So many of us have been there. We spend the first 37 weeks of pregnancy hoping our babies will stay on the inside, safe and warm, and grow until they’re ready to be born safely. Then, the weeks between 37 and 40 (your “due date”) crawl by like molasses. We count the days until we get to the finish line.
The due date arrives. We’re done, right? Wrong (at least, for a lot of people). The truth is that most pregnancies go past 40 weeks, and with first babies, it’s very common to go past 41 weeks. So, really, a due date is more like a target than a finish line. As midwives, we work with women in this exact situation all the time – past their due dates and frustrated. So, we’ve come up with a short list of ways to pass the time while you’re waiting for your baby.
Go to the Movies
We are not even kidding you here – it may be months or more before you see a movie in a theater after your baby is born. It takes a little bit of bravery and experience to take an infant into a movie theater, and a lot of parents find that it’s just not worth the hassle. So, go see a few movies while you can, before the baby comes.
Have Dinner at Your Favorite Restaurant
You might see a theme developing here. Eating in a restaurant can be a challenge for the new parent until you get the hang of the whole breastfeeding in public thing (don’t worry, you’ll become an expert soon!), and it may be a little while before you are able to eat at your favorite, quiet restaurant. Now is a great time to go out with the girls, or squeeze in one or two quiet dates with your partner.
Speaking of your partner – yes, we’re going to go there. The end of pregnancy is a great time to have some intimate time with your mate. This, again, is something that you will forego for a period after the baby comes, and spending this time together now can be a great thing for your relationship. There are also numerous benefits to intercourse and orgasm at the end of pregnancy, including help in prepping the cervix for labor and toning the uterine muscles.
Stock up and prepare
Shopping is another one of those activities that will likely take a hit in the first weeks after birth. The couple of weeks before the baby comes is the perfect time to make sure your pantry is stocked. Cooking can also be a fun way to pass the time, and if you can fill your freezer with nourishing foods that you can heat up in the early days of new parenthood, it will save your health and your bank account from the dangers of endless takeout.
People sometimes don’t think about how hard it can be to do hand-crafting while you are managing life with small humans. If you are a person who knits, embroiders, sews, paints, makes pottery or jewelry, etc. – spend some time on your art. It’s good for your state of mind, and an excellent time-passer.
We know there might be some challenges with sleep at the end of pregnancy, but as much as possible, try to soak up normal, glorious sleep every night. You’ll get into a new sleep rhythm after your baby comes that will become a manageable, new normal, but enjoy these last days of uninterrupted sleep (except, of course, for the five times that you have to get up to pee, but, you get the picture.)
Basically, Anything That you Enjoy Doing that you Don’t want to do with a newborn
Don’t worry – you’ll learn to do most of the things you enjoy doing while taking your baby along, but it can be a learning curve. So, do all the things. Take a hike, if it feels good, go to a store with expensive, breakable stuff, take an art class, do yoga in a studio, watch a ballet, and on and on.
And then, one day, while you’re so busy having all this fun – your baby’s birth day will arrive. And you’ll be off on a new adventure!