At nine months pregnant, you can’t sleep comfortably, you can’t eat without heartburn and your cankles are like a science experiment gone bad. The end is in sight, though, and if you can survive the hell that is known as the last month of pregnancy, you’ll be able to survive the hell that is known as the first few weeks of motherhood.
• Ironically, given how shitty you feel, you’re also probably horny as hell. This is unfortunate since you look as attractive as you feel and probably aren’t all that desirable to your partner. Plus, he may have the irrational fear that he’s going to poke the baby with his massive penis. You’re better off bonding with your vibrator at this point. Once you give birth, it’s going to be a while before you see that old friend again.
• The baby dropping, an increase in Braxton Hicks contractions and loss of your mucus plug (a lovely mix of blood and mucus) are all signs that labor is coming. Even after those things, though, it could still be hours, days or – sorry – more before you’re actually ready to deliver. If your water breaks, though, you’ll want to get to the hospital ASAP.
• Your biggest fear at the moment probably involves pooping on the delivery table. Get over it. You’ll do it… and you won’t even care.
• As if you don’t already have enough to worry about at this point, you’ll have to make a decision about cord banking. Umbilical cord banking is a process in which the blood from your baby’s umbilical cord is preserved, possibly helping should someone in your family be faced with anemia, leukemia or certain other cancers in the future. If you can afford it, it may provide some peace of mind, but it’s certainly not necessary. Another option is donating cord blood to a public bank, which is a pretty cool way to start out a life.
• If you’re busy mapping out your perfect birth plan, you’ll want to rethink it. Motherhood is one big lesson in nothing being able to control everything and it starts right out of the gate. It’s fine to have a plan, just be prepared for it to be shot to hell.
• Time is running out, so there are some things you really ought to do this month. Think: Using a vacation day just for you… because those days are numbered.
• If you’re a first time mom, you’re probably dying to know exactly what labor feels like and I’m going to tell you what nobody told me: It feels like you have to take a giant shit; the pressure, the discomfort, the need to push… That’s it. Really.
• Time to get that hospital bag packed! Here’s all you really need to bring.
• You’ll probably want to start answering the phone with “not yet!” because that’s all people will want to know from this point on. Better yet, change your number; there’s no good that can come from talking to anyone at this point.
Scary Mommy Tip: You’re going to leave the hospital still looking pregnant, (remember Princess Kate?) so make sure your hospital bag is packed with maternity yoga pants instead of any jeans or – gasp – pre-pregnancy clothes. Also, be sure to bring some yummy smelling shampoo because that first shower after birth is pure bliss and you’ll want to come out smelling like something other than industrial strength hospital shampoo.