I was out walking with my son, who is just three weeks from turning 1 year old (gasp!), and began thinking about this time last year—when I was a hobbling with a 10 lb. baby in launch mode. I remember how hot it was, how my feet looked like they belonged to a Cabbage Patch doll, and how I longed to meet my little man. If you're feeling anything like I was, you're beyond tired, you're sweating in places you can't reach and you're just so over it. Fear not! Your little babe has to come out sometime, whether he likes it or not. In the meantime, here are four ways you can pass the time in those last weeks. Stay strong, friends.
My husband and I shared belly laughs on more than one occasion, simply by asking this: If we were an ecclectic, celebrity couple, what would we name our baby? The winner every time was "Drewsus Axlica" (pronounced ash-lick-uh). It's perfect. The combo of "Drew" and "Jesus" is undeniably steadfast and strong, while the combo of "Erica" and "Ashley" is chic, and a little bit bad-ass with the addition of an "x" in the name. Go on, give it a try. You know you want to. Moon Unit Zappa doesn't have to be alone in the universe.
As simple as it sounds, walk. Walk, walk and walk some more. I can't tell you how cathartic a long walk is, even on tired legs about to snap under the pressure of a swelling belly. When I walk, I think. I remember. I plan. Plus, your body will also produce those lovely endorphins that you probably need desperately right now before you take someone's head off. As a bonus, you may just wiggle that little baby down toward home plate a little faster, especially if you're in the last couple of weeks. Always check with your doctor, of course, before you head out in your sneaks—take water, and a friend or your partner, or stay very close to home. Walk it out, sister...walk. it. out.
Find a Distraction (or Two!)
Have you ever heard whispers of a little show called Battlestar Galactica and waved it off as nerd-lore? Ever wonder what this Game of Thrones thing is all about? Is it your secret wish to re-read the entire "Twilight" series or learn the art of bonsai? Now is the time, gals. You're nearly there, but if you're like me, you've had the nursery done for weeks, it's packed, organized, reorganized and you've read everything about pregnancy and childbirth that you can stand for a lifetime. Bask in your low-sodium-popcorn-induced coma, sipping lemonade, as you spend evenings watching the entire Friday Night Lights saga unfold on Netflix. If this is your first baby, you may want to really participate in this whole distraction thing. Any future babies will be coming into a world of siblings who will cancel out any possible attempt at relaxing distractions.
Immerse Yourself in Work
Last, and certainly not the most fun, you could always fall back on work to keep your thoughts occupied, if you plan on working up until "the day." I know you want to be done with work so you can just enjoy your new roommate already! But it's nice to throw yourself into some work, project or activity to make those last weeks on the job fly by. I was on a committee to plan an annual women's breakfast during the summer, then it was time to organize and train my interim, who would be in charge while I was on leave. By the time all of that was done, suddenly I was in our office, saying my goodbyes, and on my way to get a good night's rest before being induced.
Whatever you do to stay sane as you wait (and wait, and wait), try to keep it light and fun for the final count-down. Your little bean will be here soon. Promise.