Monday, 7 November 2011
The waiting game
I have already mentioned on here that my son was born at 38 weeks and how some people assuming the second child would also be early, started acting like it was late once we passed the 38 week mark. Well, our daughter arrived at exactly 41 weeks so I had to endure 3 weeks of questions, comments, and 'tips' on how to get things moving along.
Aside from running a marathon, I really had tried lots of the suggestions for helping initiate labour. Three cups of well-steeped raspberry leaf tea each day, spicy food, lots of walking, running up hills and chasing my son and his friends around the park, that and everything else on lists like this one. Some people swear that something in particular contributed to their labour starting but I think it's pure coincidence. Baby comes when it's ready and when your body's ready for birth.
A quick glance at three different pregnancy books I have at home revealed that 'late' is not really late until you reach week 42 and beyond. In most cases, baby will arrive within 10 days of the due date and according to one book I have, "studies show that about 70% of apparent post-term pregnancies aren't post-term at all", it's simply a miscalculation of the due date / date of conception.So why does everyone treat 'late' like it's such a big deal?
I was thankful that I was living in the UK, planning to give birth at a birth centre where there's a focus on natural births and no pressure for induction unless there's any medical concern for mum or baby. I've heard too many stories of people who've used private healthcare and have been persuaded to have an induction earlier than necessary that has resulted in an emergency c-section or an otherwise traumatic birth.
Whilst I felt relaxed about my pregnancy lasting longer than first time round and was feeling fit and well, I couldn't help but start to get a little stressed out when people would ask me, 'what's going to happen?', 'when will they induce you?'. I didn't feel like those kinds of questions were very sensitive or helpful when I was only a few days 'late' after all.
One thing I have taken from the experience of having a 'late' baby is that I won't be one of those annoying people asking a pregnant friend or aquantaince where her baby is when it comes to her due date and the baby is yet to arrive! I don't think I was before but I'll certainly be more aware in the future of what I say to anyone in that situation.
A mum-to-be has a lot to deal with in late pregnancy; the hormones, the excitement, the trepidation, the preparation (both on a practical and emotional level) and she doesn't need people adding to it. As I know myself, a healthy new baby is definitely worth the wait, whether that's an 'early' 38 weeks or a 'late' 41+ weeks.
Were you early or late with your babies? Did you have any comments or unsolicited advice from people that you'd have rather done without?