I feel like I’m not going to be ready in time for this baby. Is it common to feel this way?”
Forty weeks is an amazingly short time to grow a person, and it’s also not a lot of time to wrap your mind around being someone’s mother. But the good news is that babies don’t need much: warmth, nourishment, diapers and an occasional warm sponge bath. And babies are pretty efficient at making sure their needs get met: they cry when they’re hungry or want to be held, have a dirty diaper or possibly gas, and they sleep most of the time.
Parenting instincts have been a part of your DNA since the dawn of time, and what you don’t know to do by instinct you’ll very quickly learn from the baby, other parents and your pediatrician.
There’s no way to really prepare for the lifestyle shift that comes with caring for an infant 24 hours a day, especially if you’re a first-time mom, used to working 40-something hours a week and then going “off duty.” But you’ll learn on the job, and every day gets a little bit easier.
And while you may find this hard to believe right now, by 40 weeks you will be so heavy, tired and through with being pregnant that you will be begging the baby to hurry up already.
In the meantime, keep busy. Enjoy your last alone days with partner and pets and do special things with them. Stock up on housewares, take a lot of belly pictures, think about baby announcement ideas, do laundry, journal, sweep, prepare to go on leave from work, make art, clean out the fridge, make casseroles, work on your birth plan, take a swim, take lots of naps, eat lots of little meals. Babies have been born in caves, tents and pioneer cabins and been just fine and you and yours will be too.
Our Pregnancy Journal and Planner (left) offers a countdown to your due date and checklists of supplies.