So you all have such wonderful wisdom that I thought I’d ask you today for some ideas!
First off, a woman wrote me with a question that I’d never considered before. You know how some people throw “Period Parties” for their daughters when they get their first periods (not that I think that’s necessarily a good idea; depends on your daughter)? Well, what about celebrating when the period ends!
I am a gray-haired 57-year-old wife of my wonderful husband of many decades, mother of two amazing kids, grandmother of several busy, active, imaginative grandkids, daughter, sister, friend, who is approaching her menopause celebration date! I feel like this deserves some kind of recognition or celebration of sorts. Like the other bookend of that awkward First Period Moment, but in a good way? Any thoughts, traditions, ideas would be appreciated!
What a great question!
For those who don’t know, a menopause celebration day would be one year to the day since the start of your last period.
So you’re officially in menopause when you haven’t had a period for a full calendar year (I had one friend who had a period on day 340, and then she had to start counting again. That was a bummer.)
I had my day several years ago (I was early), and I didn’t pay much attention to it, except to be happy. But that’s a great question: why don’t we celebrate this more? And what would be a fitting way to celebrate? I found I’ve become way more fierce since menopause, so a lot of women actually enjoy entering this stage of their lives.
And we’ve been talking about our wonderful sponsor Femallay on the podcast, and Femallay has some amazing products, like vaginal “melts” (vaginal suppositories), to help with vaginal dryness and make sex pleasurable and fun (as well as just keeping you more comfortable in general). I highly recommend (and we’ll be talking about them more soon!).
So if you have any thoughts on how to celebrate Menopause Day, let me know!
What would you tell a pregnant woman to do in the last few weeks before she gives birth?
Okay, question #2: Rebecca’s due date is rapidly approaching, and little Alex has no idea how much his life is about to change!
(I realize this picture is kind of funny because it looks like it’s MY arm that’s over her belly, but forgive that!)
Anyway, we’re not sure how much time she has left before baby comes. Alex was REALLY late, but there are signs that may not be the case this time. But who really knows?
So assuming she has just a few weeks left, what would you say are the most important things she does right now?
I’d love to write both of those up in two posts! And you guys always have the best ideas.
Also, totally random thing: Here’s the blanket I’ve been working on for 8 years.
I normally knit it while we’re in our RV. I use all the ends from sock yarn balls (there’s always stuff left over after you knit socks), and I’ve had other people give me their ends. It’s going to be a summer bedspread, and it’s about maybe 60% done? But it’s getting too big for the RV now so I brought it inside for the winter!
(I just thought some of you may be interested!)
But my real questions are about menopause and getting ready for baby!
So let me know–Menopause Day? Getting Ready for Baby? We’re listening!
Sheila Wray Gregoire
Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum
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I have never heard of celebrating menopause day. I am now 57 year old, I have been almost there and then… period at month 11. TWICE! Hoping to make it to 12 months this time!
I have no good suggestions for Rebecca. She could get all the laundry done or pre-prepare meals… but that is what you and other family members are for after the baby is born.
I do want to know your afghan pattern!! That is absolutely gorgeous!
That happened to me too, Tricia!
Congratulations on the new baby! My biggest suggestion would be to make sure you have a hospital bag packed and ready to go and if you travel, keep it in the car. As someone who had two preemies and another baby a couple weeks early, I know how much it stinks to be throwing together a hospital bag last minute. You never end up with what you really need! Also I’m sure you’ve done this, but make sure you have the spot or room ready to go for the baby with crib and clothes, everything you’re going to use in place and clean. You’ll need care lined up for your son, and if you haven’t, you’ll want to talk to him about the baby. My boys were older, they had just turned 4 when my daughter was born, but they actually got to go to the last ultrasound appts and see her. The doctor even let them “run” the ultrasound. So they were excited, although it was still all new for them once she was born. You already have a son, so you know the routine, I think you’ll be just fine! 🙂 Although if you have the opportunity for extra help, snatch it up. It’s a lot more tiring with two then one. (And never put off a shower, no matter how tired. Every time my water broke, I hadn’t showered the night before because I could “do it in the morning”. So that didn’t work for me!
Well, before baby comes …
– go swiming in the sea
– have amazing full body massages
– get plenty of sleep if you possibly can
– up your magnesium
– consider a birth photographer
– and a meal tree for afterwards
– snag a copy of The First 40 Days and The Post Natal Depletion Cure
– look into hiring a midwife/doula/birth pool
– stock up on coconut water or rehydration drinks for labour, plus healthy snacks
– organize the cutest, nicest, natural-y maternity pads (we like cloth), granny pants, loo paper, peri bottle, button down tops, comfy breastfeeding bras, nipple salve and bed/loungewear that makes you feel pretty & comfy like the queen that you are
– grab some Post Natal Bliss healing bath herbs & peri bottle and herbal honey & Soothing Salve. Your yoni will thank you later …
– Prepare some padsicles using the hetbal liquid from the above, plus aloe vera, and pop them in the freezer
– crochet or buy a cute cord tie if you’d like as alternative to the usual plastic clips
– invest in a baby-wearing sling wrap or carrier – I hear good things about the Ergo and Manducca
– fit your car with a baby capsule
– fit your bed with a ‘side car’ crib or bassinet
– look into perineal massage if it’s your first time
– go on daily walks and check out the Spinning Babies website
– get some After Pain-ease tincture or tea if it’s your second time or more … especially if its babe #3 or more! After pains tend to get worse the more babies you have.
– snag an Ancient Gates Prayers & Promises for Pregnancy & Birth box
[I can’t help with the questions; I only have one child and am not near menopause age yet.] I just want to say I love that blanket. I don’t knit or crochet but admire the work of people who do. 🙂
Well being in the throes of the 1st trimester and looking at next april-may myself, i had some plans for birth. But I tried to keep swallowing pills when I should’ve stopped. So now I’m pretty sure I can’t anymore, and I’ll have to re-approach it much later.
And my mom did find a few labor prep tinctures(I think you take it the last 4-6 weeks of pregnancy), that she said really smooth over the recovery. I believe natures warehouse sold it. I’ve also bought a p.p. bath soak for myself from them! (They have several things related to birth/post partum and pregnancy I’m trying.)
If my mom threw a menopause party, she’d phrase as a new season of grandma party! She’s had 12 children and the last 2 at the same time as grandkids were. her mother got medical intervention for entering menopause at 58(i believe)l, So naturally, it’s going to be a while! I totally see her celebrating it, as she’s still got 8-15 years likely to go. I think it’d be like a baby shower but maybe themed towards gandma-dom, and I see a few lingerie pieces being aquired… though I don’t know if it’s in private or not. I’m thinking it’s her inner circle of women and At that point they are probably crossing the milestone of empty nesters as well. So probably a lot of celebrations going on.
I’m nowhere near menopause so my suggestion is more of a general one for any big milestone: think of something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t for whatever reason. Why not do it to celebrate a milestone?
For me, I’ve always wanted to run the Honolulu Marathon. So I roped my best friend into agreeing to do it with me for our 40th birthday in several years. It’s going to be awesome.
Go on a big long hike. Visit a pretty beach. Take a pottery class. Swim with otters (or do an animal encounter at your local zoo). Learn to ride a horse. Go have an adventure! Whatever that means for you and fits into your personal circumstances.
Wonderful suggestions, Meghan!
Aside from the practical, I would take the toddler on an adventure that you can’t really do with a newborn – zoo, science museum, aquarium. Even if Alex doesn’t understand, talk to him about how much fun it’s going to be to take the baby on these adventures when the baby is old enough and how much fun Alex is going to have showing all these great things to his new sibling.
Your blanket is gorgeous! What a great way to use up the yarn.
For Rebecca, once your bag is packed and ready try to spend some one on one time with your son because things may be very different when the second one comes home-babies can be so unpredictable. Also please try to put your feet up and rest, maybe read a good book. Go on a date with your husband-much more difficult with a newborn. Enjoy this time, and the anticipation of your new family member. I’m so excited for you!
For the menopause party, I suggest it’s only for women and you bring her gifts of things like new panties or really nice sheets for her bed (that she doesn’t have to worry about staining), or have everyone bring their favourite menopause product that they’ve tried and loved. Most of all I think it’d be fun to just get together with your girlfriends and have some food/drinks and laughs together. Who doesn’t love an excuse to celebrate?!
“Who doesn’t love an excuse to celebrate?!” Exactly!
I wouldn’t count on signs to being anything on early necessarily. Some women walk around dilated for weeks. I know one women who was 5cm dilated for 5 weeks. And I myself had prodromal labour contractions for weeks. Weeks before my second and third came.
I’d make sure things were ready. And then spend as much time one on one as possible with your eldest. His world is changing. And you are his stability. And one on one time will be short for the foreseeable future. So I’d focus on that. Focus what energy you have on that little boy until the baby comes.
For a menopause party, I agree with Meghan. 😁
I love AfterEase tinture for uterine pains and reusable cloth pads and cool packs. I can give you links if you like.
Highlights Hello & High Five are great for the older sibling to have something special! A nursing caddy with useful things is fantastic to keep things together. JamariSafari burp cloths are my favorite. Stuff the diaper bag with things now—my favorite for multiple children is the Lekebaby crossover. So many pockets!
I also made oatcakes (http://tastykitchen.com/blog/2011/12/scottish-oat-cakes/) and practiced baby wearing. You can prep meal ingredients if prepping meals isn’t your thing. My postpartum time flew by, but I’m still taking my prenatals to help keep my energy and milk supply up since I’m nursing 3 children.
I learned how to back carry so that I could still give my toddler 1:1 attention with a content sleeping baby on my back. I have a 4yo, 2yo and a 3.5mo, and none are over 2 years apart. ☺️ Bed sharing (safe sleep 7) has been wonderful for us since they know I’m close (so less crying & more sleep for all). Beyond Sleep Training Facebook group and page has lots of tips for many situations and families. 💚
Lots of connecting with hubby.
Quality and as much quantity time as a couple possible.
When the marriage is great it is easier to navigate all the other hard stuff.
I’m a new commenter but long-time follower of your blog. For a second baby, having a meal train is an absolute must-have. My church organized one for my first baby and having dinners delivered every weeknight for the first three weeks was such a gift! We just got to nest and enjoy our new family. However, when the second baby came around, it was a different story.
I was hoping for another meal train to be organized but was too embarrassed to ask (we were dealing with some personal challenges with the church leadership by this point, something we were trying to resolve but being ignored about.) I set up a meal train for myself and shared it on Facebook, and not a single person signed up. It was really devastating. Granted, I was in the throes of post-partum hormones and emotional anyway, but it was a really challenging time. I had a newborn, a 20 month old, a husband who had to go back to school full-time two days after the birth, and I was suffering from post-partum depression again which was even worse the second time around. It was a really hard season for me, compounded by the challenges and lack of support with our church. Even just having a few meals that I didn’t have to worry about would have made a world of difference in my mental health.
And really hit home what I had heard other mothers talk about . . . everyone goes nuts pampering you with your first baby, but with the second they expect you to have it all figured out and assume you don’t need support. So, long-winded story, but all that is to say, I know that Rebecca has a wonderful, supportive family and likely won’t deal with the isolation I did. But still, set up a meal train for her and share it with friends and family who you know you can count on to drop off meals a few times a week for the first month. And stock her freezer now with a ready-to-go meals that she can pop in the oven or crock pot. Having ready meals now will help free up time to spend on pampering herself and enjoying these last days with her first baby.
Much love and blessings in this exciting new season of motherhood, and many thanks to Sheila, Rebecca, and the entire team for the work you do.
I had a grandmother and mother who threw parties constantly for all sorts of reasons, *especially* as they got older. My dad had a lot of social anxiety and trouble with event planning, and so my mother would throw her own birthday parties sometimes. I remember when she was 58, she did a swim party for her female friends and put “58 is great!” on the cake. It seemed to really help her friends have a new mindset about aging and about older women being just as tremendously valuable as any other human. So I love the menopause party idea. Maybe have an autograph book at the event, for friends to write how they have benefited from the woman’s gifts, and what they can envision her doing with her gifts, in all that post menopausal zest. 🙂
Okay, dont know about menopause but after 5 babies i have some ideas regarding that one 😉
In no particular order, before giving birth I like to : – get a nice haircut (so my hair looks good but is also easier to wash and maintain everyday. I do a shorter hairstyle for that purpose but still long enough to make a ponytail)
– take pictures. Seriously, it took me five pregnancies to get nice pictures of my pregnant self.
– review the baby sleep routine. We tend to forget fast the different stages of a baby and I think it is good to think of how we want to handle the baby’s sleep, what options we would/wouldn’t consider (cosleeping, binky, bottle feeding etc.) if things don’t go as planned. Two babies are never the same so, even if it’s fast, a quick review of the basics before being too sleep deprived is good
– of course the usual cook/clean/discuss who will handle what after birth
– plan for some indoor activities for the older siblings. Not necessarily as presents “so they get some attention too” but more as emergency kits when we are exhausted and alone with the kids and we don’t know how to keep them happy and busy while we lie on the couch
My 8yo taught me to play chess when I was recovering from my most difficult birth. I don’t remember anything about it now, except that he almost always won, but it was a great way to give him attention while the baby nursed and slept, and I didn’t have to move. I also read tons of books to all of the kids, which was our only homeschooling for a while.
I’m not near menopause, but I have two kids.
One thing I wish I had done was buy adult diapers for when my water broke and for postpartum bleeding. With those pads you’re basically wearing a diaper anyway and you don’t want to get water all over your house.
I loved having a doula with me during labor. I had all natural. Taking her class beforehand and having her there for delivery was a great help in reducing my pain and gave support in general. I still chose delivery in a hospital and they didn’t mind her there (this was before covid though). I think even if I had planned on taking meds, her natural birth classes were still helpful. I learned a lot and it helped prepare me mentally.
Oh, and when that nesting kicked in, I cleaned up the whole house. It was nice being able to bring by babies home to a clean house.
I needed more help with my toddler when my youngest was born and I suffered a lot with postpartum depression (while enduring months of tremendous nursing pain) and I didn’t look for help. If this ends up being you, please get help. Don’t just sit there and suffer through.
Agreed. I ended up needing to use adult diapers because of very long lasting bleeding after the birth. But my 2nd degree perineal tear had trouble healing because the Depends were so unbreathable. I found that having lots of bird’s-eye muslin (the kind that muslin cloth diapers are made from) was better. I also ordered packs of mesh hospital underwear from a medical supply website. I did launder and re-use, and looking back, things were so challenging that I wish I’d not put that pressure on myself and just treated them as single-use. And I’d like the mean nurses who told me I ought to be handwashing laundry every day, with a newborn and zero help, to be fired. But I probably can’t do anything about that and it was years ago, anyway.
I tried so hard to prepare my oldest son for his newborn sister, when he was 2. I pulled up Google Images of babies and we talked about how interesting it would be to see her face and hair color for the first time. I spent a ton of time doing special playtime with him. I explained that the baby could only drink milk and how he would need to share my breast milk with her, because it has special things new babies need, but that he could have extra treats like chocolate milk. I talked about how great it can be to have a sibling to play with, later on. I thought he was so ready. He tried to feed his favorite fruit snacks to her through my belly button. Anyway, it was still a terrible transition. He was so miserably jealous and kept telling us he needed someone to hold him “with two hands” (and not with baby nearby). The help we tried to arrange for after the birth fell through, and we didn’t have much family help, and I had awful injuries that should have been addressed at the hospital (the birth was at a shady birth center that the government eventually closed down).
So, my biggest recommendation is to have already read listings like at sittercity.com or care.com for doulas and sitters, and have a deep list of possible people to call (maybe that you’ve already interviewed and background checked), for if the family or others get sick or are unexpectedly unavailable.
And because of R’s experience at 2 when her brother never came home… I think it would be good to have extra helpers planned, to make time and space for the possibility of new waves of grief. I have had those when my kids experience a life transition that was a griefstricken one, for me. It can bring things back more vividly.
There’s a great book by Tomie de Paola for reading to the older sibling, I forgot the name, something about, new baby sister. Also the God Gave Us You, God Gave Us Two, etc series. But he may just need a lot of holding while he adjusts.
So many congratulations to your whole family!
So exciting that you’re about to meet your new baby! One thing I would really recommend is hiring a birth doula for labor. I had a doula at my last labor, and she was awesome! From talking through your fears, to making sure you stay hydrated, to calming your husband down, a good doula can make all the difference in your experience.
I always make myself a soothing playlist of music I love to bring with me to the hospital. Then, in the weeks leading up to the birth, I would take a warm bath almost every night and listen to my playlist. That was my time to connect with the baby, pray for the birth, work out any fear or anxiety, and listen to my body. (Especially important if you’ve got any of the negative sex messaging you’re trying to unlearn!) I also put aromatherapy oils in the bath – and brought the same scent to the hospital with me. When the nurses came in, they all commented how soothing my room was. It really helps set the tone for your labor!
I always froze a bunch of healthy meals and also made frozen giant maxi pads w/witch hazel and lavendar on them. Those were amazing post-birth, especially since I tore pretty bad the first time.
My time in peri menopause has been hellish, so this idea of a party sounds fantastic to me. I’m 50 and still going strong with flooding, mood swings, anxiety, depression, hot flashes, insomnia . . . In fact, I would love for you to do a series on peri menopause and menopause because it absolutely can affect a marriage and sex life. Even if you’re not having a hard time being in your body during this season, there are still lots of other things happening like aging parents, empty nesting, maturation which brings secrets to light (my husband thought this season was the perfect time to tell me about his past betrayals!), career boredom, and general existential crises. One thing most menopause sites don’t cover is the life altering effects of the mood changes that some women experience. Really big deal in marriage.
I’m so sorry. I’m about the same age. I’ve wondered if a lot of the mood swings of menopause have to do with people treating a woman differently (less respectfully or less delicately) now that her older age means that she is less likely to be popular on dating websites. I think a lot of women have only found out about their husband’s unfaithfulness, emotional immaturity, and inappropriate mental obsessions, once they are around this age… I think it’s common for his facade to start to slip, due to feeling she is stuck now, and also due to his own aging process meaning that he finds it harder to do all the extra work of leading a double life.
Oh, Jen and a, I am so sorry about that…
Get all your beauty treatments done: hair, nails, waxing…
Buy a gift for Alex “from baby” that you can give to Alex the first time he meets the baby.
My friend, a massage therapist, gifted me a 2hr full body massage when I was pregnant with my second. It was amazing.
The day before I gave birth to my third, we were over at my in-laws’ and I left to go get a pedicure. My FIL was like why do you need that? I was like, “My feet will be up in stirrups. Gotta make sure I have nice feet!”
Sheila, beautiful Afghan. I have that same rug. From IKEA.
Yep! Definite IKEA rug!
Congratulations Rebecca! I would just like to encourage you that if Alex has a hard time accepting the new baby it is totally normal.
My oldest was 3 when the next was born and she was such a rock star. #1 big sister. So sweet. Second born was only 2 when she became a big sister and… wow. Did not transition well 😅 What a difference a year makes! And of course their personalities are different.
Hopefully you know this already but I would just like to encourage you that it doesn’t mean you are doing anything wrong!
First off: the blanket! I crochet a LOT and I have a lot of odds and ends from various projects. I love this pattern for using them up!
For menopause, it seems as odd (and horrifying) to me to have a party for that as it would to have one celebrating the onset of menstruation. (Teenage me would have died from embarrassment). I love the idea of using it as an excuse of sorts to do something you’ve always wanted to. Take a vacation. Redecorate your house. Take a class.
Becca, your first labor/delivery/recovery story was so traumatic I’m sure you’re pro at what you can do to ease your own recovery.
I’ll echo get a haircut and pedicure, enjoy a bit of pampering while you’re still the focus. Go to a movie!
One of the best things I did with my second was make a nursing basket. For both kids I had one for myself for when it was time to nurse, but this one is for your oldest. My oldest was 18 months when I had my second, I filled a basket and would cycle in blocks, coloring book and crayons, picture books, or a noisy toy she loved. But the catch was the basket ONLY came out when mommy was feeding the baby and I put it away after the baby burped. She was always excited to get out her basket, and it kept her entertained for 30 minutes at a stretch.
I wish I had had that “basket for the oldest” idea when breastfeeding my second! Frankly, I used our Kindle Fire tablet in mostly the same way, I think. I know not everyone is comfortable with screens for a toddler, and I understand that, but mine is 11 now and healthy and got an academic award in school. We were careful to have plenty of exercise and outside time and reading regular books together, and we had parental controls set on the Kindle, and also a 3rd party applock as an extra layer of protection. We tried to be careful not to allow him access to anything too adult or anything with ads. There was a really great Veggie Tales app, and he learned to play chess by age 5. And we liked a Bible app pretty well… I think it was YouVersion.
Regarding baby #2… One of the best pieces of advice I got (my two are about the same ages apart as yours) was to already have planned want to do regarding discipline for the oldest when the new baby comes. That way you’re not trying to make it up in the heat of the moment, because inevitably he will need it when it is least convenient for you and the baby. (And by “discipline” I mean the kind you’ve espoused previously on the blog, if that makes sense.)
The second best piece of advice was… take a deep breath 🙂
And something else I found helpful (that hasn’t already been mentioned), was having a couple Costco-sized boxes of granola bars / Lara bars / breakfast bars / whatever next to my bed that my 2-year-old could ALSO eat. Those first 2-3 weeks postpartum, I would wake up just as starving as the baby for midnight feedings. In the morning, baby was screaming for morning feeding, toddler was crying and hungry, and I was desperate and hungry, so we bent the “no food in bed rule” and had granola bars in bed for breakfast while baby nursed.
I also made a double batch of chocolate chip cookie dough, healthified it by cutting the sugar and adding oatmeal/flax/chia/whatever’s in your pantry, then froze it into individual balls and left it in the freezer. When my toddler or I needed a quick fix, just pulled one out and ate raw (so use an eggless recipe).
Congratulations and good luck!
My answer is short and sweet for the menopause party… it feels weird to me. But I also had a traumatic first period experience, and my parents were so weird about periods that it probably stems from that.
Last days before baby… try to just enjoy. Love on your boy. Love on your hubby. Eat out at your favorite restaurants. Pack a hospital bag then don’t worry about your house.
Me too Abby! I think that’s why it was important for me to commemorate the other end well.
No to Menopause party. That happened about 8 years ago for me. Happy it’s done. The thought of a party creeps me out for some reason.
Menopause day – everyone
Bring donations of period products to be given to local women’s shelter or food bank. wear white – no fear of leaks anymore! Spend some time talking about peri menopause together – there’s not enough info out there, and it’s been a taboo topic for far too long. Maybe an informal spiritual “commissioning” – her body has said goodbye to physical reproduction. Perhaps now there is more energy and time to invest in spiritual nurturing of others
I love this so much! I’m wearing white pants right now (even though it’s after Labor Day!)
Also I can buy expensive panties again because I’m not afraid they’re going to get gross. 🙂
YES! I am going pretty-little-things shopping soon!
That’s beautiful, Joyce
Definitely have extra toys and activities for Alex.
Use a baby carrier so the baby can be carried hands-free, and you have hands available for Alex.
Remember that the baby doesn’t know any better, but Alex does and might resent any time/attention that the baby takes away from him. So, try to shift more attention to him in the early days. Newborn care will be easier because it won’t be your first time, but the real trick is learning to be an octopus – developing extra arms to take care of each child.
Teach “gentle touch” really early. Show Alex how to touch the baby gently, say “gentle” and then give me a hug and kiss when he does it. Then repeat at least 47 times. You still need to keep a close eye on him with the baby, but it will cut the risk of toddler aggression.
Get a good double stroller! While my 3 yr old was fine walking on her own when her sister was born, my middle child was only 21 mos when her brother was born and she would bolt and run off. I learned that I had to put her in the stroller first and make sure that she couldn’t get out of the harness.
When coming back home with both kids in the car, take the baby in first, then Alex. The reason is that it is easier to forget a sleeping baby in a car seat than it is to forget a toddler, especially if that toddler immediately needs attention as soon as you step in the house.
I love the idea of a menopause celebration! I’m in perimenopause now, and while I’ve finally figured out some natural ways to help with the symptoms, I will be happy when this stage is over! I know it can take 10 years to go through perimenopause to full menopause.
When I think about what I would like to do, it would definitely be something fun with friends. An overnight hike in the mountains? Or an all day hike to an Alpine lake all sound great. Something that would be nearly impossible to do while pregnant or with little children. Something to celebrate the new level of freedom.
What to do before baby comes— definitely clear out clutter from the home. Go do things out of the house that will be really hard to do with a newborn. Shopping at a used bookstore would be high on my list so I would have plenty of pleasure reading for all the time spent feeding baby. Even though my youngest is almost 6 it’s really hard for me to remember what would have been important to me. All I remember is being pretty tired of the heartburn and overall cramped conditions inside my body, the difficulty moving around, etc.
Oh, go and get a pregnancy massage! A nice pedicure if you like that.
I had a hysterectomy at 23, so no kids and no menopause (in the normal way), but I try to celebrate with friends when their babies are near arrival and I’ve received positive feedback on these activities:
Pedicures!! By far the most mentioned. Everyone has told me it’s just lovely to be off your feet for a bit, and having your toes done helps you feel nice in the hospital and right after getting home when you don’t at all feel pretty.
Sock shopping! I’ve started taking all my friends shopping for fun/goofy socks with grips that they can wear in the hospital. Just something silly to look at when your feet are in stirrups 😬
Yay new babies! Not my time of flourishing, but a few things did help, mostly ones people have already mentioned, like making a few freezer meals ahead of time. I’ll add: making snacks and lactation cookies ahead of time. My favorite recipe freezes great as dough, and also, cut the sugar in half: https://www.howsweeteats.com/2015/02/lactation-cookies/
I also recommend keeping a water proof pet pad in the car for the drive to the hospital. I was paranoid I was going to give birth en route, and I almost did with baby#2! Pad made me feel less stressed about a mess.
Also, enjoy eating ice cream in a bowl while it can literally rest on your stomach like a table, for these last few days. That just tickled me pink when I was preggo 🙂
We should totally celebrate menopause more! It’s all about branding! “Cycle Succeed-er” “Period Pardoned” “Golden Girl Graduation” or something silly 🙂 I’m in! I’ll catch you in a few years!
Getting close to menopause, but its a long rocky road. I have been thinking that I’d like to have a pad burning with any open packages. It’s just hard to know when it might be wise to light the match.