Forty Things to do While Waiting for Labor Start

Here I am, waiting for labor.

With my firstborn, I was in early labor for many days at home before active labor kicked in. Twenty-four strenuous back-laboring hours after arriving at the hospital my beautiful son was born right on his due date. My punctual little firstborn didn’t give me much of a chance to sit and wait because even while his due date approached I could tell I was already on the road to delivery.

This time around, with my second full term pregnancy, I’ve had such intense practice contractions throughout that the increase of intensity over time had me feeling like I’m constantly starting labor- without the consistency of progressing contractions. I breathe through each contraction and hold my tummy and carry on through the day. I’ve been doing this for quite a while now.

Forty Things to do While Waiting for Labor Start | Twin Cities Moms Blog

While this has worked fine up until now, I decided a week before my due date that the best thing for my body would be to rest and to not be managing these contractions in front of the twenty little students that I teach each day. I am a teacher and impending labor is not ideal in the classroom. Now that I’m not working you could say I have a bit of time on my hands. And being a mother already, I know that time is precious and that time alone is almost unheard of!

Having spent my entire pregnancy as a teacher surrounded by chatter and energy in the classroom, this spare time is surreal. My exhaustion level was through the roof and I knew if I was to prepare myself for baby at all I could not do it while working. So, here I am with time, not much energy, but a great deal of excitement and nesting instincts on hand.

So what do I do during this time if I don’t want to sleep the whole time? The following is a bit of what’s held me together this past week as I wait for my little one. In no way, shape or form is this a recipe for starting labor (obviously), nor am I saying we should just move and get out and do, do, do- because rest is an absolute necessity as well. I followed my body’s instincts and waited to see where it would take me. Sometimes I needed to move, sometimes I needed to get down on the floor and mop, other times I needed rest.

And in the end, no matter what I did, as you can see from this list- baby comes eventually. More than anything my goal was for this time to go down in the books as a sweet time with my belly kicking baby and my anxiously awaiting family by my side.

Here’s what got me through the waiting and eventually to my sweet, sweet little babe.

  1. Start a project- don’t be afraid to go big- like repaint a giant hutch
    Forty Things to do While Waiting for Labor Start | Twin Cities Moms Blog
  2. Go through your closets and make donations
  3. Pack your hospital bag
  4. Go for lots of walks
  5. Take lots of naps
  6. Read a book (or at least some articles)
  7. Reorganize everything in your house if you’re feeling ambitious, or if you’re just looking for something you misplacedForty Things to do While Waiting for Labor Start | Twin Cities Moms Blog
  8. Write in a journal
  9. Plan some meals
  10. Go on a date with your partner
  11. Go on a date with your other children
  12. Repack your hospital bag because you don’t like what you packed the first time
  13. Set up an email account for your baby and start writing them emails to be read when they are older- (my version of a baby book).
  14. Get together with a friend or family member
  15. Stay away from people if you can’t stand being by them right now
  16. Research new shows to stream after the baby is born
  17. Clean out your kitchen cupboards or refrigerator
  18. Mop the floors
  19. Return or exchange gifts you don’t need for something you do need- like diapers
  20. Do yard work
  21. Wash baby clothes
  22. Pull out and wash a few larger size postpartum outfits so you don’t have to try squeezing into pre-pregnancy clothes too soon
  23. Get out of the house
  24. Stay home
  25. Take off work if you can
  26. Go to work if you need to
  27. Spend time feeling those belly kicks for the last few days before the baby is born
    Forty Things to do While Waiting for Labor Start | Twin Cities Moms Blog
  28. Talk to your baby
  29. Sing to your baby
  30. Catch up on emails
  31. Go bra shopping for some bigger nursing bras because you’re going to need them soon
  32. Put together a big sibling gift for the older ones
  33. Pack a bag for big siblings in case they need to stay with someone
  34. Try to identify where your baby’s butt and back is positioned and give him a little back rub, reminding him he can come out anytime now
  35. Show interest in your older one’s new Pokémon obsession and impress him with your latest research
  36. Make an email and phone list to share the news with once baby arrives
  37. Research any last minute questions for your OB or midwife and write them down
  38. Locate all your chargers
  39. Remind yourself all day, every day that your body is capable of what it’s preparing to do and soon your little one will be in your arms
  40. Write a list because once you’re done with that list that sweet baby of yours might just be ready to come (no guarantee, though)!  In my case, within twelve hours of completing this list, I awoke during the early hours of the morning already in labor and baby boy was born later that night. Yes, he waited until I finished my projects, cleaned up my house, completed the nursery, got enough naps, had some alone time and wrote this list. And, once again, like his brother, he came right on his due date.

Forty Things to do While Waiting for Labor Start | Twin Cities Moms Blog

How’s that for punctual children?

What have you found helpful when you’re waiting for labor to start?

Maureen is an educator and a mom to a sweet and wild seven year old named Leo and newborn named Remy. She and her family can be found digging in the dirt, seeking adventures outside, traveling, hunting down thrifty deals, visiting local museums and parks, discovering new global flavors at local restaurants, and looking for resourceful ways to be involved in their community together. Maureen is eager to connect with those around her regardless of where they come from and is passionate about raising a son who cares for the world around him. Both her and her family have a strong desire to be where the action is, yet yearn for the solace that is found when they're surrounded by nature. When not in the city where home and work is, they can often be found venturing north and setting up camp where the only thing they need to worry about is where to bike that day and where to find the best view of the sunset. You can follow Maureen and her family's daily adventures on Instagram {@maureenshealer}.

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