Bump Photo

Bump Update: Getting Through the End of Pregnancy

The last stretch is underway! I’m on my 37th week now and I’m getting closer to the day of our new adventure! Many believe that your baby is already full term at this point (in the Philippines medical practitioners still do) until just recently when expert studies conducted suggest that full term is actually at 39 weeks because babies apparently still need more time to grow and the extra two weeks to achieve crucial developmental milestones inside the womb especially in your baby’s brain and lungs.

So if you’re like me who is now constantly suffering from nagging round ligament pains like as if I have pulled a muscle in your groins and your back seems to need more massages than ever because of your ripened bump that’s literally hanging heavier each day, hang in there. Just a few more weeks of patience and sacrifice for your baby – let him/her come out on his own. It’s all for the health and wellbeing of your little one. Please don’t get tempted to try any labor inducing products, herbs, or “deeds” – you know, like drinking castor oil or pumping your breasts. I don’t even know if those things work, but just saying, stay put and try to enjoy these remaining moments spending time with your husband, being pregnant, and doing things you might not be able to do for a while once your precious baby arrives.

I’d say that I’ve been quite lucky to have a smooth and enjoyable pregnancy up until I entered the 9th month. Stretch marks on my belly mysteriously crept overnight at the end of my 35th, I vomited for the first time ever on my 36th due to acid reflux and now suffering from round ligament pains on my left groin area (sorry, TMI) and it’s especially painful when my baby lies on that side. And wait ‘til it’s combined with Braxton Hicks or tightening. Sleeping can be quite a challenge when you have to get up and pee and get back to the bed finding it hard to get into a comfortable position until you realize the sun’s already up. But you know what? It’s not that bad when I think about it. I still consider myself fortunate all these dreadful pregnancy symptoms came later and that I’m almost at the finish line.

I know sometimes you get to your wits end when even as simple as picking up something from the floor or self-care routine have all become a chore. I’m grateful to have someone like my husband who keeps reminding me it’s okay to be dependent, to feel helpless at times, to be unable to do what you’ve been used to, to be clueless how to function when everything is hurting because I am doing such an important job – growing a human inside me. It’s true. You are doing enough and you have to keep reminding yourself that especially as you raise your child. I’m sure I will feel inadequate especially when things seem to be spiraling down, but I am sure I will be doing my best to be the mother my son needs.

So enjoy the last weeks of pregnancy. Here are some of the few things I do to keep myself sane and occupied:

  • Wrap up buying all the essential stuff for the baby and approaching trip to the hospital.
  • Design your baby room/nursery. If you are crafty, that’s even better! Create DIY functional décor and the likes.
  • Take lots of photos with your bump, husband, and then together. I never thought about it at first, but my husband had the idea to do a maternity shoot. Looking at the pictures now, I’m glad he insisted on doing it because it turned out beautifully and we’ll have professionally taken snapshots to keep.
  • Go out whenever you can – date your husband, meet your friends, and moms-to-be you got newly acquainted with during your childbirth courses or mommy groups. Have fun before you go into hibernation mode.
  • Prepare freezer meals for at least the first month after the baby arrives. I’m pretty sure I won’t have time to cook and I want us to have something nice to eat and not that I don’t trust my husband with the cooking, but I know he’d be as exhausted as I will be, too.
  • Keep updating your pregnancy journal. It’s not over ’til it’s over! The pages on mine are almost spent and I haven’t spent much time writing my thoughts on there as much as I wanted to. I still got time!
  • Pamper yourself – get your nails done, get a haircut, and if you can afford it – go get (or ask husband) a massage, osteopathy or acupuncture treatment to relieve you of your body aches.
  • If you aren’t feeling too sore to move, stay active. Light exercises on the yoga mat, exercise/birthing ball, squatting, etc. should also help loosen up your tensed muscles and make you more flexible and build stamina.
  • Practice vocalizing and breathing for labor. I’ve finally learned how to not curl my toes, ball up my fists, or lock my jaw whenever I feel some pain. I know the real contractions will feel a lot worse and I have no idea how my body will take that pain but I have to learn to ride it out. So I hope practicing helps!
  • Relax and do fun things or things you like – watching movies, baking, cooking, cleaning the house (?), anything!

That’s basically it! I’m sure if you do any this on a daily basis, time will just fly by and before you know it, it’s time to meet the greatest gift you’ve been waiting for! I’m super excited…are you?