4 Things to Do Before the End of Your Third Trimester
This is it! You’ve finally made it to the third trimester and are on the countdown to baby! Now what? For most people, the weeks start to drag on as you’re getting more anxious and uncomfortable. Here’s a list of 4 things to do to distract yourself until baby comes:
1. Get your hospital bag together and ready.Hospital bags mean different things to different people. I, personally, stressed out way too much over mine. I was packing, unpacking, and re-packing from about 24 weeks; and, when it came down to it, I had no idea what I needed or wanted. I lost weeks of my life on Pinterest jotting down “must-have” items in your hospital bag only to have compiled a list of 75 things and the kitchen sink. When it comes to packing, I am no minimalist, but for the first time in my life, I wished I had been. I won’t tell you what to pack and what to leave home, but heed my advice: If you are wondering whether you might need it or not, you don’t. For a typical delivery, you will likely be out of the hospital in 48 hours. You will be too consumed with sleeping and staring at the fresh piece of heaven lying in your arms to bother with much anything else. If you end up staying longer or needing something, it can always be brought to you. Heaven knows your husband is going to want at least 8 excuses to get out of that hospital room. That said, do your research for the heck of it, lay it all out, and have something packed and ready to go a couple weeks before your due date. The last thing you want to be worrying about in the 45 seconds between contractions is where your robe and toothbrush are. If you want a good list of items that you do need though, check out our previous post: 10 Items for the Perfect Hospital Bag
2. Set up photography you want to have done during labor and/or hospital stay.
Birth stories are a huge trend right now, and will certainly be a timeless addition to your hospital keepsakes and are well worth the time and planning. Now that you are getting bigger and more uncomfortable and the couch and the bed are looking more and more appealing, use this time to lay back and scour Pinterest and do some blog-stalking to find a photographer in your budget whose work you love. There are countless options for coverage. You can have the labor and delivery photographed/filmed or you can get newborn and your first family photos taken in the hospital a couple hours after baby arrives or even the next day after all the fuss has died down (relatively speaking).
Think about what you’re comfortable with, what memories you want captured, and what aspects you want kept private or intimate. You will be so grateful to have high quality photos of your son/daughter’s first day and the comfort of being able to relax knowing someone else has it covered. No need to pack a selfie-stick in the hospital bag!
3. Make a plan for people to visit.
Make your guest list and visiting hours very clear. Who do you want at the hospital? Are certain people welcome inside the delivery room, should everyone wait outside, or do you prefer they arrive after baby comes? How long should people wait before visiting you at home? Are drop-ins okay or would you rather people schedule a visit in advance? This may seem petty, or even impolite, but it is vital to your physical and emotional health.
With first babies, it’s hard to know what to expect, which is probably why I told everyone they could be in the delivery room if they wanted to and allowed drop-in after drop-in the first couple months we were home. By the time I realized what I wanted and the impact nonstop and spontaneous visitors were having, it was too late. I had set the precedent and it felt much more awkward and impolite for me to say it then than it would have been to clearly state my expectations beforehand.
Take into account your wishes for privacy in the hospital as well as your need for sleep, alone time, and maybe a weekly shower once you’re at home. As usual with these kinds of things, there isn’t a right or wrong answer, just be true to yourself. It’s easy to be flexible with your own wants/needs when you’re feeling 100%, but a few months from now when you’re exhausted and emotional, you’re going to feel it, so do your future self a favor and say what you mean.
4. Enjoy husband and wife time.
You are probably sick of hearing threats and sob stories about never being alone with your husband again, so I apologize for going down this road, but it must be said. You will be alone with your husband again –you will have date nights and weekend getaways- you will find alone time. So don’t go mourning a loss just yet. But, the alone time you have will be different –perhaps more stressful, definitely more valued- and it will certainly be fewer, farther between, and require a lot more carving and coordination to pull off.
Be fully present in these final weeks and enjoy them for what they are! This is not the last time you will be alone with the hub, but it will be one of the last times you do it spontaneously.
Take advantage of the quality time as a favor to current self and as a means of baby-prep for your future self. Create a food storage of sorts composed of cuddling, canoodling, and emotional connectedness with you into this new chapter of life. When you’re running low on free time and energy, and feeling your relationship and personal wellbeing may be a little taxed by all the changes, rely on the quality time you have stored up. You will be glad you did. For some fun date ideas, check out our previous post: 3 Last "Only Two" Dates
Written by Witney Loftin