As Tom Petty says, the waiting is the hardest part, and there’s nothing like counting down the days til your “due date” to make you question accepted theories regarding the progression of time, and it can be so hard manage our feelings of excitement, anxiety, and joy.
You’ve been waiting months to meet your little one and it can be so tempting to schedule an induction or try natural remedies to “get things started.” We know that babies usually do best when labor starts and progresses naturally, so we’ve compiled a list of things for you to do while you wait for labor to start. Warning: it’s pretty tongue-in-cheek; colorful language ahead!
1) Read "Ina May's Guide to a Better Birth" and count how many times she uses the word "sphincter." Alternative: read Ina May Gaskins’ Spiritual Midwifery and drink a shot of red raspberry leaf tea every time she says "rushes" or a birth story references smoking weed.
2) Go to the movies as often as possible. The next time you go after baby is here, it will almost definitely be made by Disney.
3) Dance at a club to Cardi B instead of in your living room to Kidzbop. Twerk it and werk it with an audience that can truly appreciate your moves.
4) Go get your hair done. Say yes to the coffee or tea that’s offered while you’re waiting, and to the scalp massage when they wash your hair. Say yes to the hot iron, the curler, the blowdryer, and every other salon contraption that they offer. Once baby is here, reality becomes messy buns, scarves, messy ponytails, and braids that are left in for so long, they change the landscape of your scalp.
5) Have a wild(ish) night out with friends and folks you love. Dress up, put on a push-up bra, and paint the town (light) red. Any mixologist worth their margarita salt can make you a delicious mock-tail. Linger over dinner, eat cake, let the oxytocin flow with your besties.
6) Hang out with your childless friends now cause you'll never have anything in common with them again. *** Okay, so maybe we’re exaggerating slightly, but future conversations will likely revolve around sleep (lack of) and baby bodily functions, so get your Q.T. in now.
7) Take a prenatal or gentle yoga class. Fall asleep during savasana. Don’t worry, you won’t be the first to snooze in class, nor the last.
8) Go to a restaurant. Order the cheese plate. Enjoy your last conversation with wait staff that doesn't include the words "food allergies” or “elimination diet.”
9) Go outside. Go to a park. Lay on the grass with a book. Look at the clouds. Listen to the wind. Pay no attention to who is trying to eat goose shit.
10) Go into the bathroom with a good magazine. Sit down on the pot and take a nice, relaxing, leisurely poop. This relaxing, leisurely poop won't happen again because a.) you will be afraid postpartum that you will bust your stitches or push your butthole out, and b.) you will have children, partners, animals barging in on you every time you try to sit down. It's as if someone installed a poop tracking device. Soon you will be changing a baby's diaper and wiping your toddlers nose, all whilst dropping a deuce. Enjoy the peace and quiet of waiting for labor while you can!
11) Take a long, warm bath or shower every day. Know that once the baby arrives, every bathing experience for at least a year will involve dropping at least part if not all of your shaving routine, washing your body with shampoo to save time, and constantly thinking that you hear the baby crying.
12) Take a trip to Target, the really big one. Walk every inch of the store and look at everything. Buy yourself a bottle of red wine, but not the crappy Middle Sister kind. This will be your last trip to Target without buying diapers, venti coffees, or popcorn and an Icee.
13) Let your partner play with your [new, huge] boobs as much as possible, because they will belong to someone else entirely for the next year. Acceptable alternative: play with your own boobs!
14) … And on that note: Have sex. Lots of sex. ALL THE SEX. You’re all ready knocked up, right? No worries about birth control or your cycle day or any of that other stuff. Have many orgasms now because for a while the only thing you’ll be exclaiming in the middle of the night will be, “Shh! Did you hear the baby?!” (Pro-tip: Orgasms are very beneficial when preparing for birth! They boost oxytocin, help ripen your cervix, and tone the muscles of your uterus!)
In all seriousness, your baby will be here before you know it, and while you’ll be so thankful to have them safe in your arms, there will also be a bit of mourning over the loss of your old life. Take this time to laugh, eat good food, and nurture yourself. The best thing you can do at the end of pregnancy is what feels good to YOU. Anything that relieves stress, makes you smile, and allows your body to feel strong and healthy will be the most beneficial thing for you and your baby. Remember that you are fierce, capable, and ready for this work. All our blessings for a beautiful birth!