I promise you this post is not intended to be self-serving. Promise!!
It's just that, well, see, having a baby is sort of on the forefront of my mind these days and it came to mind that I had recommended this post a year ago.
I share it again now with additional links for moms in general--not just when they have new babies. :)
Going beyond one's due date is difficult; each day seems like three and the barrage of inquiries regarding induction is overwhelming. Random people question the status of your cervix. It's is downright unfathomable to me how that becomes such an acceptable topic of conversation. Seriously, people.
As I await this newest wee one, I thought to address the topic of going overdue. Since when I use my own words I often get in trouble, I will direct you to four links, all from the same blog.
As a disclaimer, I don't agree with all the beliefs of the blog's authors in case you find yourself searching around the site a bit. That said, I have found so much good information there.
The first is Why Pregnancy Due Dates are Inaccurate. This post explains why not all pregnancies are 40 weeks because all women are different and so are their babies. There is no concrete way to determine how long a pregnancy should or will be.
The third one to which I link is Wanting to Induce, Hospital Sends Police to "Overdue" Pregnant Mother. I had read this post a few weeks before Elizabeth was born. When the hospital started breathing down my midwife's neck about "when that 43-week-er was ever going to come in to have her baby", this article/situation was forefront on my mind. (I wasn't 43 weeks--"they" didn't believe me and wouldn't accept my dates. Let's just say it didn't exactly create a warm, trusting atmosphere.) .Hospitals and their administrations have amazing, far-reaching authority over the rights of the people who sign themselves into their care. I knew it wouldn't be a stretch to think they could "make me" have my baby. The thought of that still makes me cringe.
The fourth is long, but worth the read. Fish Can't See Water: The Need to Humanize Birth I have read a couple of Marsden Wagner's books and several others in which he has been interviewed. Again, though I don't necessarily agree with everything he says, he makes so many good points regarding birth in general and specifically in America. You may remember him from his part in The Business of Being Born, which I highly recommend everyone watch, pregnant or not. (And now as I link to it, I see there is MORE Business of Being Born??!!!! Guess what I'll be watching tonight??!! Awesome.)
I have no idea when this baby will be born. For such a planner as I, not knowing whether it will be tomorrow or four weeks from now is a real test of my patience. But I know that letting baby come when he/she is ready is best for baby, and for me, too.
So if I do go "overdue", please go easy on me. It's hard enough going "over" and it's made even more difficult when people are so judgmental of the decisions I make regarding my baby and my body.
We are very excited to meet this little baby, as are the other children.
Thank you to those are happy with us and for us!
That point in pregnancy when people usually respond with some variation of "So, wow--the baby could really come any time!"
I've heard that before.
I think it makes the next several weeks seem awfully long. Because I know from experience that I could be pregnant for quite awhile yet!
On the other hand, it's good to be ready just in case baby does come early-ish.
So, I've washed up a little bit of pink and a little bit of blue and the handful of gender-neutral little bitty things that I've accumulated over the years of having babies.
Even though this is my tenth baby, there are still a lot of "new" things for me.
For one, planning to have the baby at home. All the other children have been born in a hospital; eight under obstetrical care in our local hospital and #9 was with a midwife in a different hospital. It's new to me to know that I won't have to stress about when to make the decision of when to leave for the hospital. Everyone scares you with their stories of women having babies in the car, and how you'd better run to the hospital at the first twinge because after one or two babies, you know, they just practically fall right out. Except they don't.
So, what I'm getting at is that I think it will take some of the pressure off of me knowing that I only need to call the midwife and she comes to me and all I'll need to do is keep laboring until the baby is in my arms.
Another "new" is a new midwife. I had to search around a bit for recommendations because there are no midwives near where we live. This woman is located about an hour and fifteen minutes away from me. I'm very pleased with our relationship thus far and hopefully I get to continue my care with her for many years.
Also "new" is a different doula. My wonderful friend Megan assisted at both Ivy's and Elizabeth's births. What a wonderful help a doula is!!! I had never had the help of one before and would highly recommend one for any pregnant woman. Another friend Sarah will be with us this time. It's new, but exciting.
I have all the birth things ready now and that was a new process for me. My midwife recommended this site and I ordered what I needed from there. (I didn't order a "kit" because I already had accumulated several things from the list my midwife gave me, so I just ordered the items I didn't already have.)
Going through the process of having these things on hand at home made me realize that it would have been a good idea to have an Emergency Birth Kit on hand for the other babies. Especially since we live very rurally and the nearest hospital is 30 minutes away; also, several of the babies have been born during the time of year when weather could have been a travel factor here in MN. For $12, really, every pregnant woman should have one of these kits. Maybe those car-birthers wouldn't have been so freaked out if they'd had one! :) I feel it would take a bit of the scariness out of an unassisted birth knowing you had the right tools at hand.
Another "new" is making the decisions for me and the baby based off of things that I've learned, as opposed to just "letting" the clinic/hospital staff tell me it needs to be done. I may post about some of them in the future, I'm not sure yet, but for brevity here those decisions include the Gestational Diabetes screen, ultrasound, Group B strep culture, Vitamin K for baby, erythromycin in baby's eyes, cord clamping, etc.
One last "new" thing I'll mention: Dennis looked at me last week and asked, "Are you sure you're gonna make it another month??" To which I responded, "Thank you for noticing!!!" It's the first time that he's ever commented on my pregnant-size so it struck me funny.
Some women may have felt offended, but not me--I've felt so big for so long, bigger than with the other children, that I keep wondering the same thing!
That's all the "new" news I have for now...it won't be too much longer and I can show you pictures of a little someone new!