I learn lessons the hard way. In the past I would have without a doubt inwardly and/or outwardly criticized an overdue pregnant woman who expressed any sign of impatience with the fact that her baby hadn't arrived when expected. Now that I AM that woman, you know, the one who's 41 weeks and 1 day pregnant and impatient to boot, I have an entirely new perspective. My foot is in my mouth. Both my feet are in my mouth. I want to ask forgiveness from every overdue pregnant woman I've ever judged in the past.
I'm so blessed to be pregnant with my second child, a healthy little boy! I can't deny this and doing so would be incredibly selfish of me. However, I'm also going to be honest: I don't think I've EVER, ever, ever felt so consistently crabby in my entire life. I might have had moments or even weeks of feeling like this in the past, but I have been non-stop irritable-to-the-max for 1.5+ months now. My first son was born right on his due date. Yay for timely babies! Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE (me, my OB, my friends, my family members) predicted that I'd give birth to my second child well before my due date. I started feeling like "things were getting started" when I was 36 weeks pregnant. That was one and a half months ago. I'm still pregnant.
In addition to being cranky, I'm also conflicted. I don't think I can handle one more person asking, "No baby?" (CLEARLY NOT), "How do you feel?" (YOU REALLY DON'T WANT TO KNOW THE GROSS DETAILS) or saying, "Still waiting for the news!" (SO AM I). But at the same time, if people weren't asking, I know I'd be irritated about that (NO ONE CARES ABOUT ME)! So I don't even know what to complain about. I should probably just not complain. Instead I'll just ask you to be sensitive to the pregnant women in your life... especially the overdue pregnant women.
If anything, this whole overdue experience has given me the ability to both sympathize and empathize with overdue pregnant women. And although my plan remains to wait for labor to start spontaneously unless there's evidence that either my baby or I are in distress, part of me fully understands and even wants to give into the enticing offer to be induced. Yes, I know due dates can be "wrong" and that there is a lot of variation with how a baby grows but honestly, I've read all about it and the information isn't exactly helping! Every little twinge or possible sign of labor beginning makes my heart skip a beat... yet after weeks and weeks of false alarms/no alarms I've kind of come to this place of disbelief and discouragement. Yesterday marked 41 weeks. My OB advised me at my 40 week appointment to schedule an induction for 41 weeks. (I also learned at that appointment that I was 4 cm dilated which WAS encouraging!) I declined the induction and instead scheduled a nonstress test for 41 weeks 2 days (which is tomorrow). Waiting is hard to do, especially given that I'm fairly (okay a lot) uncomfortable... swollen hands and feet, can't feel the fingers in my right hand, sore unmentionable areas, tired everything, irritable like never before, etc. But my baby and I appear to be in good health and I don't want a few weeks of impatience to derail my plan for a "natural" labor and delivery, especially after so much desiring and planning! For now, the waiting continues and we take it one (crabby) day at a time ;)