Surely there is no better word to describe the final days of pregnancy than "surreal" — in particular for first-time parents with no idea what to expect.
Because I'm carrying multiples who have pretty much been breech (or in other funky positions) the entire time, I always knew I was a likely candidate for a scheduled c-section. (However, I was still fully prepared for the possibility of going into the hospital any day, given I knew my risk for pre-term labor.)
Now here we are at full term, just hours before I'm set to check into the hospital for the big day. Knowing exactly what time your babies are slated to come into the world is a very strange limbo.
Anticipating a Tuesday morning surgery, I knew this past weekend would be my last before babies come. The last Friday, the last Saturday, the last Sunday...tick tick tick. I could almost hear a clock ticking out loud everywhere I went. I felt like we should do something major, something thrilling, something to really take advantage of our last moments as a family of two with proper pomp. Skydiving? Probably out of the question. But at least a last dinner out or grown-up movie in the theater, right?
As it turned out, I wasn't really even up for those things. Physically, I'm super limited now—everything hurts. And my husband also didn't relish the visual picture of racing to the car in a crowded parking structure in a desperate panic after his wife's water broke in the concession line at L.A.'s crazy-packed the Grove shopping mall. (Fair enough—it was a very real possibility.)
So what did we do? Well, we rested mostly—surely something equally as important as any other of my big-plan ideas. (And, hey, in the second trimester, we fit in more babymoons than we ever thought possible, so anything else would have been icing anyway).
Here's a partial summary of our actual (underwhelming) last days as a kid-free couple:
- We're Type-A organizers, and we put all our ducks in one hell of a row. That meant lining up things like cat sitters, and people to move our city trash bins in and out during our planned four-day hospital stay. It also meant preparing for weeks away from work during leave.
- We watched a bunch of movies from Netflix
- In solitude, in a tepid Calgon-filled tub, I read both Travel + Leisure magazine and the book Twelve Hours Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old. I call that the wishful-thinking reading list. Hope springs eternal!
- I got an epic Biogel manicure, with pink and blue nail art in honor of my boy-girl twins' arrival. The goal was to get the longest-lasting look possible... because getting back into the salon won't exactly be as easy to fit into my life as it's been before! And come on: There will be pictures.
- We set up a few last things in the nursery—and ordered a few things online to fill in some gaps. (How—after three baby showers and what I thought was such a carefully crafted registry—were we without bouncers?) We made sure the kitchen was stocked with non-perishables and paper plates. And we packed and repacked our hospital bags.
- And today, we're both working. As you can see, I'm writing this last blog post before babies. And I even participated in a HuffPost Live segment talking about the content of a post from last week—the idea of drawing up a pre-baby contract with your partner. Some people might think we're nuts, but from where I sit, work seems a lot more relaxing and therapeutic than the alternative: waiting and worrying!
So, did our final countdown before babies turn out to be some big blowout? Hardly. But after a few days like this, I actually sense a new feeling creeping over me, and I like it: I feel like I'm as ready as I'll ever be.
How did you spend your last days before baby?
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