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Advice for My Pregnant Sister

My sister is pregnant with her first child, and I’m jumping up and down with excitement. Of course, she’s thrilled to be having a baby. And I’ve been trying to offer up some tips here and there that will help her make the most of these months leading up to the big day.

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1. Try not to freak out about all the crazy things that happen to your body. It’s weird to look down and see your body transform so drastically. One day you’re fit and feeling like a million bucks as you confidently glide along in your 5-inch heels. The next day, you feel fat, swollen and gross as you’re waddling in Dr. Scholls or some other unflattering orthopedic gems. Don’t stress when your nipples get dark as night or when you develop puberty-level acne. And don’t sweat the cellulite. You will get it. And your ass will get big. Try to just enjoy carrying the baby for now, and focus on the beauty of the fact that your body is housing a little bun who needs a healthy “oven.”

2. Go on a babymoon. Just go and get away, even if it’s for a weekend. You need some alone time with your husband before the baby comes. Time to focus on each other and have conversations about things other than when you last fed the baby or how long the baby slept or how cute the baby is when she yawns or whether or not her poop looks weird. It's time when you can actually talk to each other without one of you dozing off over the whirring sound of a breast pump. Stockpile those sweet, romantic moments with long walks on a beach, lots of tender eye locks and smiles. Because those moments are about to carry you through some hairy, sleep-deprived “No, YOU get your ass up and go get the baby” times.

3. Revel in your bathroom time. This one is very important. Really soak up your time spent ALONE in the bathroom. Read an entire magazine while sitting on the toilet. Then read it again. Read every caption and even the sponsored pages. Play Brick Breaker until your feet fall asleep, even if you finished your business 15 minutes ago. Really live it up in there. Take long, hot showers. And take the time to shave your legs. Use the deep conditioner. You know, the one you leave on for at least 10 minutes. Treat the bathroom like the sanctuary that it now is and that it all too soon will not be. No, very soon, it will be a place of stress where you must force bodily function or even cut it off mid-“function” and skimp on thorough cleanliness under the pressure of answering to the cries and demands of a tiny human being.

4. Go to really nice dinners, and drink wine slowly. Go to really swanky joints, places where there is long-stemmed glassware covering every square inch of the table. Where the food arrives in several courses, and where there is no mac and cheese on the menu. And you eat the ENTIRE meal there, without taking most of it to go. And you drink wine (one glass won’t hurt you) in a really obnoxious way where you aerate the wine way too many times and you close your eyes with every sip.

Go to the bank three or four times a day, if you want.

5. Enjoy not smelling like barf and excrement. Appreciate your human excrement-free clothes. Love them. Flaunt them, even.

6. Get it on. Do it. And often. And get weird about it. Three things here: In a handful of months, you'll be a) so exhausted that you’ll be like, “Get on top? You’re asking so much of me,” b) so emotional that you’ll be like, “Get on top? You’re so insensitive,” c) in a healing phase down there for a while, so you’ll be like, “I’d get on top if my vag wasn’t tore up.”

7. Go to the movies. I don’t even care if there’s nothing playing that you really want to see. I assure you that you do really want to see it. And eat popcorn. And make it through the whole movie without your boobs soaking your shirt.

8. Just go places where you pop in and out real quick. You craving something? Anything? Just pop into that supermarket real quick and get it. Go to the bank three or four times a day, if you want. Drop your dry cleaning off and pick it up with pleasure. Pop in and out of places like a crazy girl, because although you may be tired and your feet may be swollen, that’s a walk in the park compared to having to soon schlep the car seat and/or stroller, or strap the baby onto you, or push the shopping cart with one hand while you lug the car seat in the other.

9. Visit all your friends who have really nice furniture.

10. Go on road trips. Or just long car rides where no one in the car cries incessantly until you stop and take her out. Neither you nor your husband will have to climb into the back seat to sing to, read to or make faces at a baby just so she can continue crying until you get her out.

11. Really appreciate and enjoy your boobs. Push them up and out. Appreciate their round, fleshy character. Don’t take them for granted.

12. Do your kegels. Remember, you are about to push a bowling ball out of a button hole. That shit gets abused. Keep it right by keeping it tight.

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13. Don’t try to force your labor. There’s no need to rush it. Take those few extra days to get the nursery ready, to fill out the baby book, to create your birth announcements, to do nothing. TO DO NOTHING! NOTHING AT ALL.

In other words, get ready, sis. It's about to get real.

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