Sunday, November 29, 2015

Elizabeth Street


7 Things To Do While Waiting For a Baby To Be Born

Mar 07, 2014

7 Things To Do While Waiting For a Baby To Be Born

Let's assume you're all prepared for baby. You've washed and folded the heart-flutteringly tiny clothes, set up the crib, installed the car seat, boiled bottles and binkies, started a college account (JUST KIDDING! HA HA HA)-- and even remembered to obtain fun post-birth items for yourself, such as maxi pads and ice packs (home spa time!). Let's assume you've also done all the secondary baby stuff, the stuff lazy, er, relaxed second-timers like me put off, like getting a double stroller and studying the schedule of baby classes at the Y.

I feel you, overdue mamas-to-be. My son was born a full two weeks after his due date. I think he must have missed a memo somewhere, as his older sister was born four days before her due date --same due date, as it happens, and maybe he was just assiduously trying to avoid sharing a birthday. So everyone was expecting him to come early too, which made it feel like I'd been playing the waiting game forever before I even got to my so-called due date. By my math, therefore, he was actually a month late. (No, I'm not good at math. But that's pregnant-lady math, it's different.)

Should you ever find yourself in such a predicament, here are some diversions I can recommend to take your mind off the fact that at any moment you might be about to begin one of the most intense and physically demanding experiences of your life and/or just continue to sit around feeling heavy and sleepy.

1) Catch up on work. Review teaching syllabi, or, if you are the freelancing type, compile some pitches. HA HA! JUST KIDDING. Your brain is total mush at this point.

2) Get creative. Throw yourself into creative projects like novel revisions or perhaps outlining that short story you've been meaning to write. HA HA! JUST KIDDING. See above.

3) Catch up on your reading. Enjoy these precious, quiet pre-baby moments and read a book. HA HA! JUST KIDDING. See above.

4) Catch up on the news. JUST KIDDING. This will make you cry, and feel bad for feeling bad for yourself when all you're doing is eating too much chocolate while your mother entertains your toddler and meanwhile the rest of the world is going to hell in a handbasket.

5) Clean up! JUST KIDDING. Wonder what happened to that burst of nesting energy that is supposed to inspire you to clean your whole apartment with a toothbrush. In lieu of this, nap. Wake up in pain because your body's all in loosened-up ligamenty pieces--good for giving birth, but not so good for shifting in your sleep.

6) Be responsive. Field hundreds of texts and emails that say clever things like, "Any baby yet?" Respond in humorous and patient ways, keeping in mind how sweet it is that people care and are checking in on you, and how much worse you could have it, and how exciting and precious these moments are. And/or copy and paste "I WILL F*CKING TELL YOU WHEN THERE IS SOMETHING TO TELL YOU. BLAAAAAGGGHHHH!"

7) Relax. Think about how much your midwife will enjoy her relaxing tropical vacation she's scheduled to take next week while you deliver your late baby with some random shlub in possession of something called a "medical degree."

As a postscript, I would like to tell you that in the end--spoiler alert!--the baby was born. In quite a hurry, actually, after two hours of labor, perhaps to make up for all the aforementioned waiting. And he hasn't slowed down since.

Do you have all the baby gear you need? We've got you covered in the slideshow above.

By Amy Shearn, author of the novels The Mermaid of Brooklyn and How Far Is The Ocean from Here. This post originally appeared on her blog Household Words.

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