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The Home Stretch

I'm nine months pregnant with my first baby. And I'm thirsty. A glass of ice water rests on the table in front of me. All I need to do, really, is reach over and get it. But I can't. Fatigue has crept into my every pore. I am big. I am slow. No, I'm worse than slow, especially late in the day. I'm inert. I eye the water and can almost taste it, but it's as if the mind that wants the glass and the body that would have to lean forward to pick it up belong to two different people.

The very next night, I suddenly become obsessed with cleaning out our linen closet. It takes hours, but I don't care. As if possessed, I reach, bend, scour, and tirelessly refold every single sheet and washcloth -- for, oh, the first time in the five years I've lived in the house.

Pregnancy's last trimester is a study in contrasts. You're driven to rest, yet compelled to nest. Revved up and worn-out. It's truly a home stretch: In these final weeks, you're almost home, but every last day sure can stretch. How to make the waiting game as easy and comfortable as possible? Treat your body -- and soul -- to the right kind of self-care.

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