Hi there! I hope you could sense the hint of sarcasm in the title because I think the last month of pregnancy is by far the least joyful out of all the months. It comes with a rollercoaster of emotions from excitement to disappointment to excitement to disappointment to 'yes! finally!' to frustration to exhaustion to hopelessness and finally relief.
Whenever a friend of mine would get pregnant and reach the last couple of weeks I always tell them 'Keep a diary of your last couple of days', 'Get some sleep while you still can' and a lot more advice that I now know are complete nonsense! I don't know how I was allowed to keep believing that I was making any sense at all! It's only when you actually hit that 36/37 week mark that time slows down remarkably! The hours of each day stretch longer and I can swear the week has at least 10 days! And to make matters worse while you watch your due date slip further away each day you are constantly on edge and jotting down each symptom you have in google in this format:
"Is [symptom] a sign of labour?"
This seems to go on forever as each day new symptoms appear that have absolutely no link to labour yet you and other mums on forums and apps believe there has got to be a link between funny dreams and early labour and the good old 'Is it Braxton Hicks or real contractions' dilemma we all face.
Another thing I've noticed as I hit that 9-month mark was the constant Old Wives' Tales about what to eat or do to induce labour. Don't get me wrong I'm all up for a quick and easy labour that lasts 15 min and where the baby doesn't go overdue and all is good and well but a lot of these methods have me staring at my screen in disbelief! From taking matters into your own hands and 'reaching for your cervix' - Pun intended! to blowing balloons in hopes of starting contractions.
Regardless, I have tried plenty of them (not those two I assure you), but still nothing. And as my first was 6 days overdue, I see the same fate for this baby and have learnt to accept it...for 1 hour maybe before I get a Braxton Hicks contraction and jump right back into the cycle of hope, disappointment, frustration and again I need to be told 'Be patient, baby will eventually arrive, they don't stay inside forever' - Umm have you not heard of the lady who was pregnant for 40 years? Mhmm! Maybe you should check that out before coming to me and telling me to be patient!...Okay maybe she was a rare case and her baby, unfortunately, didn't survive but to be honest 3 weeks or 40 years is the same to a pregnant woman!
To make matters worse you cannot sleep for reasons that vary from each woman but mostly it's either the fact your baby decides to test out their Karate skills at 2 am or your constant thinking that something might go wrong or too many 'What if's' that eventually lead to a nightmare leaving you too horrified to go back to bed. The days aren't great either! You're too heavy to move or put on your own socks, you get full as soon as you eat and hungry again before the food has even gone cold.
Okay, I'm done venting. Although the last month is hard. It's also an achievement. You've made it full term. Your baby has developed fully (hopefully) and each day she becomes stronger and chubbier and cuter and more ready to face the outside world, her chances of staying at NICU is less and her ability to successfully breastfeed increases as you progress towards your due date.
So maybe it isn't such a bad idea to document these last days in a diary or letter to your baby, maybe it isn't so bad to try and nap if you can and run that hot bath to relieve your achy muscles. Treasure these last days for you won't have a bump for long and you won't share a body with your baby forever. The kicks will one day be against the crib instead of inside you and you won't have the excuse to eat whatever you want and gain weight without the guilt. So indulge, enjoy and be patient. Your baby will be here soon.