Almost every pregnant woman gets to a certain point where she JUST. FEELS. DONE. We feel massive, bloated, tired of waking up all hours to go potty, irritable (rather than sentimental) when the hiccups start up at 11:21 at night. And then for some of us, we reach that “Due Date” and keep right on trucking past it.
(Some of you may remember that I try to pick a date 2 weeks past my “due date” and focus on that as the day by which I’ll be holding my baby, so that I don’t get my hopes up for a particular day.)
Anyway, here are some thoughts I use to try to redeem my thinking in those hard days when I “go past” my Due Date.
(1) Every day can be a “BONUS DAY.”
Do you have things you haven’t gotten around to doing? Each day “overdue” is an extra day to do whatever you want! Tackle the project you kept putting off and thought you wouldn’t be able to accomplish before the baby arrived.
- Get the kids the haircuts they need.
- Get that root-bound plant replanted in a bigger pot.
- Round up your tax documents!
- Double your dinner tonight, and put the extra portion in the freezer to use 3 weeks from now.
- Tidy that spot in the house that drives you crazy.
And I know you probably feel like Large Marge and like doing nothing more than laying in bed with your feet up, eating your favorite food, ONLY. But– if you can muster up any thought of anything you’d like to knock out, and simply accomplish one thing today, it’ll feel good. Now’s your chance!
(2) It gives you a chance to do attitude-correction in any areas where you aren’t quite thinking right.
For me, that was:
- seeing God’s help available for me, now as I wait, and when I go into labor, and in the early, sweet-but-tiring, days/weeks with a newborn
- getting past my fears about my age & inability
- meditating on Psalm 139 & the fact that God knows the purpose (and shape) of each day, and if a baby doesn’t come today, that He had other plans for this day and I can rest in that. “Overdue” is not actually true. God is sovereign and if the baby isn’t here, the baby wasn’t supposed to be.
(3) (This one won’t apply to everyone, but it encouraged me)— Because we use a midwife who delivers at home and has delivered thousands of babies, I can embrace each day “overdue” because she’s not going to force me to schedule a c-section or push me to induce to make her life easier. My husband reminded me of this one day and it encouraged me greatly. I was able to be thankful for each day, knowing that God would send the baby at just the right time.
I actively thanked God that I wouldn’t be pressured to do something to medically intervene.
(4) Every contraction, slight dropping, movement, and even slight changing of positions gets the baby and my body a LITTLE more ready for labor.
During this last pregnancy in particular, this was a helpful thought. I grew weary of Braxton Hicks contractions and ligament stings, and with it being baby #9, I knew just how bad labor could be.
But it helped me when my midwife reminded me: nothing is a waste. If the baby is adjusting its position, or if I had a couple hours of seemingly-productive contractions that petered out around lunchtime, that was OK. The baby would be in a better position, and labor would go quicker and easier because of this early work my body was doing.
(5) Every baby eventually comes. God made our bodies to do this, and we can be at rest. Whether labor goes how we want or not, every baby is eventually born. There are no 45-months-pregnant women walking around.
(6) When the baby DOES come, the relief is so so sweet. When I had our 9th baby, in the quiet lull right before my last contraction or two, I remember laying on the side of the birthing tub, grinning, knowing it was about to be over… the relief was sweeter to me for having gone “overdue.” There was an extra bit of joy because now I knew I was, finally, at the moments I’d waited for: the end, when I would meet that new little person.
I’m not trying to paint a picture as if going past your due date is all roses and sunshine.
Out of my 9 labor experiences:
- 2 were induced early,
- only one arrived naturally 3 days before his due date, and
- 6 babies have arrived past my due date.
So I understand.
It can be a bear.
Seeing that “due date” come and go can be mentally, physically, and emotionally draining. But these are some of the ideas that have increasingly helped me to embrace those days as part of God’s plan for me, and to make the most of the days He gives.
I hope this helps tired, about-to-burst pregnant moms persevere with greater joy.