Monday, April 25, 2011

Inquisition Monday: Waiting

Today's Inquisition Monday question comes from Betttina on Twitter. She asks, "How did you survive the last weeks of pregnancy, mentally and physically? I've been saying for 9 mos that this kid will arrive when the kid WANTS to arrive, but I find myself getting impatient (and uncomfortable!)"

Good question! I actually have a lot of experience in the waiting department. Margaret was 21 days "late" and Isaac was 9 days "late," both due dates calculated by my ovulation date instead of LMP. That puts me up for a total of 30 days, or an entire month of sitting around "overdue."

Mentally, waiting around can be rough. It got really bad when I hit 42 weeks with Margaret. I spent time on message boards asking people about being overdue, and trying to figure out if I was mentally stalling labor or if she was just comfy in there. In the end, I have no idea why she wanted to hang out in my uterus for so long, but she was only 8.5 pounds, definitely not an "overdue" baby.

The best thing I did with Isaac was not tell people my due date or even due month. It was like a little game, "When are you due?" "Oh, sometime this summer." Meanwhile, I secretly knew the answer was "last week." That was fun. But in the in between times when I was sitting at home not playing the I'm-not-telling-you-I'm-due-yesterday game, it wasn't as fun.

When I was in high school, I was really impatient for school to end. Or for a holiday. Or a 3 day weekend. I wanted the semester to be over NOW and not in 4 weeks. So what I did mentally was think to myself, "I have 4 weeks left of school. Now what was I doing 4 weeks ago? I have only to live the last 4 weeks over once more and it'll be over. And I know I can do that because I just did it." This mental game works for all kinds of waiting. I do it often when waiting for McKay to come home from work to relieve me of kid duty. I do it when I'm driving and there's traffic. I do it when I have to do public speaking, "It's only 20 minutes; I only need to get through these next 20 minutes alive, that's not bad!"

Then there's the "Well, what else is there but to wait?" Especially with Margaret, I would ask myself, "Well, what is the other option? An induction for a kicking baby who is in the exact position for birthing and shows no signs of needing an intervention? Castor oil? Jumping jacks?" All of those options just sounded absurd, so I just kept on.

Now, I'll admit, that can be easier said than done when you're physically uncomfortable. With Margaret, I didn't get particularly uncomfortable until I was past my due date, but with Isaac, my back hurt from week 13 and on. And sleeping was difficult because I'd be on one side to nurse and then I'd get uncomfortable, but I couldn't really change sides without waking Margaret up. And I also had some swelling in my ankles because it was the summer and warm.

I tried lots of different sleeping positions as well as sleep pillows, I tried reclining for my ankles, but that hurt my back. I also meditated with lavender oil on my wrists to help me sleep at night. I drank a ton of water and red raspberry leaf tea. I waddled a lot. And I tried to keep myself busy with things like book groups, knitting, and playgroups. But I'll admit I never felt nesty at the end either. Who wants to scrub floors in that state? Not me.

So I don't know if I have anything helpful. I know some people like to do big projects like baby blankets in those last few weeks, but I preferred small ones because I was worried I might not finish a project on time. I also tried to go on about my life as normally as possible: going to the movies, to the park, or wherever, just like I would have if I hadn't been pregnant. Then when the baby comes it's a pleasant surprise you weren't expecting (2 weeks later).

Tell yourself, "I know I'll be holding my baby within the next 2 months- and 2 months ago, I was starting my 3rd trimester, and look how that has already flown!" You can do it. When your baby is 16 these few weeks won't even make a blip on your parenting radar, I promise.

Any suggestions from my readers? How do you handle the last few weeks?


  1. I was lucky in that I was never uncomfortable during my pregnancy, but I was impatient to hold my little one. Whenever I got really impatient, I went for a walk. I was told lots of walking would help baby move into position and possibly start labor and I figured even if that wasn't true it was good exercise. One day I went for 3 walks and I happened to be taking a walk, just before I went to the hospital, though I don't think it was the walk that started things.

  2. As silly as it sounds, I really just took it one day at a time. It wasn't that bad because every night I thought that the baby could (or could not) come the next day. And eventually I was right :)

  3. I was lucky in that I worked outside my home. People asked my why I worked until my due date; I explained that 1.) since I get limited time off with FMLA, I wanted to spend it at home AFTER the baby was born and 2.) I'd go INSANE waiting at home to go into labor.

    I worked a normal shift the day before my son was born. I worked Saturday from 9-5:30, went into active labor at 10-ish that night and gave birth the following afternoon.

  4. Katelyn12:55 PM

    I spent most of my time doing small craft projects (sewing, painting) and cleaning the house. I was uncomfortable if I walked very much so I didn't do much out of the house (plus it was high summer and very! hot.)


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