The Littlest is 4 months old (already) so this week I’ve been reflecting on his pregnancy. His pregnancy wasn’t easy. I don’t think pregnancy is ever “easy”, even if you’re one of the ones that love it. It’s truly a season of preparing our hearts and minds for this new person that is forever part of us. It stretches us in ways we couldn’t prepare for. (And I don’t just mean physically). It’s beautiful, it’s difficult. You feel awful, but at times feel better than ever… maybe even glowing. Still, it’s hard. And if it wasn’t hard through the beginning (thanks morning sickness) and middle it surely gets hard at the end in those last days leading to delivery. The more uncomfortable you get, the more excited you get to meet this new person, the easier it is to feel frustrated in the waiting.
What if we could embrace the last days of pregnancy though?
When I was pregnant with The Little Lady it surely felt like I would be pregnant forever. My “due date” came and went like it was nothing.
My midwife came to visit at 40 weeks and she checked me “just to see” if she should stick around…. “High, soft, and maybe a 1”. (Given this was my second child the “maybe a 1” really meant a zero). Yes, we all know dilation says zilch about whether labor is near but I stayed right there, unchanged, until I was many hours into early labor
10. days. later.
Aside from being a bit concerned about possible transfer of care, I felt pretty okay in those last days. I’m sure that sounds crazy, but it’s true. It was true in the last days of my pregnancy with The Mister and it was true this time in the last days of my recent pregnancy with The Littlest. (Even though The Littlest’s pregnancy as a whole was my hardest).
In those last days of pregnancy I always go back to a wonderful post I read from a midwife on the time “in-between”. I’m reminded that this part of pregnancy is just as important as the month(s) before.
It’s a time that work is being done in my heart and mind, preparing for this new little person. As I embrace that, I’m more prepared for the work of labor ahead. (Because labor is work and it’s more mental work than anything else).
I’m exercising my faith in our Father, that His timing is perfect. He knows exactly when this new person is supposed to be born and I can trust Him in that.
I also remind myself of
The beauty of the womb
I know, that probably sounds a bit woo woo, but hear me out.
Our God created a truly beautiful place that our babies are developed. In those last days of pregnancy our babies are still:
Held always snug by our uterus
Always warm from our body temperature
Never hungry as they always have exactly what they need
Always shushed to sleep by the sound of our hearts beating & blood rushing in our veins.
Their lungs don’t have to worry about breathing to survive
Their brain can focus on growing those last neuropathways before birth when it will then function to cue hunger & other needs.
There is no pain, fear, feeling isolated, or need to call for help.
Our babies are held within us in this perfect place of comfort and security.
There is truly no better place they will ever be.
Knowing all of this has always helped me embrace those last days of pregnancy.
It always brings peace over me, even further growing my trust in how God created this process.
We have to get practical and invest in ourselves outwardly to help our inner selves line up with what we’re wanting.
For that I always give mommas the same to-do list:
- Stay hydrated
- Eat good proteins
- Take. A. Nap
- Meet a friend for coffee, or lunch
- Get a pedi or massage
- Do the things you won’t be able to do easily once baby arrives
- Do NOT try all the old wives tale ways to “make your baby come” now.
One of my last things I do (including while I was in early labor) is snag coffee with my mom AT the coffee shop in one of their cute mugs. For one, I know getting that time away will be delayed for awhile. I take advantage of the last few moments of “me time” I’ll before everything changes again. (Plus, the two times I’ve been in early labor it’s freaked out the baristas, which I think is hilarious).
So if you’re in the last days
Don’t be overcome with external discomfort. (Though I certainly know it’s easy to do so). Let the excitement of your baby almost being here well inside your heart. Remind yourself that these days are just as beautiful as the rest of your pregnancy. Take those last moments just for yourself. Very soon they will be past.
You’ll miss the feeling of baby kicks from within and the closeness you had when your baby was held only by you with every need met. And you’ll miss the moments of “calm before the storm”.
Don’t let these moments slip away.
There is work being done here.
Embrace these last days of pregnancy.
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