40 weeks... it's a long time to wait for, and yet at some point you are going to get there. You will be at the end soon, I swear it does end!
The beginning of the third trimester though marks exhaustion, not sleeping well at night, discomfort in your body, more heartburn if you've already had that, and an overall sense of too much to do to prepare for baby's arrival and not enough energy to do it.
You start thinking about the birth plan, talking to the doctor, visiting the hospital, checking with your health insurance coverage, planning for maternity leave at work. You begin really flipping through the baby names book with your husband to try to figure out how to actually name someone. It's a lot of stress, pressure and overwhelming feelings.
And yet it's also pure excitement, because now you feel your baby kicking inside you, moving around a lot. You also know that it's almost over, you have done this thing that is pregnancy and you are almost ready to really become a mom. It's an awesome feeling!
This is me at 9 months pregnant... almost done, feeling big and swollen and uncomfortable. Yet still posing for the camera, because I wanted to remember every second of pregnancy, I thought it was that amazing!
I remember in my last few weeks before delivering my son that I was slowing down, not only physically, but with everything I did. Work was getting slower because it was almost over for me for a while. Preparation for baby was mostly done and ready because I listened to the warnings I'd heard about doing as much as possible to prepare during the energy-filled second trimester. I was feeling more ready.
I do suggest a few things though in the third trimester:
-REST! all caps there, people! Seriously, you need to rest as much as you possibly can. You need your energy when 40 weeks rolls around.
-Eat whatever you want. You have watched yourself for almost 10 months now. Indulge, enjoy, do whatever you want. It is not going to hurt your baby. You are gaining weight rapidly now anyway as the baby starts to grow, it's not what you're eating. My husband graciously made me a strawberry milkshake almost every night during the last two weeks before I gave birth because I had a huge craving for one while relaxing in front of the TV at night. When you feel that uncomfortable at the end, it's OK to treat yourself. Really, trust me, it's fine.
-Make final preparations for baby's arrival. The nursery doesn't need to be complete, but at least have diapers, wipes, a place for baby to sleep, a car seat installed in the car, and at least ten outfits washed and ready. That's all you really need for the first few days.
-Double check the hospital bags. Make final arrangements for the hospital, your house while you're gone for a few days, insurance questions, maternity leave plans, etc. Don't forget to get the dad a gift for the hospital! He'll really appreciate it!
-Talk about a name with your partner. At least flip through the books, check some out online and have a conversation before arriving at the hospital. If you don't know the exact name by then that's OK. You may be like we were and have to wait until you see your child to name her or him. If you already have a name picked out, this is one less thing to worry about at the end.
-Write a note to your baby-to-be. I really love re-reading the note I wrote to my son before I knew he was a he. It's just something nice for the baby book. Oh and if you don't yet have a baby book, now is a good time to get one!
-Finish the thank you notes from the baby shower(s). Get writing! You should also have some blank thank you notes around the house for when baby comes home and people shower you with even more gifts.
-Go on a babymoon! Do something special with your hubby before the baby arrives and you don't have that one-on-one time for a while. Have fun!
-Be patient. I promise you this will be over soon and you will meet your child. She can't live in there forever! Just have patience... at least try to.
-Lastly, congratulate yourself on a job well done. It's not easy doing what you've done... carrying a baby to term, keeping yourself healthy, and being amazing despite those hormones. Be excited now and proud of what you've done.