Top Ten: Things to Do Before Going Into Labor


Sure, there’s the obvious things. Wash and store all the baby clothes, blankets, small toys, etc? Check. Make and freeze enough food to feed a small army? Check. Buy and practice using the pram/travel system/car seat? Check. Clean the house. Check.

These are the smaller things that flit through my head under the “that’d be a really good idea; I should remember that” category. Not completely necessary, but things that would make life that much easier.

10. Manicure and pedicure. Given, I haven’t really been in contact (I occasionally see a peek when I’m lying down, but mostly they’re obscured by the behemoth that is my belly) with my feet for a couple of months now, but they I suspect they would benefit from a good cream-and-sock treatment right about now. Call me vain, but if I’m going to be walking around in a hospital gown for almost a week, I’d prefer not to be doing so with scaley-looking lizard feet/legs on display. My hands have fared better, but who doesn’t like a new coat of polish?

9. Slap on some makeup and take that damned belly photo already.

8. Switch out earrings for a pair of very simple, small posts that you don’t mind losing. I’ve had pearls fall off in the middle of a hair washing at the salon before, I don’t want to know what would happen if I went all labor-thrashy with a pair of expensive earrings in. So for these last few weeks, I’m going to just keep my pair of stainless steel studs (the very inconspicuous ones used when I was originally pierced) in and avoid the entire situation. Bonus: they are easy to clean and sleep in, because they are meant to be kept on 24-7.

7. Stock up on toilet paper, paper towels, Q-tips, toiletries, and all that other stuff. Especially things where you don’t trust the husband to come back with the right brand or scent, since he doesn’t usually bother reading the labels.

6. Make, package and freeze a special batch of cookies for the maternity ward nurses and midwives. I might not be at my most eloquent (or comfortable. or sane.) mindset to properly express my appreciation for all their hard work through the majority of my stay, so I’ll let sugary goodies do the communication instead.

5. Have all my medical information updated on my phone app and available in a big “click on this display” on the front screen of my phone. Anybody can tap on it and get all they need to know right away, should I be too incoherent to answer them. This has already proved its usefulness once during my last ambulance ride.

4. Schedule my car for a full detail, interior wash and wax. Because it’s been a long, dirty two winters since it last got one and we’d rather not bring the baby home in a roach coach. Also, because it will most likely be another two years before we do it again, if we’re going to be as frazzled and busy as people say.

3. Have another mattress protector ready for the car seat, along with a couple of towels to layer on top of it. Preparedness, yo.

2. Lay out a waterproof mattress protector (crib-sized, so they can be used for the baby after I’m done with them!) under my sheets. We finally splurged on a Tempur bed; no way in hell is that thing getting damaged. By the same token, wearing heavy duty protection most times now, in case of accidental sneezing/coughing. It should give me at least a slight bit of a safety cushion to get a move on if water breaks somewhere inconvenient.

1. Make Padsicles. Lots of them.

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