1. A greater desire for pregnancy to be over. Even though you’ve come a long way, two more months to D-day (Delivery Day) seems like an eternity. This normal impatience is likely to get worse, especially since there are so many questions that will be answered only on delivery day: Is baby (really) a he or she? What does she look like? What color will his hair and eyes be? How will she act? What will I feel when I meet him? How will her father react? As much as you want to see your little one, as much as you want your body back, you still have a lot of baby growing to do – two more months of adding the finishing touches to this little person. Remind yourself that this is the last chance you’ll have for a while to sleep in, go to a movie without paying a sitter, make love without possible interruption. Make the most of this special time.
2. The urge to imagine. As your pregnancy progresses, the imaginings you’ve been having all along seem more real. You may imagine your baby, or picture the baby and your other children playing together. You probably think about baby’s personality now, as much as his or her looks. Feeling baby kick is usually the trigger for these imaginings. Sometimes they really run wild and you start fast-forwarding your imaginary tape, picturing what your child will be like in school, as a teenager, even as a grown person. You’ll likely begin to formulate ideas about the kind of person you want your child to be. Fantasizing about your child’s life will also trigger vivid replays of your own childhood. As they reflect, many women begin to feel closer to their mothers, feeling anew the love that was behind typical childhood scenes, such as eating breakfast together each morning, or being told to wear a coat.
3. Driven to replay a previous birth. If you’ve given birth before, you may begin to think a lot about your previous birth, recalling both pleasant and unpleasant events. How will this labor and delivery be different? Will it hurt more or less? Will it be shorter or longer? This is also a good time to mull over the lessons you learned from your previous labor and delivery. What do you want to do the same this time? What do you want to do differently? Will you use the same pain-relieving techniques? Channel any worry you have into more practice of relaxation skills, and talk to a few friends who can encourage you. If you can’t stop worrying about this birth see a professional to reduce your fear.
4. Increased superstitions. Even if you’ve never been a superstitious person, you may start looking for omens. A black cat crosses your path and you worry about what that means. Then all the baby catalogs start coming – your name is already on multiple mailing lists, and your baby isn’t even born yet. You can’t bring yourself to buy baby’s layette because something bad may happen to baby. Not all mothers feel superstitious; the ones who do probably tend to worry about many things. Guard against letting this form of worry disturb your peace.
5. Heightened worries about baby’s health. By now you have undoubtedly been on the receiving end of many comments from well-meaning mothers who simply must tell you what could go wrong. Your practitioner may unintentionally magnify these health worries. That’s his or her job; good doctors and midwives believe that you should be informed about all the possibilities. Consider those “worst case scenarios” just that: rare happenings that are unlikely to happen to you or your baby. If negative conversation like this disturbs your peace during your prenatal visits, tell your practitioner so.
6. Increased worries about weight gain. If you are obsessed with weight and get depressed after every monthly weigh-in, just stop looking at the scale. Ask the doctor and the nurses not to tell you how much you weigh unless there is a medical reason to do so. As long as you are feeling well and your baby is growing normally, don’t worry about your weight. And certainly don’t think about going on a diet now. If your doctor doesn’t say anything to you, you can assume you’re at the right weight for you. Focus on nutritious eating habits rather than the scale. The number on the scale is not an absolute since your body undergoes rapid fluid shifts. Fluid retention can be higher on the day (or hour) of your checkup.
7. Greater sense of relief. Especially if you were preoccupied with worry about going into premature labor, you now can take comfort knowing that your baby would, with a lot of medical help, probably survive if born now. In fact, by the end of the eighth month most babies have achieved sufficient lung development to enable them to breathe on their own. And many premature babies born at this stage experience very few complications. (Babies born earlier than 36 weeks often need a few days to a week or so of assistance with their breathing while their lungs mature. )
8. A desire to be a good mother. Many mothers report serious ambivalence about parenthood this month. One day you may feel excited about the big event soon to happen. Another day you may feel incredibly nervous about the tremendous changes the birth of your baby will bring to your family. All these feelings are normal, and are not unlike the emotional highs and lows of motherhood: there will be times when you love being a parent, and there will be times when you wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into. One very common, but unnecessary, concern that nearly all mothers have throughout pregnancy, but most strongly near the end, is whether they will be good mothers. They hear about this mysterious “mother’s intuition” that is somehow supposed to be in the hospital gift pack, along with the baby oil and diapers. Be assured that you will develop this mother’s intuition. Your hormones helped you grow this baby, and they will charge your system after birth to give you clear insights into becoming a good enough mother for your baby.