40 Weeks

Yes. I am still pregnant! This is the most commonly heard question around our house these days.

We all know that due dates are just guidelines, but this time around I suppose I really believed everyone when they proclaimed that I would "go early with baby #4" Oh the power of suggestion!

Actually I was reading this article on due date calculation and it looks like many American women should really be expecting their babies around the 42nd week rather than 40 weeks. As a doula, I have not seen a 40 week pregnancy that is managed by OB's at all. Most women who plan to birth in a hospital setting are induced by week 39. And let me tell you how tempting that thought has been these past few days. Instead of being up all night tossing and turning with crampy contractions for hours and hours, I could be up all night nursing my new baby. I could simply show up at the hospital at 3am with my regular contractions, they would assess me, determine that I wasn't progressing very well, offer to induce and all I would have to say is YES. The cost would be that I'd have to give up freedom of movement, privacy, comfort, and my dignity. I would be heavily monitored, hooked up to an IV, have multiple cervical checks which would increase my risk of infection and antibiotic use. I would be offered pain medication often and told that I wouldn't earn a medal for doing it the hard way. I would increase my risk of a cesarean section. I would increase the likelihood that my baby would be separated from me after the birth to be cleaned up and assessed by the staff. I might possibly expose myself and my baby to MRSA. Click on the Read More link to continue

The fact that women are willing to endure any of that at all is testament to the sheer exhaustion, frustration, and utter crankiness that take over in these last weeks. I have cankles. I cannot sleep for more than 30 minutes at a time without peeing. I feel like I am being punished--I have done everything right--I eat healthy nutritious foods, I ended my love affair with caffeine, I haven't gained too much weight, I have kept all of my prenatal check-up appointments. I have surrounded myself with positive birth imagery and affirmations. And yet, in our very Americanized thought process, none of these things have made things better. By better, of course, i mean FASTER, QUICKER, EASIER. I honestly expected to be paid for my sacrifices in the currency of convenience. Wow. When did I become this person who expects instant gratification?

But even with all of that 'negative energy" I still do honestly believe that our little one can only come meet us when her soul is prepared to do so. And who am I to know where that soul is right now. Perhaps there is a family somewhere who is not ready to say goodbye to their loved one just so I can begin the journey of getting to know my new baby.

Well the good news is that I do for a fact know that I will indeed have a baby. There are no reported incidents of women continuing pregnancy until the child is eligible for school registration.



Childbirth in the News

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