Aside from Tylenol, there’s not much you can take during pregnancy. Fortunately, you can still fill the prescription for a good time. Simply follow a few of the prompts below and let yourself get lost in the moment. Repeat whenever you’re feeling blue over the next 40 weeks.
1. Go to morphthing.com or a similar site to get a glimpse of what your baby-on-the-way might look like. Just upload pics of mom and pop, click the button, and get some giggles. When that gets old, play around with celeb photos to make hilarious what-if babies.
2. Think of creative ways to break the big news to your partner, parents and friends. For example, why not send out pregnancy announcements in paper barf bags? Or make an original home movie to share the surprise with personal flair.
3. Start a baby book by documenting details about your life and pregnancy. A blank book is great for those who are ultra creative; for those of us who could use a little help, the fill-in-the-blank varieties are ideal memory savers.
4. Splurge on baby stuff just because.
5. Get out of lifting anything heavy, cleaning with harsh chemicals, and staying awake for more than four hours straight. Isn’t it nice to have an excuse to take a break? (And it’s totally justified.)
6. Read pregnancy magazines and books. (You’ve already got a good start on this one!) Informative maternity guides are useful, but pick up a softbound that’s just for laughs too. Try one of these gut-busters:
- Jenny McCarthy’s Belly Laughs
- Mary Moore’s The Unexpected When You’re Expecting
- Vicki Iovine’s The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy
7. Blog or journal your journey. Or get the best of both worlds by binding your blog at blurb.com and turning it into a family treasure.
8. Take bets on baby’s delivery date. Start a pool and let everyone sign up for a day; the guy who’s right gets the cash. (This can be rigged if you’re being induced or having a C-section, but of course, we recommend honesty.)
9. Turn down your MIL’s casserole surprise and live to see another day. (At least morning sickness makes a good excuse.)
10. Paint your belly. Flowers are the thing for spring, summer suggests watermelons and beach balls, fall calls for pumpkins, and winter wants a snow globe. Have fun, get messy and take pictures.
11. Learn a new skill (i.e., knitting, quilting, engraving, painting), and use it to make a special something-or-other for your bun in the oven.
12. Park in “pregnant women only” spots. You’ve seen these in grocery store and Babies“R”Us lots—now’s your time to take advantage!
13. Enjoy letting it all hang out with sexy lingerie or swimwear for preggos.
14. Pull out the corn and pop in one of these pregnancy-themed comedies:
- Father of the Bride II
- Baby Mama
- Nine Months
- Knocked Up
- She’s Having a Baby
15. Put your feet up.
16. Indulge your cravings—the crazier the better. And if your man is willing to make a late-night run for irresistible items (tacos, pickles, frosting from the jar), take him up on it every now and then.
17. Get a maternity massage … or 12. And ask your partner for rubdowns in between appointments with the pros.
18. Enjoy mocktails. These are especially fun at parties where you’re sure to garner lots of incredulous looks. (Candy cigarettes can be entertaining for the same reason.)
19. Go in for a 3D/4D ultrasound—there’s nothing else like it for getting to know your baby before his birthday!
20. Pick maternity duds that really show off your bump. Whether you’re buying discount or designer, slim silhouettes and empire waistlines will make your new curves all the more apparent.
21. Take a prenatal fitness class; or if you’re a little shy, try out a video. Yoga or pilates for expecting moms will have you feeling and looking your best.
22. Get plenty of sweet, sweet sleep.
23. Commiserate with other ladies in your shoes—online or momo-a-momo.
24. Do it. You know—it. When you’re in the mood, which might be pretty often during trimester #2, it can be fun trying to come up with positions that work around the bump getting in your way these days.
25. Take a babymoon with your special someone, and relish the fact that you can get away without lining up a sitter for just a little while longer.
26. If you like to decorate, have a ball with nursery design. If you don’t, call on a friend, family member or decorator who does. As you get closer to your due date and the nesting instinct really kicks in, it will feel super satisfying to have your baby’s room nearly ready.
27. Wear a “Mom-to-Be” sash all day … why not?
28. Get casted. For belly art that can last forever, buy a kit from Original Belly Works and bind your bump (it’s more sensual—and often more successful—if you get your partner to help out). Then ship your cast and a sketch of your design idea back to OBW, where they’ll create a fiberglass form from your cast and turn it into a one-of-a-kind piece of art.
29. If you have a baby shower, relish the attention (and the gifts!), because once baby arrives, he’s bound to be the center of interest at every social function.
30. Keep a photo diary with week-by-week pictures. For inspiration, click to pacingthepanicroom.blogspot.com and check out “Cole’s Maternity Series” and “Walk to 40 Weeks.”
31. Pick out a pretty hospital gown at babybeminematernity.com. At least there’s one aspect of delivery day you won’t be stressed over.
32. Compare your own baby photos with your partner’s and get your mothers to share your birth stories.
33. Go through your family history to see the names your ancestors selected.
34. Check out the phone book: What did other Millers name their kiddos?
35. Peruse some of our favorite naming books:
36. Act offended when a stranger asks when you’re due. Even if you’re 35 weeks along.
37. Go to youtube.com and check out “9 Months Gestation in 20 Seconds.” Awesome.
38. Teach your husband to change a diaper on a baby doll. It’s never too early to learn, and you’ll get some laughs out of it.
39. Have your pregnancy portrait taken, either by a friend or a professional.
40. Get a belly tat. Let’s clarify: A temporary belly tattoo. (Otherwise, who knows where that butterfly will end up post-baby?)
41. Be silly with those ultrasound images: Add captions or quote bubbles using photo software, put them together in a slideshow, or turn them into holiday ornaments.
42. Does Halloween land during your third trimester? A baby bump is the perfect costume accessory. Be a baker with a bun in the oven!
43. Go swimming, indoors or out. It’s amazing how the water takes the weight off your legs and back.
44. Get away with being moody and demanding (once in a while).
45. Have one last hurrah with the girls—kind of like a bachelorette party minus the debauchery.
46. Pick up a few loud and proud tops or make some tacky T’s of your own. See if you can get your baby daddy in on it too!
47. Long wait at your favorite restaurant? No seats on the bus? Too many bags to carry? Be obvious about your bump and you’ll be amazed how many do-gooders come out of the woodwork to help out. Enjoy the perks and don’t feel guilty.
48. Just for kicks, stage a water-breaking in a public place. Tip: This is usually much funnier if you have accomplices.
49. Share your favorite children’s books and music through your uterus. Baby will enjoy the sound of your voice, and you’ll get to revisit some childhood memories.
50. Buy an at-home heart monitor and check in on your baby anytime you like.
51. Bellybars and Preggie Pops.
52. Can’t reach your toes? That’s OK! This is the best time to get a pedi—just don’t let the nail tech rub your soles unless you’re prepared to go into labor.
53. When strangers walk by and smile at you, make eye contact and smile back. It’s unusual, but it’s kind of nice!