If another person asks me if I’ve had my baby yet, I’m going to punch them in the face. Okay, maybe not really, but c’mon people. It’s not as irritating when it’s a text or a call, even though they’ve been assured they’d be alerted when the event arose. It’s not as though I’m notorious for disappearing and having babies without telling friends and family.
What’s worse is the people who say this to my face. I want to respond with, “Are you [insert expletive] stupid?” Besides the appearance of my extra-large 41-week belly, do you see a baby anywhere?
Another question I can’t get enough of is, “How are you feeling?” How the hell do you think I’m feeling?!? I’m huge, uncomfortable, haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in God knows how long, constipated, suffering from a raging case of heartburn, and want this baby out of me already. Shall I go on?
To top it off, people like to educate me on how to best naturally induce labor, as though I’m not already trying to influence my body’s decision on when “it’s time.” Eat spicy food. Walk. Have lots of sex. Even though I’m somewhat skeptical about some of these old wives’ tales and never worked in my previous pregnancies, I still indulge in the notion they may work this time around.
If you must know, it’s raining hot sauce and red pepper seasoning in my house. I’ve walked the zoo and mall every day in the past two weeks. And sex? There is only so much time in the day, but yes, I have managed to squeeze in doing the deed when possible.
Going over my due date has been so defeating, and it has left me the most miserable pregnant lady in all the land. I know I’m just being sensitive to these questions and people generally do care, but I just don’t have it in me to go through it anymore. Beyond being frustrated, I feel so disappointed I’m not snuggling and breathing in that intoxicating newborn smell by now. My due date has come and gone, and here I remain pregnant as ever.
“Babies come when they are ready.” I’ve heard this countless times and every time I hear it, I want to tell whoever is saying it to STFU.
For the third time, I’ve set myself up for disappointment. For the third time, I’m sad I’m not snuggling and holding this bundle of joy I’ve already patiently waited 40 weeks for. For the third time, I’ve surpassed my due date to remain in what feels like a never-ending pregnancy.
Anticipation has grown with every day leading up to my due date, especially in the week prior. During week 39 and maybe even the latter part of 38, I would wake up and mentally tell myself “today is the day.” Just as the day before, it would end with me sans baby and feeling even more discouraged.
My recent doctor appointments haven’t brought much encouragement either. At 40 weeks, I was only 1 cm dilated and 20% effaced. This makes me even less hopeful this pregnancy will end soon. Yes, I know every pregnancy is different and dilation rates drastically vary from woman to woman, but it wasn’t the news I wanted to hear.
I realize due dates are far from a guarantee, but rather approximations and rough estimates to a time period where your body potentially will go into labor. Key word: potentially.
Estimating a due date is no exact science by any means. So many factors and variables aid in curating this target date, and even then, it’s not a certainty. Originally, it’s calculated by adding 280 days to the first day of your last menstrual cycle. I don’t remember what I had for breakfast or even if I ate breakfast, let alone when my last period occurred. Not to mention, this is my third pregnancy in three years. Add in breastfeeding, me and my period feel more like distant acquaintances that haven’t seen or spoken to each other in forever.
The conception date is also a helpful deciding factor that could influence a due date. Adding 266 days to the magical moment you did the deed and created life is more accurate than knowing your last period. I couldn’t tell you when this supposed incident took place. If anything, I’m shocked and surprised in the middle of our chaotic lives filled with the demands of two toddlers and constant exhaustion, my husband and I had time to have sex.
Even with the technology and exact answers to the doctor’s questions, a due date still remains a best guestimate. Roughly only 4% of pregnancies result in childbirth on an actual due date. There is so much uncertainty and doubt as to when a woman’s body decides it’s time.
With such an overwhelming amount of ambiguity on deciding a due date, how can anyone place a great deal of importance or weight on it? Knowing all of this, I still can’t help to be disappointed.
My two previous pregnancies went exactly 3 days over. Why should this one be any different? Throughout the past 9 months, I’ve talked a big game in telling everyone how prepared I was for this one to go past its due date just like my two other ones. I successfully convinced everyone but myself.
You may be thinking, what’s a few more days or even a week compared to the 40 weeks that’s already served? Ha! In the beginning of the pregnancy, I too, might’ve been guilty of thinking this. Now? After approaching and going beyond that date, every minute, hour and day feels like an eternity.
I keep reminding myself that I won’t be pregnant forever. In the end, the health of me and my baby is what remains important. Soon, I will finally meet this sweet bundle of joy and hold him or her in my arms. After fixating on this date for so long and repeating it to everyone who asks, there will even come a day, I’ll forget what the due date was. It will soon be replaced with the birthdate of my third child.