It's Past Your Due Date And You Are SO Ready!
You're ready NOW!
When you signed up for this pregnancy thing, you agreed to sublet your uterus for 40 weeks. That was the deal. Now, it's 42 weeks and still no baby. Your due date has passed so it's only natural to start feeling impatient.
Here are a few strategies for staying sane as you wait for baby to make his or her grand entrance.
Remind yourself that there's nothing unusual about being overdue. In fact, it's the norm. According to British childbirth expert Sheila Kitzinger, only 5 percent of babies arrive on their due dates; and of the 95 percent who don't arrive on time, seven out of 10 are overdue.
Keep yourself busy. Nothing makes the time crawl by more slowly than sitting at home waiting for the first labor contractions to kick in. "If you have nothing planned, you will drive yourself mad waiting," says Ottawa-area doula Julie Keon. Keon advises her clients to plan at least one outing a day, whether it's browsing in a bookstore or having lunch with a friend -- anything to help prevent the onset of cabin fever.
Let the answering machine pick up your calls. One of the most annoying things about being overdue is dodging all the phone calls from well-meaning friends and relatives who feel compelled to call you daily to find out whether you've had the baby yet. I mean if you weren't already depressed about being overdue, you're bound to be after spending an entire day on the phone telling people that there's still no baby! If you want to save yourself the bother of calling all these people back, leave a message indicating that you're resting up for the birth and that you'll call everyone back as soon as you've got some exciting news to share.
Indulge thyself. Soak in the bathtub, spend an afternoon reading magazines or treat yourself to a sensational new hairstyle. Take time to pamper yourself now so that you'll be relaxed and rested when it comes time to give birth.
Spend some time with your partner. It may be months -- even years -- before you can enjoy such luxuries as spontaneous sex or an uninterrupted meal again, so be sure to seize the moment!
Don't put too much faith in all the old wives' tales that promise to bring on labor. Consider this comment from one of the moms I interviewed for The Unofficial Guide to Having A Baby: "I did aerobics, I jogged up and down my street, I massaged buckets of essential oils into my tummy, and I even did the castor-oil and juice thing -- the worst idea in the world, by the way. None of these tactics worked. I still had to be induced."
Take solace in the fact that you're not a mother elephant. Elephant pregnancies last between 18 and 22 months, the longest gestation period of any mammal. Fortunately, human pregnancies aren't nearly that long -- although, at this stage of the game, you may feel like you're going to be pregnant forever. As hard as it may be for you to believe, it's only a matter of time before labor will begin and you'll finally have the chance to meet your baby.