There are hundreds of books and thousands of article on what to expect when you’re expecting. The day-to-day developments are detailed and your TO DO list is lengthy. But what about the things you should do if you find yourself in what I call the ‘Holding Pattern of Pregnancy’? This is the period when you pay attention to every period. When you put your fertility doctor’s number on speed dial and when you are on a first name basis with your pharmacist.
It’s a waiting game, for sure but there are some simple strategies to keep your focus and keep you moving forward (even when you face fertility setbacks).
In my case, I spent FOUR YEARS trying to get pregnant. It felt like an eternity. But the nine months of my pregnancy? Well, that time flew by in the blink of an eye. So here’s how you become productive during what we’ll call “Pregnancy Prep Time” (sounds better than the “Barren Womb Phase”).
Lose Some Weight
Here’s what happens when you get pregnant. You gain weight. A lot of it. And if you are like me and you are trying to get pregnant w-a-y past those ideal child bearing years…then chances are you are already packing around an extra 5-to-10 pounds (carefully concealed in a pair of Spanxs).
Believe me when I tell you that the extra weight is going to be even HARDER to lose after baby. So why not shed those pounds now? NO one is going to miss them (especially you). But don’t get carried away and try to fit back into those super-skinny jeans in the back of your closet. Instead, look to fit comfortably in your not-so-fat-pants. Any doctor will tell you that being at a ‘healthy’ weight helps you have a healthy pregnancy.
Go Hard Core
This is a good time to get physical (and I am not just talking about the extra sex you will be having). Exercise…but be smart about how you a sweat. I suggest picking activities that get you in good condition now, and can keep you moving throughout your pregnancy.
Take Pilates for instance. It builds great core strength…and BOY are you going to need that when your center of gravity starts shifting into a new hemisphere. Strong abs help you carry around all of that extra weight…and at tone tummy going in…can really help a new Momma out.
Then there is yoga. It’s the one exercise you can—and should—do throughout your entire pregnancy (although, I admit, downward dog does get difficult in your third trimester). Motherhood requires all sorts of flexibility, and being strong and stretched will help you in more ways than you can imagine. As a bonus, you get better at breathing…which is a big deal when people are telling you to push. And did I mention meditation? A time when you can transcend to an elevated place of mindfulness…or, just take a nap on the mat. Entirely your call.
Get Your House in Order
From the moment you announce you are pregnant…you start getting ‘stuff’. All kinds of stuff. Books, bottles, and things called Boppy’s start showing up. And if you are like me, you probably don’t have room to spare. Now is the time to CLEAN HOUSE. I’m not just talking about the stuff on the surface. Go digging in the back of the closet, the basement, the storage locker and the junk drawer. In order to make way for baby…you first need to make room. Toss the trash. Organize your treasures. Put your memories in a box…because you are about to make some wonderful new ones.
Fine Tune Your Finances
For those of you with a credit score of 700 or more…skip to the next paragraph. For the rest of us…here are my 2 cents (which, by the way, was once the balance of my savings account). Its likely fertility treatments have already put a big dent in your savings…and perhaps even a large balance on your credit cards. There may not be a lot you can do about your debt right now…but use this time to capitalize on ways to take control of your money matters. Do you have too many open accounts? Consolidate. Keep getting late fees? Set up automatic bill pay. Are receipts in random places? This is a great time to get a system (or an assistant).
Because if you think you don’t have time to manage your life now, just wait until baby comes. You will barely have time to prioritize…. let alone itemize.
If pictures say a thousand words, than I have millions of them on photo disks, hard drives and memory cards. Plus there are shoe boxes full of photos that I say I will scan ‘someday’. If you too, are waiting for someday to come…I promise you it will NOT happen after your baby arrives. In fact, that will just expose a much bigger problem…because you will begin to photograph every giggle and wiggle of your little one. So start reducing the red-eye, delete the photos that make you look fat and scan the ones that will make Throwback Thursday fun again.
My friends are everywhere…and so is their contact information. For every ONE person I know, I probably have half a dozen email addresses, old mailing addresses and even a few outdated pager numbers (yes, I’m that old). Now is the time to get your head out of the cloud and put your contacts there instead. Go through your lists, your databases, your stacks of business cards. Update who you need to and delete who you want. And then…get social. Friend and follow the people you care about. Because when your little one arrives, Facebook will be your best birth announcement…and a little bird showed me twitter also does the trick.
So, what are you waiting for? You may not be a Mom yet…but you’ve got a lot of work to do. Trust me when I tell you, your nine months will be here before you know it.