If you're a first time mom-to-be, consider this your warning. If you've been down this road before... enjoy a few laughs with me as you remember the painful truth. There are a lot of unsolicited opinions and advice in the following, all based on my experiences and keep in mind yours could be completely different. Ever seen the movie What To Expect When You're Expecting? Read along if you want a good laugh, something to relate to, or simply to pass the time. If you're in the Two Week Wait, I'm sure you'll identify with at least one of these!
Had I known then, what I know now, I would have saved every single complaint of pregnancy for the last two weeks. Yes, I would have just sucked it up and been tired. Extra fat? Who cares. Mood swings.. deal with it. Rolling over in bed? Well, next time I'll order a crane to pick me up and flip me over. Workouts? We totally managed. Less running... I'll run all the miles once this baby is out. Clothes don't fit? Well, duh. Ripped my favorite jeans? Perfect excuse for new ones later. Nauseous? Par for the course. It will be over soon.
But those last two weeks, those precious weeks where you should enjoy every single second of SILENCE, are by far the HARDEST of all of pregnancy... in my opinion.
Any Day Now
You hear it from EVERYONE. Your doctor. Your husband. Your friends that have kids. Your friends that don't have kids. People check in and see if the child is here yet. It's like a switch goes off the minute you hit 38wks... because it truly can be ANY DAY NOW... and understanding that SOON (do you know how vague soon is when you've been dying to meet your baby since the day you found out you were pregnant?) does not necessarily mean tomorrow and could actually be more like 3 weeks away is complete TORTURE.
You're STILL Pregnant
Why, yes. If you still see the same large round watermelon tummy you saw yesterday... then I am indeed still pregnant. And yes, I'm surprised too. If everyone else thinks the baby should be here already, then she should be right? and WHY ISN'T SHE?! She can survive outside the womb... she's perfectly grown and healthy... does she really need another week? And then you start wondering... can we speed this process up?
Natural Ways To Induce
Don't act like you didn't google it yourself a time or two. Maybe I ate an entire pineapple yesterday only to find that you really need to eat like 8 for it to be effective. And perhaps I've smelled like Clary Sage essential oils for the past two days. And I probably added a pint of hot sauce on my eggs to "spice" them up. After quitting running around 33wks of pregnancy, I definitely decided at 39wk 4days pregnant, I'd go for a run. Had I known I should have been drinking Red Tea Leaf for weeks prior, I probably would have done that too.. but at the time, I didn't realize what "The Two Week Wait" entailed. Once you're there, you will google search "natural ways to induce labor" and here's what will probably pop up:
- Nipple Stimulation- known to release the hormone oxytocin (the hormone responsible for starting uterine contractions during labor).
- Pineapple- contains compound called bromelain that helps soften the cervix to prepare for labor.
- Clary Sage Essential Oil- known to help induce contractions in the uterus to kickstart labor.
- Red Tea Leaf- studies have showed that it perhaps makes labor shorter but doesn't necessarily kickstart it.
- Castor Oil- causes severe diarrhea (in some cases) and stimulates the bowels which in tern stimulates uterine contractions.
- Membrane Sweep- internal exam done by your midwife or doctor that separates membranes from the amniotic sac and releases prostaglandins that could potentially start labor.
- Spicy Foods- attempt at getting bowels in an uproar and kick starting uterine contractions in the meantime.
- Walking- gravity pulling the baby down onto the cervix and releasing prostaglandins to start labor.
- Reflexology- certain pressure points can help baby descend, release hormones and aid in starting labor.
- Sex- Sperm can help to thin out the cervix by releasing prostaglandins and orgasm causes uterus to contract.
My suggestion? Reflexology. It didn't work for me... but I'll take ANY "reason" for multiple foot massages in a two week period.
39 Weeks 5 Days
Really? She's making me wait the ENTIRE 40 weeks? Can't throw me a bone a few days early? Mind you... at 39wks and 5days pregnant... if you thought you waddled before... oh you WADDLE now. It hardly even resembles a walk anymore. Especially when you've got braxton hicks tightening your uterus every 5 seconds and a stiff back. You want to stay busy to distract your mind but getting in and out of the car is a serious chore. Then your super, sweet husband suggests to take a family trip to the local pool... POOL?! Almost 40 weeks pregnant, almost 20 pounds up, in the heat of summer when I can hardly walk... not to mention holy cellulite?! Yeah, I think I'll pass, buddy. How about a movie? Well, that sounds nice and relaxing but unfortunately, once you hit this point, standing is uncomfortable, sitting is uncomfortable, sleeping is uncomfortable, laying down is uncomfortable. My husband is about ready to check me into a hotel and leave me there until he gets the call that "it's time". And frankly... I don't blame him!
You're due date is fast approaching... which by the way.. I think most mothers-to-be look at their due date as an "expiration date", myself included. Like, baby.. you've been served with this eviction notice... you've got hours left to get out or else. But, like you've read before... a due date is more like a guess date and the amount of babies actually born on their due date is statistically low... which to me, just meant my baby was coming early :) The mere thought of carrying her 40 weeks 1 day is just unimaginable. Anyways, once you hit your due date or possibly before, your doctor will bring up the possibility/probability of needing induction to move things a long. Some mother's totally want things to happen naturally (as do I) but... you're telling me I can meet my daughter and be 10lbs lighter? Can we get this party started tomorrow? By the way... evidence suggests that babies are best born (healthiest) between 39weeks and 41weeks of pregnancy and so.. 40 weeks plus 1 day... 3 more days... I can handle that. The next baby will come earlier and I'll get the opportunity to feel all the natural feels! Just a few thoughts that run through a very pregnant lady's head..
It's All Out of Love
Yes, I'm uncomfortable. Haven't slept in weeks. Use the restroom 20x a day. Waddle. Get annoyed with husband because he can do all the things I can't. Am heavier than I've ever been. Have crazy food aversions that leave me with the option of a piece of bread for dinner. And I'm simply just going crazy. But the real reason I'm going crazy is because my sweet little baby is big enough, strong enough, healthy enough to be living outside the womb and in my arms, yet is perfectly happy hanging out in my uterus for a few more weeks. I'm selfish, I know. We want to meet her so badly.. we've been picturing life with her before she even existed. Now she exists as a complete human being on the inside of me and we can't touch, feel, or love on her the way we want to. Do you blame us for being impatient? I mean seriously, you'd eat a whole pineapple in one sitting too if that POSSIBLY meant you could touch your baby a day sooner. Maybe you'd even eat 8! (I didn't for the record...) So regardless of feeling all the feels of pregnancy misery... I think the most miserable part of it is waiting. Waiting for the day that you can finally meet your baby. Understanding that today she can survive outside of you but another day goes by where she remains snuggled up in your belly. It is HARD.
Every day she doesn't come, I find a new way to prepare for her arrival and I tell my husband, "Oh, she hasn't come yet because I haven't sterilized all the bottles." Or... "I forgot to wash this one blanket in Dreft." (by the way... I washed everything in dreft... from all her clothes, to our bed set, to the dog's blanket... there is no way lack of dreft washing is the reason she hasn't made her appearance yet!) Or... "She was just waiting for me to finish meal-prepping for post birth and then she's going to come." Well, I've officially finished it all... once I pick up the baby monitor today. I'm sure that's what she's been waiting for. She just totally didn't want to make me look like an unprepared parent... she's doing me the favor.
So, The Two Week Wait... as miserable as it is... it's important to know.. that while it could potentially be drawn out to three weeks... there IS with ABSOLUTE certainty, an expiration and each day we are one day closer to meeting the little angel who completely took over our lives and our hearts 40+ weeks ago.