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The Final Countdown

Dear Diary,

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Kidding. But really, this is more of a personal post on where I’m at in my pregnancy and some things that have crossed my mind.

I am currently at a couple days over 37 weeks. That puts me over 9 months pregnant…yes, there are actually 10 full months, technically. At a little over 9 months, I am absolutely slowing down. Physically and mentally. This is when I tend to want to go into hibernation mode after 1pm. I’m up by 6:30 every morning with my [almost] 5 year old, beat by the time I drop him off at the bus at 8:15am, come back home to my [almost] 2 year old and finish getting him ready for the day.

I force myself into the gym because I know that will at least buy me a few more hours of energy. No matter how tired I may feel, getting to the gym (specifically getting my heart rate up and blood moving) will always give me some energy and make me feel better. Fellow gym-goers comment on how I’m carrying the pregnancy either physically and/or mentally, and I always credit it to getting in the gym. As run down as I’ve been feeling, I know it could be a lot worse and I just could not imagine not having some sort of exercise regimen worked into my daily routine.

At this point in the gym I’m more “going through the motions” versus trying to maintain anything…except my sanity. I still choose to challenge myself for one or two exercises, meaning keeping the weight at a number that only lets me do 8-10 reps. Even with all of the benefits proven with exercise during pregnancy, I am still finding on many websites talk of “light weight training is aloud.” No one is mentioning if you were weight training at a higher level pre-pregnancy, then [with your doctor’s permission] you can continue weight training at that same level. This is where lots of women are scared off whether they are advanced or not. Pregnancy is a whole new game, and proper guidance is required.

There is nothing wrong with continuing to train at a “heavier” load IF you were training that way prior to pregnancy.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I’ll move on to more life at 3 weeks out of having a baby. I am at the official point of countdowns and checklists. Although with number 3, the countdown isn’t quite as in my face as it was the first two times. I’m just over here trying to balance my already existing mom life of 2 rambunctious boys, taking shorts naps, making trips into our office, taking more short naps, doing something for myself (gym), being awake for the hubby, more naps and more “momming”. Somehow I’m not even sure how I’ve gotten to this point so fast! But it’s here, in my face, with lots of check marks next to my to-do list. Here are some things to consider having done in the last month of pregnancy, that made it to my list:

  • Register at the hospital you’ll be delivering at. You’ll want to do this prior to going into labor because the last thing you’ll want to do is fill out paperwork between contractions!
  • Pack your hospital bag. Again, something you won’t want to do in the midst of contractions.
  • Know your pediatrician. An easy one if it’s not your first.
  • Install the carseat. You can visit your local fire station and have them install or check your installation.
  • Prepare for backup. If this is not your first, you’ll have to call in the troops to care for your other little one(s). Many women choose to hire a night nurse at the beginning, someone who will help during the night a few days a week. This can minimize how many times you’re getting up throughout the night. This is a nice option to have especially when you have other kids to care for during the day. If you choose to do this, interviewing and hiring someone will be important to take care of within the last month.
  • Pamper yourself! Take some time in the last month to do something for yourself. Whether it’s getting your hair and/or nails done, taking a trip to a prenatal spa or even relaxing in the pool. Also setting aside time for you and your significant other since things will be pretty preoccupied once baby arrives!
  • Have the necessities. A baby registry will consist of at least 100 different items, but there’s maybe only a handful of items you’ll actually need when the baby’s born. This would include:
      • Bassinet
      • Newborn diapers & wipes
      • Swaddle blanket (my favorite brand is Aden + Anais)
      • Medical kit including: aspirator, thermometer, baby nail file, etc
      • Burp cloths
      • Breast pump if you’re breast feeding. Bottles and formula if you’re formula feeding
      • Finally, a swing. This will be your best friend. I recommend an old fashioned swing, not one of these fancy high tech contraptions. I’ve used both, traditional and the 4Mom brand with bluetooth. I’m going back to traditional with this one. You’ll want something that can soothe and rock the baby to give yourself a break.

These are really the main things you’ll want/need in the very beginning and the hospital will even provide things like diapers, pacis, formula bottles to take home and get you going. Of course as days go by, there are many more items to add on but these will give you a good start. So don’t start freaking if you haven’t gotten your baby bullet blender off your registry for making food in 5 months!

Once these are checked off, you’ll go through the standard “nesting” phases which can include anything from deep cleaning your cabinets to finishing off the nursery details on a ladder way too high for your own good. I’m having fun with this last month, as exhausted as I am, because now I’m really feeling it, and it’s really getting real!

One thing you realize once you have kids is time goes by quick. As absolutely cliche as it is, it is so true. It doesn’t seem so long ago at all that we were surprised by the news of our first pregnancy. The emotion, the wonder, the shock of it all was all too real. In a month that little boy will be 5, following our second little man turning 2. Now I can barely even remember life before these guys. So if you’re in a rush to speed this time up, because of discomfort or whatever your reason may be, just remember how quickly the time will actually come and cherishing certain moments is the best we can do!

-Darielle Singerman