Despite some bumps in the road at the end of February, it was a much lighter month, and yet I still identified some substantial ways of improving my overall contentment. For March I want to continue taking advantage of the time I have before our whole world changes with the new baby arriving.

Here’s what’s on the block:

Fill up the love tank

  • Read the 5 Languages of Love by Gary CHAPMAN
  • Identify my husband’s and my own love language
  • Invest the month nurturing our relationship

Reduce Chronic Pain

  • Hydrate – Drink at least 32 oz of water daily
  • Try daily meditation
  • Keep moving with daily exercise

I have read a ton of books about the impact of having a baby on spousal relationships, and frankly the common themes aren’t that inspiring. They all seem to suggest that the quality and happiness of marriages takes a massive and sharp dive after the arrival of a new baby.

While I don’t think I will magically be able to avoid the added stress and sleep deprivation that comes with bringing an infant home, I do think I can take steps to make sure we have had a full month of enjoying each others time and attention to help us through those more stressful times ahead.

I previously read Gary Chapman’s book, the 5 Love Languages of Children, and have had the original 5 Love Languages on order from our local library for the past several months. As luck would have it, it arrived this past week.

I’m hoping that by reading the book and identifying mine and my husband’s love languages, I can really tailor our activities this month to making sure that my husband’s love tank is full to the brim. This way he will have some excess resources to draw on when my attention is inevitably diverted to the new baby.

I also want to truly take advantage and enjoy this last month where we will still have some substantial amounts of downtime together, and freedom to be spontaneous. I know in the future I will look back and value this time together, and likely wish that I could recapture some of it, so I want to make sure I don’t just squander it away.

For Intention #2, I have had chronic back and neck pain for years, and pregnancy certainly hasn’t made it any better. My symptoms have been mounting over the last couple weeks, and I’d really like to get this under some form of control before baby is on the scene.

Hydrating is a simple one, but one I often fail at. I have also been super annoyed by my hourly requirement to pee these days, which has caused me to develop an aversion to drinking too many fluids. Not ideal for me or baby, so I need to get that back on track and simply suck up the ridiculously frequent trips to the bathroom.

Staying hydrated has huge advantages in reducing the frequency of headaches and muscle tension, so this is a daily habit I really need to cement moving forward.

I recently read Dan Harris’s book titled “10% Happier” in which he outlines his journey to find meditation. Reading the book inspired me to try a daily meditation session. I have been hesitant to try meditation, as I often find it is when my mind is quiet or unoccupied that my PTSD will rear it’s ugly head. But that has also steeled me to try the meditation in an effort to gain better control of my inner dialogue.

From everything I have read, noting the pain and letting it go can contribute to better long term pain management, and any gains in terms of managing my PTSD will be an excellent bonus.

At this stage, daily exercise translates to walks, swimming slooowww laps and very light weight workouts. Things that would have equated to a warm-up or cool down just 10 months ago!

But I am not going to get hung up on the intensity, after all this is month nine of pregnancy, and at this stage I just want to stay moving! Moving will also help keep the pain under control and prevent things from worsening over the month.

Overall it should be a slow, relaxing month, perfect for my final four weeks of pregnancy!