Besides tracking contractions with the hawk-eye of a track coach, finger utterly poised on the button of a stopwatch, there isn’t a terrible lot one rotund, pregnant chica can do. Sure, there is going for the occasional walk and wishing Tums worked a little more, but there isn’t so much a very pregnant woman can do. Sure, some of my most endeavorous friends went to the gym up until major contractions began. Sure, some of them powerwalked, enrolled in prenatal yoga, cut out all caffeine and sugar. Some meditated through so many sessions of birth affirmations, they could watercolor the phrases in their sleep. Mostly, none of those are me. Instead, I wake up nightly for 58 pees. I eat cereal and scroll through an hour of Instagram while, through contractions, I breathe.
Here are some of the other, very academic, very holistic things I do. Ahem.
Lay down a lot, like a lot a lot. Watch so much TV. Get into new Gordon Ramsey shows, like Hotel Hell. Think that while each program’s family members are riddled with issues and this cannot be so beneficial for baby or for setting the mood for a Hypnobirthing-style labor, the resolution is always satisfying and full of healing.
Take off polish and repaint nails. She may come tonight or tomorrow and never again, at least for two years, will you have the opportunity to create smooth, smudge-free nails. Keep painting. (So far I’ve painted and repainted nails three times this week and it’s Thursday).
Do the girly stuff. Do every kind of home-grooming task now, because again, you will be a nursing, milking, sleepy machine with zero grooming points to speak of soon enough. (Two days ago, I covered my roots with an at-home kit, painted nails, scrubbed feet (somehow I could somehow see part of the feet), shaved bikini area blindly (again, zero visibility beneath or around my hulking baby belly). In that same stretch of time, I shaved legs, bleached my arms (yes, see this article in Lilith Magazine that I wrote on the subject ). Oh, and brows. I also cleaned my rings and flossed my teeth.
Watch more TV, totally dependent on it for background noise and a motivating distracting force when dealing with contractions, washing dishes, or waiting for your roots to be buried in a smelly film of dye. You can get through whole seasons like this. I am, by the way, hooked on The Mindy Project. It is probably no small coincidence that the main characters all work at an OBGYN office. Maybe this show is beneficial to me and bebe?!
Eat eat eat and then, eat.
Garden. Til some soil. Pluck off aphids and voracious caterpillars. Plant seeds and sprouts and watch them grow. See, even if you watch somewhat mindless TV, you can still be an earth mother woman, tuned into nature and good things. Then come inside, wash hands, eat and watch more of that fun Mindy Lahiri on Hulu. And the rest of Park and Rec. And another Hotel Hell.
Track contractions and obsess. Wonder if now will be the time to think about skedaddling to the birth house. If contractions subside, think about painting nails again.
Get excited about the next OBGYN baby appointment. Wish you could go daily.
Think about more three am cereal!
Sing and talk to baby. Wonder about her eyes. Wonder about the incoming fatigue. Imagine her big sis and brother falling madly in love with her and wanting to kiss every soft inch of her newborn skin. Thank G-d that even through your discomfort, another life, another amazing member of your family will be born.
Track another contraction and let the loud, expansive breathing begin.