There have been a plethora of overdue babies around me lately, so I had to write this post.
I worked until four days before my due date with Margo. Each and every day that I made it to work, everyone would say the same thing as I waddled in the door, “Oh, you’re here, we weren’t sure if you would make it today! You must be so over it.”
Ugh! Really?! No, I’m not over it! I’m perfectly happy with my gigantic tummy, thank you very much! How about, “How are you feeling?” or better yet, a simple “Good morning” would have been nice. I mean, did they think that baby would stay in there forever?
There’s something so special about those last few weeks and days before you become a mother. In German (I think), there is some word for this time before you have a baby. The time between two worlds. The beautiful waiting, wondering and literally holding your breath before life changes. That time for deep reflection, calmness and peace…
Well wait a minute… that time before you have a baby SHOULD be calm and peaceful. But, most woman are under pressure to ‘evict‘ their baby long before he or she may well and truly be ready. If the baby doesn’t magically appear by 40 weeks, everyone starts freaking out. And, if you get close to the dreaded 42 weeks… sometimes the pressure gets so intense that I swear, women go into labour stage fright or something. Then, threat of induction. Possible interventions. Then failure to progress. Then, c-section. Then… Then… It can really end up being quite insane (not always, but it often ends up that way!) And, all because woman are not allowed to trust their bodies and to listen to their babies.
I knew all along that Margo would be ‘late‘. She was born at 41 weeks and 3 days. I wasn’t concerned in the least and luckily, my super cool doctor wasn’t concerned either. He didn’t even mention the I-word (induction), just said we would keep an eye on the baby if I went over 42 weeks. I’m not saying that c-sections are not a blessing to have if we need them and you should certainly keep a close eye on over due babies… and if a mother is physically ill or having a rough time, maybe it’s a bit different. But for healthy full term babies, why why why do we need to rush this very important time in a family’s journey? Like, THEE most defining moments in my life, thus far were when I birthed my babies. I mean, our whole lives are lived in a rush, why do we have to rush this one thing?
Going into labour is a delicate dance of hormones between a mother and her baby. The whole process is really not even fully understood by the medical world. The weeks before Margo were born were just magic and I recall them so vividly. The weeks between two worlds, I spent lots of quiet time, went for walks with that giant bowling ball in between my legs and waited and waited… There has never been such a quiet time since then in my life! Not a time to be ruined by doctors or nosey people at the grocery store or people wondering if you’re having twins or by the stupid calendar! If a woman is healthy, full term and looks like she’s got a watermelon stuffed in her shirt, wouldn’t it be nice if people just smiled, offered to help her with some grocery bags, asked her if she is comfortable and relaxed or said something else nice… not, “Have you had that baby yet?!”