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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.

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.

Amazon Mom

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.

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Number 34 was what sent me into labor with my first. and I knew it would ao that’s why I did it.
And now, I am sad this countdown has come to an end because I love reading it and have recommended it to anyone I know who is having a baby and their mother. HOWEVER, Ezra is so adorable that I am looking forward to filling my reading time with updates about him, the shenanigans of Noah and the exhaustion of the parental units. Now go take another nap!


I have to take real umbrage with SAJ’s depiction of a 40 week mom. What is up with the skinny legs? And does she actually have ankles? OK out there, raise your hand if you still have ankles…Bueller?
I love the list though and appreciate the reminder to go ahead and knock out some investment cooking. Great plan!


No ankles here (39w2d)! I had a pedicure today and was shocked when I saw my “ankles” and poor sausage feet. Such abuse and neglect…but at least my toes will look pretty at the hospital, whenever that happens!


You know what my aunt did when she was a few days overdue? Had to run about and get the friggin’ cows back in the field and fix the fence after they decided the road was the best place to be.
Got her right into labor!
I’m pretty sure she’d rather do any of the things on your list.


So I should get some cows and set them loose? Okay. I’ll add it to my list. (Good suggestion, seeing as how I’ve already done lots of these list items, and I still have more than 2 weeks to go until the “official” due date). Thanks, Amalah, for seeing me through almost to the end. I’ve looked forward to your posts each week; congratulations to you and your beautiful baby!


Where’s the 41 week post? Because I? AM ENTERING THE 41ST WEEK.
Wait. Nevermind. All it needs to say is “GET OUT”.


Oh Amy I’m missing you! How will I survive the next 5 weeks of my pregnancy without your posts? I guess news on how your birth went is probably too much to ask given that you are probably very busy with your new son – but if you ever have time to give us a post script that would be so very welcome. All I can do right now is thank you for everything. You’ve been like my big pregnant sister for around 8 months and I’ve loved reading all your posts. Despite pregnancy being a very different journey here… Read more »


I would SO way rather be walking in the mall and eating my weight in pretzels than sitting in a hospital bed hooked up to a pitocin drip the day I turned 38 weeks because of a flukey blood pressure spike.
Good luck to everyone still waiting!


Number 21 is what made me, I think, go into labor 5 days before my due date. And within 48 hours, too, of doing it. Amazing.
Thanks, Amalah, for accompanying me through my pregnancy. It’s been a complete joy (and pain … haha) to be able to read your blog this whole time. I’ll actually miss it. But I’ll be back when I’m pregnant with the next one. 😉


lol at #27 great list! and blog! there’s a list like that in this book pregnancy how to enjoy it which was also pretty good


How annoying!
i’m in my 40th week and have only just found this site,
great advice tho, and extremly funny.
good luck to everyone!


Child #2: at 34 or 36 weeks, I walked into a door frame (no seriously, I actually did) and kicked off some crazy contractions for about 12 hours. I joked about doing it again when my due date came around. Two nights before my due date, my toddler son wouldn’t sleep, so I tried taking him on the couch to sleep. He wiggled and kicked and kicked me in the belly. I started having mild, minor contractions that lasted throughout the following day. At about 10pm that following evening, hubs and I Did the Deed for what would be the… Read more »


I just had my little munchkin at 39 weeks, 6 days! I never got to read this week’s post while I was pregnant, so I’m reading it now while killing time between feedings. I have to say, my husband was really in favor of me mowing the lawn while waiting for labor (he asked me to at least once a day in the last two weeks!). I did do about half the ideas on the list (WALKING, WALKING, MORE WALKING!) and the thing that finally brought it on was a good jostling in the car over a speed bump. Amalah,… Read more »


What about week 41?  Nothing more to look forward to then, i guess.


This is clearly a list for a first time mother …

Tips Bumil
Tips Bumil

Agree with you :p
4 months ago a did this list 🙂


I’m back reading these last couple weeks now that my little guy is almost 6 months old. Not to make anyone jealous or anything, but my water broke when I was 37 weeks, 6 days & baby was born at exactly 38 weeks. He was 8 lbs, 10 oz too, so it’s not like he wasn’t finished in there! I’m claiming what did it for me was having a last little babymoon weekend planned – my water broke at 1am Friday morning, that evening we had tickets to a play and hotel reservations (I really wanted to try swimming when… Read more »