Earlier, I talked about expert advice that I’m glad I didn’t get beforehand as it was completely wrong for my situation. Which got me thinking about advice in general, and one piece of advice I received while I was pregnant that really stuck in my craw.
I had a really easy pregnancy – other than being diagnosed with gestational diabetes and having to be on a fairly restricted diet (no sugar, no carbs – way harder than it sounds) for the last trimester. Still, the last trimester of pregnancy – especially the last month – is redonkulously uncomfortable no matter who you are. I was carrying really high and couldn’t sit down comfortably as Whuff (or the Piglet as he was known at the time) had his butt in my ribcage and it seriously HURT. I was getting kicked in the diaphragm on a regular basis, which wasn’t any fun at all. Add onto that mild nausea, complete exhaustion, and (kinda paradoxically) insomnia and I was a fairly miserable unit. I honestly believe that the last month of pregnancy was designed by evolution to make labor seem like a good idea. At 38 weeks, removing the baby myself with a spoon seemed like a GREAT idea.
Over and over again I kept hearing from people “Enjoy your last days of pre-baby life.”
I guess that’s what you say to incredibly pregnant women and people just open their mouths and out it comes whether or not they’ve thought it through. Would you say that to someone who had tried to conceive for years and had to go through IVF? Would you say that to parents who were waiting to bring their adopted child home after months of waiting? Probably not. Certainly not if you thought it through.
And for me, I didn’t have either of those struggles to get Paulo – but I had waited to have a baby for years. Years of wanting a baby and not having one. By the time I got pregnant, I’d completely HAD IT with pre-baby life. I was bored with it. I was done. Over it. By the time I was 36 weeks, I didn’t want to wait another five minutes (except for the part where I did want him to be full-term and healthy) to meet my baby. There was nothing about pre-baby life that I found “enjoyable” at that point. My favorite thing about NOT having a baby was definitely uninterrupted sleep, and I wasn’t even really sleeping at all the last few weeks of pregnancy. I didn’t even have anything like a nursing baby to distract me from my lack of sleep, it was just me, myself, and no sleep.
I’m much happier now that I have the baby than I was back in February when I was just waiting for him. I didn’t really have an exciting lifestyle pre-baby and other than sleeping for eight hours (or more) at a stretch (which, let’s be honest, doesn’t happen during pregnancy either – but now I’m waking up to nurse rather than waking up to pee), there’s nothing I miss. I didn’t feel the need to go out on elaborate dates with my husband – we’d been together for three years and really, we’d been out together enough just the “two of us” that I was more than ready to have our outings expanded to a party of three.
Along with “sleep while you can” I think “Enjoy your last few days without a baby” is a pretty crap thing to say to a pregnant woman in her third trimester. Much more productive suggestions if you catch yourself with either of these about to fly out of your mouth: “Be sure to put shampoo in your hospital bag!” “Here are some Tums.” “Would you like any icecream?” That last one is a totally rhetorical question. The last week of pregnancy, icecream was the ONLY thing that I could stand to eat – gestational diabetic diet be damned. It was icecream or nothing.
I digress. There’s very little that’s enjoyable about being 36+ weeks pregnant and trying to tell a woman to enjoy it is like saying “Enjoy your root canal!” Some women do enjoy the last few days of alone time with their partners, but by and large, a pregnant woman in her third trimester is anxious and impatient to start life with baby already.
I’m sure you can regale me with plenty of ass-vice given to you during pregnancy. Go for it! What would you have *wanted* someone to say to you during those last few months?