Everything about pregnancy is about waiting. But once you pass your due date, it’s hard not to twiddle your thumbs and become even more impatient. For me, the fact that I have a due date and I’ve passed it is immensely frustrating. I was always one to turn my assignments in on time. I have a strong sense about being on time. And damn it, if you say you’re going to do something in a certain time period and you don’t, I have a secret inner monster that roars and spits fire.
I’m much more flexible, however, when I know things aren’t necessarily going to happen the way that I want them to. Though when my due date came and passed, I was disappointed, I also was not too alarmed.
I join the many ranks of women who deliver past 40 weeks. According to a Minnesota Department of Health study conducted in 2004, Gestational Age at Birth, almost 18% of deliveries take place past 40 weeks. In my group of friends who have had children, it seems that almost all of them went past the 40 week due date with their first child. So it came as a surprise to me that only 22% of first time births in this study group took place after 40 weeks.
Still, it is a comfort to know that nearly a quarter of women go past their due dates. After the 41 week mark, the game changes a little. The doctors want you to go into the office twice a week to measure the baby’s vital signs, and they definitely want to schedule an induction. I will happily do what they ask in order to put off an induction as long as possible. The reason? Induction often means a long labor and a higher likelihood of leading to c-section.
As I’ve passed the due date, I have received an outpouring of encouragement and willingness to share stories. I quickly realized that being late means that I have just a little more time to do the things that I won’t be able to do once the baby will be here like sleep almost the entire night, eat whole meals, enjoy a full hot cup of coffee, make dinner, go for long walks, reading books, etc. And now that I have an end point scheduled (yep, I had to set a date for that induction), I know that I have between now and whenever the baby comes or is forced to come to enjoy all of these things.
Soon I will be taking all of those people who offered to tell me the story of their inductions to share. For now I’ll bask in the thinking that I will end up having the baby naturally and keep doing the things that I won’t be able to very very shortly. Life is about to change in ways I cannot imagine, so I’ll try to enjoy it the way I know it for as long as I have!!