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Pregnancy Calendar

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Week 40

Your Baby:

  • get out get out get out.
  • get out get out get out get out.


  • get out get out get out get out get out.
  • get out! get out get out get out.
  • and for real: GET OUT.

So first, the bad news. Less than 10% of babies actually show up on their due date. While the word “overdue” pretty much feels on par with the f-word during the final weeks of pregnancy, the sad truth is that many of us will end up there.

You may continue to trudge to work everyday, silently fuming about how this was SO NOT WHAT YOU MEANT by your plan to “work up until your due date.” You may start working from home, blaming an inability to fit into your shoes or keep the bottom few inches of your belly covered. You may be trying to convince your older children that no, FOR REAL, the baby still is coming, you swear, despite the fact that the cheerfully circled Big Brother Day!! on the calendar has come and gone. You may just be sitting around, waiting. And waiting.

Endless walking? Mucus plug? Contractions? Spicy food? Sex? Anyone? Can I have some sign that this is almost over? Don’t make me break out the castor oil.

I sent out an All Internets Bulletin over Twitter recently, asking for everybody to submit one thing to do while waiting for labor to begin. And lo, the Internets responded in massive numbers.

And so here I present the definitive, written-by-you-the-peoples list of 40 Things To Do While Waiting To Go Into Labor. Hoping reading this list will count as one, and maybe if we’re lucky a couple of you will actually go into labor by the time you get to the end.

40 Things To Do While Waiting To Go Into Labor

1: Go out for dinner and a movie with your partner. Every night. See every crap movie out there if you have to.
2: Cook and freeze meals, or place orders for meal delivery service. Or drop hints to people who call to see if that pesky baby is here yet that FOOD IS APPRECIATED.
3: Bake cookies, breads, brownies.
4: Pamper yourself with a face and hair mask. Overly lotion feet, wrap in saran wrap, don socks. (Don’t walk though, you’ll slide.)
5: Scrapbook and organize all the photos you’ve been meaning to scrapbook and organize.
7: Walk the mall and eat your weight in pretzels.
8: Stock up on liquor. You know, “for the family to celebrate.”
9: Read a book that has absolutely nothing to do with babies or pregnancy.
10: Get a manicure and pedicure. (Also suggested: chew all your nails off…then go get tips put on…then chew THOSE off.)
11: Get a pregnancy massage.
12: Create and listen to your labor music mix. Practice finding your happy place.
13: Mow the lawn.
14: Give the pets baths and toenail clippings.
15: Wash your car.
16: Learn to knit and make a hat.
17: Cover mattress in plastic in case water breaks in bed.
18: Decide plastic is too noisy when rolling huge ass around to get comfy, take chances.
19: Clean out forgotten cabinets — under the sink, the Tupperware drawer, etc.
20: Lie on nice cool bathroom floor and clean the grout with a toothbrush.
21: Have sex. It’ll be your last chance for weeks, such as it is.
22: Window shop for a celebratory “you’ve lost at least some of the baby weight” outfit for later.
23: Take a nap without apology or hesitation.
24: Hide things in house that may be inappropriate for visiting grandparents and family members.
25: Get a carseat inspection at the local firehouse.
26: Charge anything and everything that resembles a phone or a camera.
27: Make a decision regarding your nether regions: get waxed? get help from partner? or decide that if you can’t see it, it clearly no longer exists or matters?
28: Alphabetize your CDs and arrange DVDs by genre.
29: Buy some guilty pleasures on iTunes and make a kickass one-hit-wonder playlist.
30: Write thank-you cards for any gifts you’ve already received.
31: Re-wash, re-fold, re-organize the baby clothes.
32: Assemble swings, bouncy seats and other battery-operated baby gear, make sure you have at least one full set of (RECHARGABLE) batteries for everything.
33: Pack a diaper bag.
34: Start an ambitious new project that is guaranteed to remain unfinished for the next six months once you go into labor halfway through it.
35: Go out for ice cream cones.
36: Clear out one shelf in kitchen for bottles, breastpump parts, baby food and plastic dishes.
37: Fill and re-order Netflix queue.
38: Sign up for an infant CPR class.
39: Take a dry-run test-drive to the hospital (or several, at different times of the day.)
40: Knit an umbilical cord cozy.

Related post: Pregnancy and COVID-19: What We Know (& a Few Things We Don’t)

Finished with the Pregnancy Calendar and want more? Visit Amalah’s postpartum weekly column, Bounce Back. Bounce Back is about the postpartum experience — the good, the bad and the gory.


THANKS TO ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED to this post: littlemissmel, afterthestork, snarkymommy, deew27, meli1029, ohchicken, snarkyamber, stinkle, craftandfound, brilliantone, graspthenettle, crabgoggles, suzannadanna, AFamilyStory, tantivies, grace134, mariabird80, suzannad, lsnjd, theredneckmommy, jodifur, boomerdavis, papernapkin, jules64, mrsflinger, AngellaD, SublimeBedlam, mommystory, mrsca, megnotarte, Katebfpl, lildb, andsosheblogs, issascrazyworld, monkeyinlove, miguelina, rookieheather.

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About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering ...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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About the Author

Our Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty, was written by Amy Corbett Storch while she was pregnant with her second son, Ezra.

Amy, also known as Amalah, writes the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back here at Alpha Mom. You can follow her daily mothering adventures at her own site, Amalah.

About the Illustrations

The Zero to Forty illustrations were created by the artist Brenda Ponnay, aka Secret Agent Josephine. Brenda is very talented and these images are copyright-protected. You should hire her if you want your own unique ones.