Saturday, April 13, 2013

Addressing the Issue Ahead of Time

If you know me or have read my blog for awhile (or both), you'll recall that I was "overdue" with Elizabeth.

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 second is like the first:  The Lie of the Estimated Due Date:  Why Your Due Date Is Not What You Think.  Interestingly, even ACOG itself (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) does not recommend interfering with a normal pregnancy before 42 completed weeks.  So why are doctors pushing inductions at 37 and 38 weeks?  It baffles me.

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!


  1. I always seem to turn hermit-like in the last few weeks. It's like the there's some sign on pregnant ladies that reads "Please, say something stupid and/or inappropriate to me." In the last month or so, that sign seems to be neon, and blinking. Everyone becomes an expert, and assumes you just can't wait to hear about how some woman or some baby almost died or had a terrible time.
    There are only 3 things to reasonably do: pray for God's peace on your mind during these last weeks, avoid going places where you will not be supported in the way you need, and lastly, surround yourself with amazing birth stories. Knut said I watched Business of Being born every few days near the end. I loved the mini series that followed too, but not as good as the original.

    For the record, I think it's all going to turn out fabulous. I'm so excited that you get to use "my" midwife (although she's yours now). I have nothing but peace and excitement for you!

    1. I, too, tend to "hole-up" the last few weeks. All the questions, though often well-intended, can get overwhelming. I do appreciate your advice on the three things to reasonably do. I agree with them--good advice! Thanks, Gretchen. I am excited. :)

  2. I'm excited for your family and I can't wait to meet your new little one. I'm sure the wait is hard, but God will bless you as you wait.

  3. You do what's best for YOU...which you already do anyway! I am excited to meet baby #10 whether in a week or 4...she/he will come! I had a similar experience at a local hosiptal where they told me that if my several hour old newborn didn't nurse they were going to stick a tube down his throat/nose and give him formula...over my dead body! I called my sister and hubby for back up who had both left for a shower and supper. Needless to say, my sweet boy was not force fed by hospital employees :)

    1. Good for you for sticking up for your baby!

  4. My Dr. in CA woudln't even entertain the thought of inducing before the end of the 42 week anyway. I had Ethan ON his "EDD."
    Abram was an induction...yah...

    1. I had SO many people tell me about placental deterioration and still birth and babies that were inside "too long" when I was over my due date with Elizabeth. Well, I've heard them for years, actually, but people really got aggressive with me while I waited for Elizabeth.
      I have had one actual induction (Andrew #4) and been "augmented" with a few of the others. I wish I had researched more for myself those years ago...I wish I had trusted myself and not given in to pressure at the hospital. And really? When I think about it, a lot of it wasn't was just the staff doing what is routine for them and me not saying anything to the contrary. After all, I thought, they do this for a living--what do I know? I'm just the pregnant lady.... Sad, sad, sad. I guess all I can say is I did then what I knew to do; now that I know better, I strive to do better.

  5. I know how it goes with patience at the end of your pregnancy. It is so hard because you are so anxious to meet your little one. So I understand why women sign up to be induced at 37-38 weeks. But they don't understand that unless there is a serious medical condition like pre eclampsia babies will come on their own time and it is better this way! It may be 37 weeks or 43 weeks. I know a midwife who had a lady who always had her babies at 43 weeks and they were perfectly healthy babies. I know this time around I am not going to tell people a specific due date because people get so set on the date and get so anxious if you go over. They tend to react with a "Oh no your over due your baby is going to be to big and won't fit or your placenta will stop working" or something along those lines. Or they just give you the look that tells you they don't approve or think you are irresponsible.

    So I guess my advice is just to try to enjoy your last weeks. Surround yourself with supportive people who won't hound you for being over due (if you do go overdue)and trust that your baby will come when its ready. Plus you have an awesome midwife this time who trusts the birth process! I am so excited for you and I personally think it will go great! So take the time to do enjoyable things like read, take a bath, and crochet for we know those things are harder to do once the little one comes :) Praying for contentment, peace, and good sleep :) for you these last weeks!

    1. Thanks, Megan. I like your advice, too. :) I vowed to not give a specific date, but people are so aggressive!
      Them : "When are you due?"
      Me: "In the spring."
      Them: "When in the spring?"
      Me: "End of April/early May."
      Them: "No, like, what DAY? What's your due date?"
      Me, thinking *oh good GRIEF* : "Around May 2nd."



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