37 Weeks: Crystal Ball

It seems our twins have tricked a good number of people into thinking they would already be born by now.

At 36.5 weeks a pregnant, I saw my OB last Thursday, whom, after measuring me at 3 cm dilated and 75% thinned raised her eyebrows and laughed a little when I said, “See you next Thursday.” She and the entire front desk staff felt I would most likely “go” that weekend (if not later that day). My Doula, after hearing my progress report, put her money on the weekend as well, though she did qualify her quess with “If I could predict which day you’d go into labor… I’d be a very busy Doula!”

Me? Well, hearing how encouraging all the signs were, one night this weekend when contractions started coming every 10 minutes or so… I excitedly repacked my hospital bag, certain I would be delivering that next morning. I went to sleep, my contractions stopped and I awoke, feeling a little let down by the false alarm.

I’m part of a moms group online where all 200 members are due sometime in January of 2010. It’s been fun to read of all the babies in the group that have been born, some way early, some days late. A hot topic lately (as it’s January 25th and the month is nearly OVER…) is how DONE many members are feeling with being pregnant. It makes perfect sense… and as it’s been such a common complaint from members (and one I am not above but hoping to AVOID) I thought I’d look into tips on how we might lessen/prevent this.

First let’s look at some of the ways expectant moms are feeling:

-My son was 2 weeks early and then I had my daughter 3 days late and was so depressed I didn’t go out for the last 2 weeks of my pregnancy…

-Of course everyone in the world has to come up and ask me when this baby is going to come and shouldn’t it have been here by now.

-All the phone calls and texts asking “have you had your baby yet?” “are you in labor yet” are getting really discouraging and in some ways depressing! i just want to fall off the face of the earth and not talk to anyone until he is born! all these people are really bringing me down! i know they mean well, but they have no idea how much harder they are making this!

-The only thing really keeping me going right now is knowing that I’ll be induced Thursday if nothing happens by then.

-I am 4 days late! It’s so frustrating!!! I want this little one to come so bad!

SO… given the challenges faced above, how can expectant moms stay content, enjoying the final days/weeks of pregnancies, regardless of the excitement and anticipation coming from the people around us AND ourselves. What is the key to avoiding IASD or I Am So Done !@#@! Syndrome?

Here are some tips that I hope will help and that I myself am using:

  1. Forget Your Due Date: This tip comes from my pre-natal yoga instructor. When we did class introductions, she told us to say how pregnant we were in weeks and NOT to say due dates. Think in terms of weeks pregnant, she cautioned us…. this way, if the all important DUE DATE flies by, it won’t so much feel like you “missed” it. Good advice I think. My mom tells me that my Aunt Claire carried all 5 of her babies for 42 weeks. Maybe some women just cook ’em a little bit longer!
  2. Keep A To-Do List: Write down the top three things you’d like to get done before baby(s) come. As you complete the items, add new items, always stopping at three. This way you won’t feel like you are just sitting around, twiddling your thumbs… but you also won’t feel overwhelmed by items you may very well never complete were baby to come that day.
  3. Talk To Your Baby(ies): This is perhaps the most comforting of all to me. I have taken to massaging my belly in the morning and at night, telling my baby girl and baby boy how much I enjoy having them inside me. I tell them how special this time is (it’s not like they’re ever going to have the experience of being wrapped in their mother’s womb ever again once their born, right? And from everything I read, it’s a pretty darn cool in there…) I also tell them how loved they are, how excited their family is to meet them and how much I am looking forward to being in the dance of birth with them when the time is right.
  4. Beware of Expectations: Even if you are walking around 4 cm dilated and 75%+ thinned, realize, every baby is different. I’ve read a ton of stories about mucus plugs lost 1 month prior to birth and women walking around many centimeters dilated for weeks! In fact, with her first, my older sister was told she was dilating and surely the day would be near… only to wait 2 more weeks, making those last 14 days much harder for her as every day felt it would surely be THE day.
  5. Limit the People You Talk With: Avoid answering the phone if you are getting alot of inquiries and they are bothering you. Let it go to voice mail and when your hubby is home, let him field these well meaning calls. Be clear with the immediate people around you that it is not helpful if they are asking you on a day by day (feels like hour by hour) basis if the babies are coming yet.
  6. Post Updates on Facebook/Twitter/Send an Email: Social networks like these can help you keep many people updated all at once. Tell them how you are excited in your final weeks. Tell them you are in no hurry if this is the case. These simple updates can slow down the calls and inquiries from well meaning people who love you and just want to be sure to be in the loop to share your JOY when baby does come.
  7. Meditate: Always helpful when working to “be with what is!” in your life. Here’s a guided meditation I love that might bring you peace as well, pregnant or not.


I myself have set my sights on carrying our baby boy and baby girl 38 weeks with the idea that they are MORE than welcome to go the distance past 38 weeks if all the measurements and indicators from my OB say this is a safe and healthy thing for them to do. I tell this to anyone who asks for an update. And I’m doing 1-6 above as well. It’s working so far. I feel very upbeat about the twins growing inside me. Instead of thinking of the discomfort, I think lungs and latch on… both of which improve with every passing day they stay inutero… making it easier for me to nurture them in the long run when at last they do decide, “Today is a good day to be born!”

There is value in finding contentment (joy even) in our final days of pregnancy. I think this sort of peace comes with actively seeking to accept what is, even if what is includes baby being 2 days past his or her due date. I’m not saying this is easy, but I do think it’s a worthwhile topic to explore. Share your thoughts with me. Tell me your stories. Tell me I’m wrong even!! easy for me to say never having been 7 days late!!! Let me hear it. And if you have other tips for staying content in the final weeks of labor, please be sure to share those with all our mommy readers as well. Blessings!!!

Related Articles:

39 Weeks : We are so BLESSED!
36 Weeks : Pre-Birth ENERGY
35 Weeks : House Arrest
34 Weeks : Like “Cantaloupes”
33 Weeks : Blessingways and Birth
32 Weeks : Other New Moms & Icing
31 Weeks : Newborn Baby Checklists
30 Weeks : Sage “New-Mom” Advice from a Friend
29 Weeks : Placental Encapsulation
28 Weeks : Pregnancy Calf Cramps to Wake the DEAD
27 Weeks : Holiday Maternity Fashion Tips
26 Weeks : The Nursery
25 Weeks : Back to Baby Names
24 Weeks : Cord Blood
23 Weeks : Baby Fat
22 Weeks : Baby(s) Moving! Time for Belly Massage
21 Weeks : Flu Bug
20 Weeks : Parents As Teachers
19 Weeks : Sleep
18 Weeks : Breastfeeding
17 Weeks : Childbirth
16 Weeks : Sex of the Babies. We’re having…
15 Weeks : Baby name Game
14 Weeks : Prenatal Yoga
13 Weeks : Mindful Nesting
12 Weeks : My Changing Pregnant Body
How Spirit Moves

Milk_NursingwearZenMommy’s Pregnancy Journal is published in partnership with MILK Nursingwear, offering the freshest nursingwear on the planet.

——

Suzanne Tucker, aka Zen Mommy

In addition to mommying to two magical girls born in 2000 and 2003 and expecting twins in Jan of 2010, Suzanne co-owns a holistic health center with her husband Shawn in St. Louis, Missouri where she practices as a physical therapist, Certified Educator of  Infant Massage and health education teacher. Certified in a number of healing and life education approaches, Suzanne is a Co-creator of My Mommy Manual and the online parenting course, Yogi Parenting, a positive parenting approach for raising kids of all ages.

Comments

  1. JanetinDC says:

    Suzanne – Thank you for the update and I know you must just want to jump out of your skin at this point.

    The only patterns seem to be with 2nd, 3rd, etc. kids and women I’ve known have similar experiences to the 1st baby. For example, I’m one of the ones that has NEVER gone into labor, my water never broke, etc. (for all 3 of mine). My first was 42 weeks and she was 10 pounds. So I was induced for next two babies when came time to deliver.

    So I would think to look at when you first 2 girls were born (Morgan and Reilly) and was similar number of weeks when you went into labor, etc.? Then again this time you are with TWINS so does any pattern even work?

    If you haven’t seen this video then check it out and MANY women with twins and triplets went the full 40 weeks…

    NATURAL CHILDBIRTH WITH TWINS AND TRIPLETS
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7E-wULAaD50&feature=player_embedded#

    Enjoy this time to relax and prepare and sleep while you can! Janet

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  2. Zen Mommy says:

    hey! wow!!! a 10# baby! that’s alot LIKe carrying twins. lol. i’m really ok though. feeling good and getting lots done… like TAXES! loving everyday with them inside me. no skin jumping yet!!!

    i did a little research on twin delivery dates and although 38+ weeks is advised as “safest” for babies development, only 8% of the some 200 sets in the study i looked at were born 39 or > weeks of age… the average was 36.5 weeks.yes, some people do go 40 wks but is is FAR from the norm. i could fall into that group though. depends on what my doctor says as we go to checkups week to week.

    the more alarming thing is of 200 sets of wins, almost 48% were elective deliveries… with maybe 52% or so being spontaneous deliveries. i WILL be in that 52%, i am certain.

    i had reilly 9 days early and morgan 5 days early 😉

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  3. Amy Slapshak says:

    Love hearing what’s going on in your world Suzanne! I thought I’d share a viewpoint from a mother of ALL EARLY deliveries and how I would have given anything to be ‘going stir crazy’ with uncomfortableness and anticipation! My four children were born 1 week, 3 weeks, 3 weeks and 6 1/2 weeks early respectively. I was thrilled the first time around without having to wait for my due date to arrive. The second baby surprised me 3 weeks early, but it is what it is. The third baby I was prepared to have come early (if there is such a thing as preparedness!) It is my fourth and final baby that took me years to get over the fact that he was born over 6 weeks early. It was not any medical issues at all nor any question on my part that I did anything ‘wrong’ that put me into labor. What took me years to overcome was the fact that I had ‘lost’ the last weeks of my pregnancy – that I knew was the last I would ever have – enjoying and cherishing the miracle of the growth of a baby inutero. That was it – chapter closed, with an unexpected slamming of the book of my childbearing experience. I would NEVER again get to fell to movement of a baby inside me and aww at this greatest miracle of all. I personally would re-do the labor itself if possible and take it all in (it was way too fast and over with in a blink of an eye). You may be thinking “This woman is crazy and obviously time has erased all the discomfort she is forgetting she had.” I WAS uncomfortable in the final months of pregnancy, but immediately in the days following delivery I began mourning its end. And it seriously did take me several years to get beyond it. I never craved another baby for myself ~ it was purely a craving for the experience, the pregnancy itself. So for all you pregnant moms out there counting down the days, I say start SAVORING the moments. You will spend the rest of your life with your child in the world we live in, but the state you and he/she are in right now is so magical and fleeting. I would be shouting out to everyone “THIS baby is here inside me now, and for such a brief moment in time, I am in no rush for it to end:) ” ENJOY!

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  4. what a cool perspective to hear from amy. it sometimes takes having an opposite experience to value the experience we find ourselves in.

    such a miracle… the connection we share with our babies inutero. each movement… each hiccup… whole-y fully connected.

    we will always “be one” with our children, but sharing the same blood, oxygen… thoughts even? feeling their body(s) inside mine? this time is special. and like you, amy, i am all too aware this will most likely be my last pregnancy… so wanting to savor each moment all that much more.

    i hope this post is respectful to anyone struggling end or past due date as i do not want want to minimize this challenge… i hope it helps us expectant moms slow down and breathe, connecting with baby inside and enjoying the moment…

    like you say so well amy, these moments are fleeting and could be over before we know it!

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  5. suzanne Miller says:

    Since I had a difficult and physically painful pregnancy, I was induced at 37 weeks. Would have gone at 36 weeks but the amnio showed that the lung development wasn’t satisfactory-so that last week was a little tricky-but I found meditating not only helped with staying present, it helped me deal with the horrendous pain that the docs surmised was a gall bladder issue. Because there was so much concern, there were lots of calls. The pain was such that it was hard to even speak. But quite accidentally, my husband bought a cordless phone system that ‘announces’ the calls. In other words, it SPEAKS caller ID. I could then text whomever when I felt up to it having known who had called. When the slightest move induced pain, I found that was miraculous! The second thing I would recommend is physically removing oneself to a v. relaxing place. Everyone knew that I was checking into the hospital at 8:00PM and I anticipated loads of calls, so I went into a cocoon called a SPA, where I spent the entire day. I got a pre-natal massage, slept on a lounger to the sounds of a trickling fountain and enjoyed the opportunity to breathe in beautiful surroundings. I would highly recommend staying OFF the scales in the spa :)

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  6. Those are really great tips… especially the one about forgetting your due date. If I could do it over, I would definitely pay more attention to what my body was telling me than what I was wanting and expecting to happen.

    As I overhead one of my tango teachers tell a lead… “You can’t help where her head is.” True. (Dontcha love how I can tie everything back to dancing?!)

    But all you can do is do your best to stay in your body… because that is the one thing that cannot help but be in the PRESENT MOMENT! See? I’m learning something from Yogi Parenting?

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  7. Beautiful tips, thank you for always bringing it to a calm perspective!

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