours. I’ve totally taken advantage of that time to sleep (hard!) many days each week. I’m the lady who’s up 3-4 times a night waddling to the bathroom, and I also wake up every.single.time I roll over (blasted hips again) so really, a good night’s sleep doesn’t exist. The afternoon siesta keeps me sane… and less grumpy.
Yes, really. If you are pregnant and you haven’t tried this yet, you can thank me later. My all-time favorite comfort measure, learned in our Bradley Method classes, is to have my husband roll tennis balls over my lower back, hips, and rear end. I like to lay my upper half over our gliding ottoman (which feels fabulous in and of itself, it’s a great position for the baby to hang) and then he rolls the tennis balls. The more pressure the better. Lower back pain? Sciatic nerve pain? Gone.
This whole tennis ball thing works lovely during labor, too!
Eat and Drink Well
Drink a lot of water. Simple enough! Our bodies function better when well lubed from the inside, and the best way to keep things fluid is to drink. Yes, that means 1,000 trips to the bathroom during the day, but I’d rather that than be miserable on the couch because I’m dehydrated, achy, crampy and having unnecessary contractions.
This baby likes fried dough, I kid you not. I’ve eaten my share of doughnuts (and some!) but I’ve also tried to keep up my protein, fruits and veggies. Starting the day with eggs and milk gives me energy to get through till nap time, and eating smaller meals and snacks (not all chocolate!) keeps me from feeling sluggish or having digestion issues.
Attitude is Everything
Maybe it’s because of the trouble we had getting here in the first place, and I’m just grateful to be where we’re at. Maybe it’s good genes. Maybe I really, truly am simply blessed with easy pregnancies (which I totally deserve after 3 of the nasty labors I’ve had!) but whatever the case, remaining positive mentally does a lot for me physically. The flip side is true, too.
Take good care of yourself, mama! You won’t be pregnant forever, I promise. There are many women (think premature babies, early term still-born, miscarriages) who would give anything to be waddling in your too-tight shoes, not able to see their swollen ankles right now. Blessings abound. Enjoy!
What do you do to keep comfortable in the last few weeks of pregnancy?