So, the big day was finally here – bags were packed, house was cleaned, John was on his best behaviour – but all to no avail. The 25th came and went, as we expected it might but hoped it wouldn’t. Still no baby.
We’re now 40 weeks (+ 4 days overdue). We saw the midwife two days ago, and baby’s head is engaged, his heartbeat was strong, and everything else is fine (no signs of pre-eclampsia etc). So this is good news. We’ve decided to wait another week before beginning to be poked about – a delightful procedure called a ‘stretch-and-sweep’. This is where someone (usually the midwife, rather than some complete stranger) pokes about at your cervix with the intention of separating the membranes and stimulating a hormonal release that begins labour. In theory.
However, our midwife raises a good point – how effective this and other methods of ‘inducing labour’ are is debatable, as they are all performed on women who are overdue anyhow, and therefore may naturally go into labour, with or without said intervention…
But I’m feeling good. People most commonly ask me if I’m at the ‘just get it out of me!’ stage yet, and honestly, I’m nowhere near. I feel comfortable, and am enjoying not having any demands on my time for the first (and last) time in a very long time. I’m also commonly asked if I’ve ‘felt any twinges’ to the extent that we questioned the midwife about this assumption by others that I should do so. She confirmed our understanding that most of the time this isn’t actually a thing. For most people, you’re either in early labour, and you know about it, or you’re not. So things are all quiet on the Walker front.
However, John and I are going through different strange psychological reactions to being overdue. I think it is fair to say that we have been cautiously optimistic throughout this pregnancy, perhaps with more emphasis on the ‘cautiously’ than others might be. It remains too good to be true in our minds and the current delay has reinforced that belief for John, who is now convinced that the baby probably won’t come after all, and will just dissolve away or something. I, on the other hand, feel a bit like we’ve missed our slot now, so that’s it. I’ll either stay this pregnant forever, or have to wait my turn again in a year or so’s time. So you should probably all stand down and get back to your normal lives. Nothing to see here…
Of course, we are aware how crazy this is, and how likely it was that we would go overdue, and how – one way or another – this baby is coming out. We’d just very much like to meet him now please!
I wish you all the best, but I just wanted to share some info that I find important at this stage, even though I’m just a random RPS reader.
We had our first baby 2.5 years ago, and it didn’t really go as planned, since it ended in an emergency Caesarean. We were caught totally of guard by this, as everything until then had been proceeding even better than in the textbooks. Afterwards I looked up some statistics (which – obviously – I should have done before), and it turns out that “normal birth” is actually a mislabeling, since less than 50% of the births are actually without any incident. Emergency Ceasarians alone cover 15% of ALL births in the UK. I was a bit pissed when I found out about this, because none of the preparing courses informed about these huge probabilities, as they were too busy making the parents comfy and removing all causes for stress, leaving all the freak out potential for the actual birth. (By the way, statistics at: http://www.birthchoiceuk.com)
So, what I actually want to say is: it’s literally “normal” if birth doesn’t go smoothly – no need to freak out, you are with the majority. Also, if you can stomach it, just try to prepare mentally for bad developments, such as an emergency Ceasarian under full anesthesia, or even just the use of the ventouse or the forceps. This is not just for Laura, but also for John, because it’s very distressing to be just standing on the sidelines when people are battling for your baby, or even worse, to be left on your own in a room while the doctors storm off with your wife.
I know it’s not nice to be thinking about these things, and I was hesitating to write this comment. But I know WE would have been better off if anyone had told us about these probabilities. Also, there are chances that I’m preaching to the choir here, with a professional being the mother, but better safe than sorry.
I wish you two again all the best, and a very unusually uneventful birth.
OK, so now I feel a bit silly, but whatever.
Congratulations on the perfect birth of your baby!