Now that we are expecting our second child, I have given a lot of thought to the prospect of being overdue… AGAIN! With Erin, it was quite a prolonged experience. My due date came and went, and the hours, days and weeks passed, until eventually, 14 days overdue and after 36 hours of gruelling labour, she finally decided she was ready to make an appearance!
I read recently about a hypnobirthing specialist Katherine Graves who actually recommends not telling your friends and family your actual due date, in order to help you stay as calm as possible before birth, and I have to say, I tend to agree!
Katherine states “The problem is that the obsession with dates causes stress when that day arrives and the baby hasn’t. The onslaught of calls and texts starts on, or sometimes before, that date. When we are stressed, neither our mind nor our body works well, and if the body is not working well, labour is longer. A good way of avoiding stress is to keep your baby’s due date a closely guarded secret from friends and family. When we are calm, the body produces oxytocin, that makes labour more efficient”
With Erin, our first child, I didn’t feel the need to not share my due date. For one, we had been warned that I may give birth early if anything, and therefore the prospect of giving birth late never really entered my mind! I finished work 5 weeks (YES FIVE WEEKS!) before my due date, and as the date approached I started to get a little bored.
For me, the most annoying bit of being overdue was the constant attention from friends and family. The moment when my best friend who lives in Australia text me asking if I had “given birth yet” I felt like shouting from the roof tops “NOOOOOOOOO!!!!” – As if I wouldn’t have told her!!! People began analysing my every move on social media. If I didn’t update my Facebook status for *god forbid* more than a few hours, people would start texting me saying “you’ve gone quiet, are you in labour??” and “any news yet?”, and then follow up with “aww never mind hun, baby will come when its ready” and “you must be making baby far too comfortable” etc etc. The first few times people said it were nice, but the more people that said it, the more annoying it became. Yes I’ve tried curry, YES ive eaten a WHOLE pineapple, I have jumped, bounced and yes I’ve even showed my other half some sexual attention for the first time in weeks but NO! Baby is NOT HERE YET!!
As much as I appreciated the fact that they cared, it didn’t help my already impatient and frustrated mindset. Particularly when one of the NCT girls who was due a week after me went into labour and I was STILL waiting(!) and don’t get me started on my pregnancy apps – who very kindly notified me I had had my baby when I was in fact, still waiting!!! RAH!
So this time, do you know what? I might just take Katherine’s advise. So for now – friends, family and readers- my baby is due in September – and that is the best you are going to get!!!