I have reached the last two weeks of pregnancy. Hooray! However, this could be the longest two weeks of my life with the exception of the two weeks before I missed my period, when I was waiting to find out for sure if I was pregnant. I wrote a post about that. Remember how I talked about putting your mind into other useful things, like organizing drawers, trying to relax by going shopping or reading a good novel. Well, these suggestions are not very useful this time around. Firstly, because my nesting instinct is in overdrive. I'm spot cleaning every corner of this house, and doing laundry like a maniac. Where is all this energy coming from? From cleaning the inside of the fridge to dusting under the bed and sofa, I find myself completely possessed. Also, my sleeping has deteriorated. I can't seem to fall asleep easily unless I listen to my hypnobirthing recording, then I can usually relax. (That's how I know it's a great relaxation tool, which I can't wait to try during my actual labor).
I have come up with 10 things to do in preparation for the arrival of your bundle of joy.
1. This one is pretty obvious. Clean every surface you feel needs cleaning. The bathroom tub, the kitchen floor, the top of the fridge, the inside of your closets. Whatever your cleaning heart desires, because after the baby is born, you will not feel like cleaning at all.
2. Make sure you have everything the baby needs, including baby gear. The last thing we bought was the car seat. This weekend we will take it out of the box, assemble it and put it away in the hallway closet. We are not planning on taking it with us to the hospital when we go into labor. Since my mother will be going to the hospital with us and I will be taking pillows and my birthing ball, we won't have space in the car. But since the hospital is really close by, my husband will come home everyday to feed the dogs and walk them and then he can bring the car seat with him.
3. Prepare your hospital bag. I will be doing it this weekend. Items that you should not forget: heavy flow maxi pads, old underwear if you don't mind wearing the hospital-provide ones, a nursing bra, and nursing pads, an old nightgown, slippers or socks, your own pillows, toiletries (don't forget the lip balm), the going-home outfit, some snacks (boxed juices, lolipops, plenty of drinking water, snacks for your coach -I will be baking some brownies for the nurses), ipod and speakers (calming music), phone and camera. Baby bag: going home outfit, a few onesies, receiving blankets, diapers and socks, hats and mittens.
4. If you have to drive to go to the market, then make sure you do enough grocery shopping, for at least two weeks. But since we live right across it, we don't need to bulk up on things. Besides our kitchen is tiny and we can make daily trips if necessary.
5. Make sure your car is vacuumed. Since we have a dog and he comes with us every weekend to do errands, we need to make sure the car is cleaned and vacuumed.
6. Get a wax. Not everyone gets one, but I will be getting one. This of course is a bit of a controversial subject. A few years ago, they used to prep women in the delivery room with a shave and an enema. Can you imagine, having contractions, dealing with major pain and some nurse you don't know is "cleaning you up down there?" The nerve! This is a practice that was been widely abandoned in hospitals here. But we still have long ways to go to give women back their dignities and their rights in the birthing room.
7. Find and meet your Pediatrician. Once you know who they are, be prepared to give the hospital their name and contact number when you arrive, so that they can ring the Pediatrician once your baby is born.
8. Make sure you have the necessary things for perineum care in your house. Witch hazel has a calming and anti-inflammatory effect. You can douche with it or just soak a wet pad with it and wear it in your panties. Believe me ladies, your bottoms will be sore!
9. I have decided to post a few positive affirmations around the house so that every time I walk by them, I read them and embrace their message. I have post its in the bathroom, in our computer desk, and in the kitchen. Sentences like: I will visualize my uterus working in harmony to open up or My baby is relaxed and calm during birth. Reading them everyday creates confidence and builds your trust from within.
10. And finally, if you are planning on laboring and birthing without meds, then you should be practicing, practicing and practicing your relaxation, deep breathing and visualization techniques. I know I am!