By the time you read this I shall, all being well, be snuggled up on my sofa at home with a squishy little newborn living in a haze of breast milk and nappies . . .
However as I write I am in the final weeks of what I know will be my last pregnancy - knowing I will never do this again I am determined to enjoy it and not wish away a single second of it. That said I'm not right comfortable! So here are my tips for surviving that final month of pregnancy:
This is a somewhat hypocritical statement as anyone who reads my blog knows that at 36 weeks I have yet to pack my hospital bag . . . so in a true case of "Do as I say, not as I do" I shall say "Get sorted!"
* Pack your hospital bag
* Sort your childcare arrangements and pets if necessary
* Get the car seat ready (you won't be leaving hospital without it)
* Make sure you've got enough nappies and so forth to get started (nobody needs a mad dash to the supermarket because they realised there's likely to be a nappy emergency in the middle of the night)
* Take some time to stock your cupboards and freezer with easy food that just needs reheating and can be eaten with one hand (if you don't understand that now you soon will)
Make the Most of the Final "Pre-Baby" Days
Before my eldest was born we had a lovely little "Baby-moon" to Edinburgh and enjoyed cheeky evenings out knowing that we needed to make the most of our freedom so to speak, in fact the night I went into labour we had in fact been for a lovely meal out to celebrate our anniversary. Even if, like me, you've already got one or more children this is still a time to make the most of your current situation.
* Take advantage of babysitters to go for an evening out with your partner - go to the cinema or for a nice meal before you have a small baby attached to you 24/7
* Spend time with your friends - even if it's just a wander round the shops and a coffee or to the cinema. Try to get some "grown up" time in while you've still got chance.
* Make the most of getting out and about with any children you already have and spend some quality time with them (we've planned quite a few adventures for this last month as we know we're going to be housebound for a while!)
* Get your hair done, have a facial, get your brows done - all those bits of "grooming" which help you feel more fabulous human!
* Think ahead - in this instance I'm planning Christmas now - I need to get as much done as possible before baby arrives so that I can relax and concentrate on my newborn, not worry about trying to buy presents.
Do What You Can To Get Comfortable
This is possibly the most ridiculous statement ever as anyone in their final weeks of pregnancy knows getting comfortable is pretty much impossible.
* If you are suffering from heartburn then stay upright as much as possible, extra pillows in bed etc, don't bend over to pick things up (someone else will do it!) I find milk, yoghurt and Love Hearts all help to ease my heartburn, as does eating small regular meals and avoiding things like orange juice and chocolate (cruel right?) If it gets really bad your Dr can prescribe medication.
* Fill your bed with pillows - one between the knees, another to support your back, one to support your bump. Some people like a big maternity pillow, just try what you can and see what suits you.
* Heat! I use one of those heated bead bag things on my lower back or hips and it really does relieve the aches.
* Have a warm bath - but please don't do it when you're in the house on your own! People aren't joking when they tell you they got stuck in the bath - I speak from experience!
* Don't do too much! (My husband would be looking pointedly at me now if he was reading this) Sit down and rest when you can. Too much walking is always going to end up in pain!
Dealing With Other People
Be prepared to be fully stalked by your friends and family desperate for news - my little sister once caused almighty panic in my first pregnancy as I hadn't updated my Facebook status or answered my phone . . . I was in the shower!!
And those well meaning but irritating strangers who ask nosey questions? You know the ones, Do you know what you're having? How long you've got left? or simply want to tell you how big you are! Just smile sweetly, give them a standard answer of "not long" and walk away. They don't realise you've already had this conversation 17 times this morning on the school run and much as you might want to unleash a raft of tired pregnancy hormones in their direction it really won't make you feel any better!
Just enjoy it. I know it's hard work and you're tired and uncomfortable but I promise it will be worth it. Appreciate these final moments of feeling your little baby wriggling around inside you because you will miss that bump when it's gone! Every time you wish your pregnancy was over already just think of those ladies that would kill to be in your position and appreciate what you've got. Your body is doing the most incredible thing ever - give it credit for that and relish it.
Good luck! x x x