I am 39 weeks pregnant, due tomorrow, and just as anxious as you people to have this baby exit my body. In fact, more anxious. It is MY baby and MY body, so if you think I’m staying pregnant just to inconvenience you, or delay your meeting of my daughter, you are oh so wrong.
What you need to get through your thick skull is that there is no way to predict when a baby is going to arrive beyond the four-week window that we are already clear on. And guess what! Two of those weeks have already passed, so we’ve only got two weeks to muck around in. I’m sure you’ll be fine. Really, can I get you something cold to drink? Do you want to put your feet up? You must, because I’m sure all this waiting is really making you crazy. Oh me, I’m fine. I’ll just walk up a hill for four miles, as you’ve suggested, with seven lbs of human weight pressing on my pubic bone. Oh, scrub the floor? Yes, that’s what I’ll do. I’m sure it has nothing to do with my cervix, and everything to do with floor scrubbing.
Do I feel anything? Why yes. I feel erratic contractions and the busy limbs of a full-term baby pushing on my abdomen. Just like every other woman in her 40th week of pregnancy. Do I think it’s going to happen soon? I. just. don’t. know.
Why do I guess, when pushed to guess, that the baby will be ten days late? Don’t I realize that you feel anxious when you hear that? You don’t want to wait that long? You’ve already been waiting for more than seven months? Don’t I get that my due date has been set by a doctor?
Yes, I get it. And the last time I had a baby, he arrived, perfectly healthy, thirteen days after that the projected date. Is it possible that we had the conception date wrong? No, it is not possible. You can call the nurses at the Alta Bates fertility center and check on that.
What did the doctor say yesterday about my odds of having a baby this week? She said that obstetrics has made so many wonderful advances that keep mothers and babies alive and infection-free during childbirth. Can’t we be grateful for that, and not complain that there is no way to predict labor starting, even after a deeply uncomfortable pelvic exam?
But really, do I think it will be this weekend, because you know, you want to make your plans? And I’ll call you, right, as soon as I feel something, like a little twinge? Uh, yes. When I am doubled over, hobbling down the stairs to my car, I will call you. Or rather, when I am clenching my fist to get an IV inserted, I’ll call you. No better, when I am getting my cervix checked by a student nurse and her mentor for the seventh time, I’ll call you. Or maybe I’ll wait til I’m getting stitched up. Or, during the first moments I hold my newborn baby in my arms, introduce myself to her, tell her what we’ve named her, and that we are thrilled beyond belief to have her join our family. I don’t need personal space for that. It would be a good time to chat. Don’t worry, you are first on my list.
Thanks for listening to me. Don’t you other almost-due mothers wish you could just hand them this?
Note from Heather: Loyal readers, Whitney had her baby, Scarlett, on Wednesday but wrote this (on Monday) in anticipation of being ten days late. Just goes to show, that you don’t really know when it’s all gonna go down!