When I was newly pregnant, the advice I heard most often was “get your sleep now while you still can.” I’m not sure why, but this particular piece of advice always rang a sour note with me. The advice was almost implying that if given the choice between having a baby and taking a nap, I should take the nap. My bitterness could have been the pregnancy hormones talking, but I still bristle whenever I hear someone tell a prego to sleep. Especially in the eighth or ninth month, when you feel like an overfed tick that’s ready to blow at the slightest touch. Or something less graphic.
Get enough sleep to stay healthy, but know that there’s no such thing as a sleep stash that you can put away for later. No matter what you do, you will be so tired that you’d gnaw off your own arms if it meant 15 more minutes of shuteye. Or something less graphic.
Instead of sleeping, do these.
- Travel as much as you can. Spend the night away from home. That babymoon thing is a good idea. Do it. Twice.
- Go to the movies, theater, or other evening activities like ball games and fireworks. Kids go to bed early, and then you’re
trapped at home unless you have a sitter. It will surprise no one who knows me that I went to both midnight showings of Harry Potter (Deathly Hallows 1 & 2) while heavily pregnant. I don’t regret it one bit–although the people I had to climb over multiple times to get to the bathroom may disagree.
- Spend time with your friends. As much as you want and need to see them after the baby comes, you won’t be able to do it as often as you think. Have lunch. See a movie. Get your nails done, whatever. Make time to be with your nears and dears.
- Encourage your loved one to go drinking with buddies. Soon he will be on night duty with you, and the LAST thing you want is to be still drunk/hungover at 4am with a screaming baby. Nobody wins in that scenario. Send him to the bar now so he can stock up on testosterone and hangovers with the guys.
- Lounge by the pool. Or in the pool. Lounging is an awesome thing. Do it whenever presented with the opportunity.
- Spend a whole day with your favorite book. Perhaps while lounging.
- If you can, get foot rubs or pedicures or massages. Or all three. Your legs and feet will be so sore that you stop noticing how awful they feel. I wanted to marry the pedicure lady when she started kneading my calves. Holy Charlie Horses, that felt good.
- Get to know your Tivo. You may never watch a live TV show again but there’s always Tivo. If I didn’t run off with the pedicure lady, my second choice for wedded bliss was Tivo. You’ll want a stockpile of good TV for those overnight feedings.
Take the time to appreciate all of the fantastic moments you had before you were pregnant. Your life isn’t ending, it’s just changing. (Heads up: your new life will have exponentially more boogers in it than your pre-baby life.) You will have plenty of amazing moments with your kids, but you will have a different perspective. Not better or worse, just different.
Above all, be thankful for the life you have had and thankful for the life to come. It’s all pretty miraculous when you think about it. What advice would you add?