The final stretch!

I hope everyone is doing well. I’m sure you’ve all been spending the last few weeks adjusting to what is now our new normal. With the lockdown slowly being lifted in most cities in India, we have been seeing a glimpse of what life will be like in the months to come.
I’ve been quiet the last couple weeks. We’ve been nesting, getting the last couple of things in order to welcome our little one, getting the nursery ready and even organizing the baby’s staff (which is a whole other ball game – I’m sure you mamas will agree!). I can’t believe the baby is going to be here at any point now.
It’s also been hectic on the work front, with things opening up slowly, we were able to re-start our production unit and send out the back load of orders placed during the lockdown (for those of you who don’t know, I also have a baby and kids-wear label – veronna). Most importantly being a start-up, most of the work is still done by me as we have a small team. It has been a daunting task to shift the workload on to my team so that I can have these last few days to myself to prepare. But it has been done and I can finally breathe a little.
Now time for some hard truths.
Post week 35 is when it really hit me - the baby is going to be here sooner than I know. Suddenly those same feelings of uncertainty that I thought I left behind in the first trimester were creeping up on me again. Am I prepared? Do I have everything in order? Have I forgotten something? Will there be any complications last minute?
I was also overpowered with a sudden sense of guilt that I might have not focused enough on prepping for the baby and spent more time on worrying about my work. (I’ve heard that mom-guilt is a thing and in most cases unavoidable. Have you felt the same way? What are your thoughts? Does it ever go away? – Something to discuss in another post maybe?) The pandemic aside, the negativity in the world hasn’t really been helping my nerves either.
The weeks that followed have been filled with doctor visits and Covid19 tests. Yes, if you’re a mom-to-be like me you’re already aware that we are now required to take the tests post week 35. I think the first time I went to get the test was extremely nerve wracking. I witnessed what was actually going on. I realised how far from reality we are. There’s a real pandemic out there and it is scary. We are lucky to be able to confine ourselves to the safety of our homes.
And then comes the thought of having to actually give birth in the midst of all this!
How is one expected to stay calm? 
As someone who continuously battles anxiety I had to make some changes.
I realised staying positive and putting things in perspective is the only way to go about with this. And as hard as it seems, I need to do it.
Focus on what’s really important - you and the baby should be your only priority. I’ve been following a few simple things to keep myself calm and I thought I’d share the same here with you. If you have anything that’s been helping you, do let me know in the comments below.

 1. Gratitude: I never thought practicing gratitude would make me feel so good. Whenever I am feeling anxious, I close my eyes and start thinking about all the things I’m grateful for. It could be anything - like you’re grateful for being in good health, that you’re happy you were able to get out for a drive, for the time you and your husband are getting together, or for the fact that you’ve been able to achieve everything on your to-do list for the day. Absolutely anything! I noticed it instantly put me in a better mood.
  1. Yoga/Meditation: I practice yoga with my trainer via virtual sessions and it has helped immensely. I’ve been practicing yoga way before I got pregnant but it has been most beneficial during my pregnancy. The basic stretching and breathing exercises keep me both physically and mentally healthy. These exercises are so important because they not only give your aching body the much needed relief but the breathing helps calm those nerves and really connect with your little one. I do this thrice a week with an instructor, and the rest of the days, I simply switch on some calming music, diffuse some oils and focus on my breathing.

3. Skin-care: The baby is important and you're doing such a good job nurturing your little one. But you're important too mama, so take some time off to pamper yourself. Give yourself the much needed TLC you deserve. I've been loving my skin-care regime - from moisturising, to essential oils to face masks and even hair masks - I've been doing it all. Should I do another post on products that I have used during this time? I think that might be fun.

 4. Support system: I cannot emphasize how amazing it is when you find a support group. Especially as a first time mom you’re so overwhelmed that it’s nice to have a group of like-minded ladies to fall back on – a safe space where you can ask your questions, share your concerns and connect with people that might be experiencing similar things. A place where there’s no judgment what so ever. I’ve joined groups like ‘The Mommy Network’ on Facebook and it’s been of great help. Also various Whatsapp groups with mums-to-be and new mums where we can share our experiences and be up to date with what’s happening, especially because we are all delivering during these uncertain times.

 5. Binge-watch your favourite shows: Never underestimate the power of a good rib tickling TV show. I have binge watched - FRIENDS, The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, Jane the Virgin and Suits through these 9 months and enjoyed it thoroughly. It genuinely feels nice to tuck yourself under a cozy blanket, switch off from the world and just watch TV when things seem to be getting hard.

 6.Smile and enjoy this phase: I know it seems easier said than done, but smiling and just being happy is what your baby needs. This time that you have is beautiful. It is nothing short of a little miracle what your body is doing. You’re creating life and that’s no small thing. Every kick is special and every conversation is sacred. Your little one feels you just as much as you feel it. Dance if you feel like (be careful though!), listen to your favourite music, laugh often, eat well and just breathe. You’ve got this mama!
My little one is due soon and I know all this seems tough right now, but it is going to be so, so worth it. I can’t wait for us to snuggle together. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that Baby D (as we call the baby) will not be inside me anymore. This little thing was no bigger than a bean just 9 months ago.
We became moms the day we found out about our little ones but somehow it seems to feel more and more real.
The next time I write to you, maybe Baby D will have already made an entrance or maybe not! Either way, it’s nice to be on this journey with all of you. It’s been great so far and I can’t wait to see how Baby D and I transition into the next phase.
Until then, stay home and stay safe mamas!
Veronna D