It’s hard to explain to people who haven’t been here, the tricks your mind plays on you when you’ve passed your due date and your baby hasn’t arrived. It’s a tough moment in time, so much anticipation and no action. Every second you’re wondering, is it time? What about now? Will baby ever come out!? What can I do to encourage it? What am I doing wrong? To induce or not to induce?
Dramatic? Sure. But it also isn’t surprising that it’s all you can think about since for the last 9 1/2 months, you’ve been counting down to this one DAY. And once the day passes, every minute feels like another day too long. And if you’ve had an uncomfortable pregnancy (yup, raising both hands here!), the extra hours feel like unfair torture.
Friends are texting hourly for updates, family is standing by. Your bags have been packed, your birth plan awaits, you you feel your baby growing larger and your belly tighter by the second, and you try not to overthink about how you’re going to push an oversize babe out.
And the kicker – there’s nothing you can do about it! Sure, there are old wives tales and a million friends sharing stories about what brought on contractions or catapulted them into labor, but speaking from experience – and having tried most said “tricks” – it comes down to the fact that baby will come when he or she is ready. We all know it on some level but it’s a hard pill to swallow, that at a time when we will do ANYthing (even swallow castor oil or drink black cohosh), that it really doesn’t matter too much.
I’m writing this at four days past my due date. You might be thinking “what’s four days, really, in the grand scheme of things?” and you’re right, it’s nothing, a blip on the radar. But these four days have been LONG. Especially because I’ve noticed all these signs that labor is imminent (lost my mucus plug, strong contractions, intense pelvic pain, sore nipples, loose stools, etc.) and yet, here I am. I had no signs with my first but at four days post due date, my water broke and she arrived 13 hours later. My family is in from out of town, my husband is off work, my bags are packed, I keep taking my “last shower” and yet, I’m still here. I’ve been frustrated, I’ve been optimistic, I’ve looked for signs, I’ve ignored signs. I feel like it’s a truly game of the mind right now.
My best bet has been to stay as distracted as possible. We’ve taken walks, gone to the beach, I just had a prenatal massage with acupressure, I’m writing this blog post, and I’m spending quality time with Ellie. It’s the only thing I have control over: how to pass my time in the most sane and positive manner until baby girl decides to grace us with her presence!
The other part of the equation is to stay positive. Keep my thoughts on ones of only love for this baby girl, of excitement and positive anticipation. There’s really no huge reason to feel sorry for myself when I think about it – I’ve got a healthy baby who apparently thinks my womb is super cozy, giving me extra time to reflect and prepare for her. And as someone who runs late and likes to be in control myself, who am I to really blame her? 😉
Mamas who have been here – I’m sorry. But I thank you for all your sound advice and words of encouragement you’ve sent me via Instagram. If anyone is in this boat as you read this, you’re not alone and you’re not crazy for feeling crazy right now! I promise!