I’m writing this at 40 weeks + 2 days, I thought we’d have a little arrival by now. On the 25th March, making it an extra cool payday (especially as my pay has cut in half now). I went about my usual monthly bills and budget early and then nothing.
We had a midwife appointment and I was excited for my cervical sweep, which isn’t as bad as people say, though it may depend on how relaxed you are and your pain scale. I found it more uncomfortable psychologically that someone I wasn’t romantically involved with had their fingers inside me. It was over in moments and she felt positive about the position and soon to birth probability.
Though nothing, if the sweep was to have worked it would have been the first 24 hours, 48 at a stretch. There is absolutely no average I can pull from mum forums because it ranges from 15 minutes after they went into labour or are still waiting at 41 weeks.
All I know now is that one day over I was depleted, I thought it was going to come that night, after ‘my show’ (similar to a period though darker and stretchy) at the midwives or after a big English (vege) breakfast I made at home.
I got over feeling so depleted and defeated when looking at the big picture, it only felt like I was weeks over when in reality it was just a day. Babies do, as people often say, come when they want to and statistics say only 5% of babies are born on their due date.
I read in Gurmukh’s book that saying a baby isn’t here on their due date is like calling them late for their own birthday or criticizing God’s plan.
Day two of being past the due date, I’m feeling pretty relaxed. I can feel babies back and feet sticking out and moving. My belly goes hard and has a point to it at times, reacts to my touch too like she knows it’s my hand!
Things that bothered me yesterday aren’t so much today, the reminders to ‘rest as much as you can because you will be busy when the baby does arrive’, ‘enjoy me time now’ and ‘spend quality time together while it’s just you two’, are more doable than darn right annoying.
It could be the mood swings or the extra long lie in I had after breakfast.
I went on maternity earlier than most so things like my birthing bag, babies cot, and clothes, nesting through organizing rooms in the house, was done months ago.
There are so many suggestions of ways to bring on labour: go for walks, eat spicy food, have sex, nipple stimulation, eat pineapple, watch funny/sweet movies, sit on a birthing ball and so on. Though nothing has really worked and stuck out to full blown contractions.
I’ve collected things I’ve been doing lately and split them up. I call them surrender strategies as I’m surrendering to what will be. Whatever date will be.
When I’m feeling good, relaxed and energized
- Morning pregnancy yoga set or large hip rotations on knees if less time.
- Guided meditations and affirmations (great free tracks on Insight timer app).
- I light a candle and do morning pages, freestyle writing over three A4 pages. Writing freely feelings or fears that may be slowing things down.
- I read along to prayers and yawn a ton. Yawning is super relaxing so is loosening your jaw – a loose jaw is a loose pelvis.
- I sit on my ball and do hip circles or bounce up and down, sometimes for 30 minutes while watching something, or like now, writing.
- Have a bath, just a small one where the water covers you up to top of legs. Add Epsom salts or bubbles.
- Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated, have a clear head.
- Sing your favorite songs and listen to podcasts.
- I paint in my journal, draw in my sketchbook or write at my laptop.
- I watch TV Series I can rely on to feel good from and funny movies too. So far I’ve watched 16 movies at home throughout pregnancy!
To do with a partner
- Go for walks! You can, of course, do this alone too. Go to the woods, go through the park or walk around the houses. Just, take a water bottle and wear your support belt, you may surprise yourself. Sometimes I feel exhausted other times I’m ready to walk miles.
- Lay in bed together, kiss, touch each other to get Oxytocin (feel-good hormone) flowing and unless your waters have broken – you are safe to have sex. It’s awkward with a big tummy but sperm is a natural way to bring on labour.
Again, going for walks, helping with a bath and watching movies are all things you can do together too.
When I’m completely bored and/or in some pain
- I bake! Yes much to the comments that I’m ‘definitely nesting and giving birth soon’ I just want to eat a decent homemade cake. I love the buttercream icing my mum makes so I try and replicate that. It’s also a great way to let gravity do its job as your standing and moving around the kitchen a while. If you know a cake recipe off the top of your head then it doesn’t require much brain work. Just that your willing to go through the process of doing it. Or just for gravity and something to do.
- I like to do something in the kitchen a while, I haven’t sorted cupboards yet, though I like to wash up and put dry dishes away, again hands busy and gravity. I read in Spiritual Midwifery, Amish women who have 10 plus children sometimes when they feel things starting they go to the kitchen and bake bread to feed their household.
- Sort through your phone storage and delete photos, videos and messages you no longer need to free up space.
- I try and save the funny TV series, movies and stand up comedy for moments like these.
- The best position I’ve found for comfort in pain is on my knees leaning over my birthing ball like I’m giving it a big hug, I close my eyes and rest there.
- Try out or use your Tens machine if you haven’t already.
- Listen to relaxing music or hypnobirthing tracks with headphones in.
- I colour in shapes or do Zentangle as it passes time with minimal effort.