Having been recently freaked out by the number of women who spend the last few weeks of their pregnancy wishing someone would induce them, I have decided to offer up a list of alternative things to think about and do. I have had a newborn in my life before. Perhaps for this reason, I am able to see and appreciate the things that those of you who have not, might be missing. Don’t worry, you’ll get to meet your baby soon enough if you are this far along. I’ll spare you the induction-is-bad-for-you-and-the-baby-and-more-painful-than-birth-should-be-
and-likely-to-end-in-a-c-section speech. You already know my views on that. And that sometimes the doctors won’t let us avoid it. But that’s different from wishing they’d do it to you.
1. Enjoy the use of both of your hands. Do things everyone else who’s not holding a baby can do. Rip paper towels off the roll with ease. Put your trash down the chute. Eat a meal. Even the use of your pesky un-dominant hand will be sorely missed once it is gone.
2. Take a long shower. If you shave, enjoy the opportunity to have enough time and energy to shave both of your legs without feeling guilty about the helpless creature who is not in the shower with you. Your baby’s right there under your ribs and not even crying!
3. Walk somewhere. By yourself. Without a stroller or sling or burp cloth.
4. Go in to a fancy store without worrying about any screaming erupting from anywhere near you, for which you might be stared at and psychically urged to leave. Linger in the fancy store. Look at the pretty things.
5. Go to a movie. Even if you are uncomfortable in the chair and you have to pee seven times. You’ll thank me later.
6. Enjoy your pain-free nipp1es. Right now they are just sitting there like lots of other parts of your body…a knee or an elbow. Enjoy not being aware of them every waking moment.
7. Sleep. I know you’re excited. I know you keep obsessing over what to pack for the hospital and which stroller to get and if you got enough nursing bras. Sleep, I tell you. Sleep like a drunken college student who just turned in her thesis upon which she worked for three days and nights straight, then went to a bar and drank too much. Sleep hard. Sleep long. Sleep. And not like a baby. Because guess what? Babies wake up every two hours and cry.
8. Enjoy your partner (if you have one.) Eat meals together… like in the same moment. Look into each other’s eyes. Have uninterrupted conversations. Talk about books and plays. Talk about anything but poop and milk. Give and get lots of attention from each other because you are both going to be pouring it all into a third party soon.
9. See your friends who don’t have babies. See them a lot. Try to talk about things other than the baby when you see them. A lot of people slip away from their friends after the baby comes, so enjoy them now and try to envision how you’ll fit into each other’s lives a few weeks from now when the baby poop hits the fan.
10. Enjoy the special pregnant-lady treatment you’ve been getting for so long that you probably take it for granted, or even let it bother you. Because guess what? Once that adorable little babe comes out of your body, you will be almost invisible to most folks. Especially the strangers, who will switch from holding doors for you and giving up seats for you, to telling you that you dressed the baby wrong, or you’re holding it wrong, or could you get out of here with all of that racket?
Do it for me.