As doulas, we know that estimated due dates are just that: estimated. We also know that babies come out when they’re good and ready. But that doesn’t mean we don’t know how much going post-dates completely sucks, and here’s why:
Your fashion choices are no longer so much “choices” as they are “necessities.”
Congratulations! You’ve now suffered the indignity of outgrowing your maternity clothes! Remember when you first bought those maternity jeans? You were all glowing and cute and excited and kind of barely looked pregnant. I mean you felt like you did, but let’s be honest, that little belly panel was just kind of hanging there all baggy and empty. When out in public, you rubbed your stomach incessantly to let everyone know that you were gestating a miracle, not an overly large meatball sandwich.
Now that your due date has come and gone, that belly panel barely covers your crotch, let alone your enormous abdomen. Also, you’ve been wearing the same two pairs of pants for like, six months and the novelty has worn off. And your footwear? It’s basically down to two options: giant men’s boots for those expecting fall/winter babies, or flip-flops you can barely wedge your sausage toes into for those due in the spring/summer. But hey, cankles are the least of your worries right now.
You’ve never been more uncomfortable. Or moist.
That’s right, I said it. The worst word in the English language is your permanent state right now. Now that you’re post-dates, you’re sweaty, you’re leaky and your underwear is pretty swampy. You might find yourself running to the toilets at Target to check if you’re leaking amniotic fluid or … something else.
Also, your joints are achy and you’re often out of breath. Plus, people keep telling you to
“rest now, ’cause you’ll never sleep again once that baby comes.” Um, rest? How? There is no longer any position that is comfortable to sleep in (that gigantic pregnancy pillow and your partner got booted out of the bed weeks ago) and you have to pee every hour anyway.
You can no longer lie when people ask you how you’re feeling.
In your first trimester, you felt nauseated. A lot. And not just in the morning. But even if you just threw up in a garbage can at Home Depot, you’d smile at the cashier five minutes later when she actually noticed you were pregnant. People can tell now, you’d think. Yay!
During your second trimester, things were looking up. Sure, there was heartburn. But no more barfing. And you didn’t fall asleep on the couch at 7:00pm anymore. It was pretty awesome. “I feel great!” you’d say whenever anyone asked.
Now that you’re “overdue,” anyone silly enough to inquire as to your state is met with nothing but contempt. “How am I doing now that I’m 10 gazillion months pregnant?”
People keep asking: “Haven’t you had that baby yet?”
No, Auntie Jane, I have not. It would be pretty weird if I did and NO ONE TOLD YOU.
Also, if you don’t log into Facebook for more than one day or answer your phone on the first ring, everyone gets all excited when really you were just peeing. Again.
All. That. Bloody. Advice.
This is super annoying throughout pregnancy (heck – throughout parenthood). But advice about natural induction techniques for people who’ve gone post-dates is the worst. “Have you tried sex?” “You should drive down a bumpy road!” “My cousin took some castor oil and she swears she didn’t get horrible diarrhea!” Look, not only do you know about all those things, but you’ve probably tried them. And nothing’s worked. You’re still pregnant.
When I went post-dates, I read about this amazing eggplant parmesan recipe that supposedly put people into labour. The restaurant even had a wall of fame of all the babies that were born the day after their parents ate it. Well, I spent about seven hours slicing, breading, frying and baking TO NO AVAIL. (I did have tons of delicious leftovers ready after my daughter was born, so that was a plus.)
Going post-dates super sucks, I know. But bottom line? Despite how you’re feeling right now, you won’t be pregnant forever. I promise. And the good thing about being so done with pregnancy is that a lot of the fear and anxiety about birth kind of fades away. You’re like a general in a war movie at this point.
Going past your due date just seems unfair, until you meet the impossibly tiny person you were waiting for (OK, maybe they didn’t feel all that tiny coming out, but you know what I mean). Then, it’s like you’d do it all over again, cankles and all, in an instant.
Well, maybe not that quickly.