I make arrangements with friends to care for Everett, I talk with my older children about the possibility of change in their routine, and I look ahead to what might need to be rearranged in my calendar. It's really an exciting time, even though my preparations may not be necessary for days or even weeks.
I find that if I can settle into bed feeling like I have everything set, should I receive a phone call that night, that I sleep much better. I can fall asleep more quickly, and my sleep is more restful.
With that said, if I treated each night's sleep as if it's going to be THE NIGHT, then it may feel like a very long waiting game. So instead, I make my preparations, and then I try to LET GO. I try to let go of that anticipation of, "will my client go into labor!?!", because I know that the more pressure I put that tonight may be THE NIGHT, then my energy is being put to use on something that doesn't need that level of energy.
I remind myself that even knowing a client is three centimeters dilated at her last appointment, I still don't have any idea when her labor will start. Even if I've talked with her earlier in the day, and she's been feeling some cramps throughout the morning, that still doesn't mean she will be calling me later because her labor has intensified or she's requesting my support.
So in order to really rest and be prepared for when I do receive a call, all I can do is prepare what I can and then LET GO of the questions that I don't have answers for.
I encourage the families with whom I work to take a similar approach to their last weeks of pregnancy. When each night becomes WILL LABOR BEGIN TONIGHT? then it's bound to feel like a lengthy last few weeks.
And before you try to tell me how hard it is to not know when labor will begin or that the last few weeks of pregnancy can be uncomfortable and exhausting in their own way, let me tell you: I GET IT! I totally understand feeling ready to go into labor, wondering when in the world my labor would begin, hoping that contractions would begin already! And it's really okay to feel how you feel, honestly. But if you're able to take some deep breaths and remind yourself that you can either stress yourself out with something you really can't control and feel even more exhausted OR you can remind yourself that letting go of those unanswered questions (when will I begin labor, how long will it last, etc.) can give you the space to prepare for your baby more peacefully.