Final weeks of pregnancy: The waiting game

As Monica Reyes' due date quickly approaches, she’s anxiously playing the waiting game.

1PregnancyWait-November2013-iStockphoto
Photo: iStockphoto

Monica Reyes resides in Vancouver with her husband and neurotic dog. She’s also a soon-to-be first-time mom who is excited and terrified about her new life. Follow along as she shares her pregnancy journey.

I’m at the stage in my pregnancy where it’s now just a waiting game for labour to start. Most first-time mothers don’t deliver until 41 weeks, which means I could still have two more full weeks to go. I’m at the point where everything feels uncomfortable and I’m ready for my pregnancy to be over. I’m hoping I don’t go past my due date and, as much as I’ve tried to “will” myself to give birth this week, I don’t think the baby got that memo.

Waiting for labour is the period where you’re on the cusp of change. It will no longer just be me, my husband and our dog — another human being will join us and our family dynamic will never be the same again. It’s a mixed bag of emotions. I’m not sad that my pregnancy is ending, but I am sad at how fast time seems to fly by. I’m also on high alert thinking that any symptom might be the start of oncoming labour, that any day could be the day. A cramp or an upset stomach makes me think it could be a sign of things to come. I’m anxious that maybe when I go to sleep, labour pains will wake me up. With every day that passes where I’m still pregnant, I get a bit more disappointed that it hasn’t happened yet.

My husband is growing nervous about our baby’s arrival. He’s happy to wait and get a few more nights of decent sleep. Unfortunately, my body has been training me to have a broken of sleep. I’m wide awake at the same time every day and I’m envious that he’s sleeping soundly beside me.

Read more: Insomnia? How new moms can cope >

I’ve been using this waiting time to try and get that last bit of social freedom in before our lives are occupied 24/7 with baby. We’ve probably been out for more brunches in these last few months than our entire time living in Vancouver. Recently, we had our “last supper” — that one nice dinner you have as a couple because you’re not too sure when the next one will be. As we were walking home, we ran into soon-to-be-parents who also had their last supper. I highly recommend doing this as it’s a nice way to reconnect with your partner and just enjoy each other’s company without any distractions.

I still have a bit more to do before the baby comes, but they’re more nice-to-haves than must-haves. It’d be nice to stock up my freezer more with homemade meals or to finish those half-read baby books. I’ve accepted that there’s only so much you can prepare for such a life-changing moment, and that parenting really is something you learn on the go.

Even though I’m getting impatient with waiting, I’m trying to relax and enjoy the quieter moments. I know that the baby will come when she’s ready, I just hope she doesn’t make me wait too much longer.

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