Third trimester: Getting through the homestretch

Monica Reyes talks about her her last-minute preparations before baby arrives.

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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.

As of today, I will be 36 weeks pregnant. Next week, I will be considered full-term — although, from what I hear, most first-time moms usually deliver at 41 weeks. Or I could end up like my own mom and deliver two weeks late. There’s nothing worse than seeing your due date pass you by. At this stage you’re uncomfortable and ready for the baby to come out.

Read more: Labour day primer: Your guide to giving birth >

I still have an extensive to-do list before the baby arrives. Even though I might not go into labour for weeks, I’ve been hearing about too many early labour stories to allow myself to continue procrastinating. One big priority is getting the car seat installed.

Here are a few things on my to-do list:

Hospital bag

I was supposed to pack my hospital bag, but it’s still sitting on the floor, empty. Some of the items I’m bringing are:

– Clothes for baby (hat, mittens, sleepers and receiving blankets).
– Pillows for me and my husband. (You might want to check to see if your hospital provides anything for your partner. My hospital doesn’t provide sheets or pillows for the partner, so we need to bring our own.)
– Hairband. I hate having hair in my face so this is a necessity for me.
– Lip balm
– Coconut water
– Snacks for me and sandwiches for my husband. One of my co-workers brought hummus and crackers as a labour snack and I thought it was a great idea.
– Earphones. This was recommended by my doctor so you can tune out external noise and just be in the zone.

Read more: Birth plan checklist >

Nursery

I wish I had the room and wallspace to create a Pinterest-worthy nursery. Living in downtown Vancouver means minimal space, so my only goal for the nursery is to have a small table or shelf that I can put snacks and drinks on when I’m feeding the baby.

Clothes

I think this baby already has more clothes than me. I will need to wash the clothes and sort them. I’m organizing by age range to make finding clothes easier.

Ready-to-eat meals

I won’t have much time to be in the kitchen. One piece of advice I get constantly is to have some ready-to-eat meals stocked in your freezer.

These final few weeks of pregnancy I have left feels like forever. I blame it on my third trimester pains. Warning: whining ahead! Most of the pregnancy symptoms I felt weren’t too debilitating, but this trimester is hitting me hard. Walking and doing simple things like turning around in bed can cause me excruciating pain. I’ve been hobbling around at work — something that is often confused with waddling by my co-workers.

All this pain makes it difficult to work on my to-do list. I’m lucky that my husband is more than willing to help me get things done.

Did you have everything ready by the time the baby was born?

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