Dear First-Time Mom (and all others on this blog post)
You’re probably reading this because you’re at the end of your wits waiting to go into labour… but no matter how much pineapple you eat or how often you drink castor oil (please, don’t do this) your little human is sitting quite comfortably in your belly and is not showing any sign of budging, thank you very much.
During those last weeks of my first pregnancy, I did not want to rush things. In fact, I was pretty happy for my baby to stay right where it was for the rest of my life… but after my last check-up in my 39th week, my Midwife mentioned the dreaded word “Induce” to me, and I panicked.
Induction was NOT an option, and I turned to age old remedies to ‘try’ to bring labour on as naturally as possible. After a few days of stressing, I stopped and reflected on what I was doing… although I was drinking raspberry tea and walking around the block as often as I could, I was doing that which I did not want to do… induce labour. So – I stopped. I meditated and prayed, and accepted that my baby would come when SHE was ready, and not when I, or my midwife, wanted her to come.
The very next day, on her due date, I went into labour. Coincidence? Perhaps… perhaps not… either way, below are a few of MY tips for dealing with those last few days before baby decides to arrive.
Firstly, STOP clock watching!
Your due date is merely an educated guess as to when abouts your baby will arrive. This is NOT an exact science, and so many people stress about the date unnecessarily and sometimes end up making rushed decisions around their birthing experience because of it. Unless your baby is in distress, there is no need to watch that clock and try to bring baby sooner. You will only drive yourself crazy in doing that! If your baby decides to come earlier, awesome. If not, don’t worry about it. Often first pregnancies are generally later than earlier, so use this time to rest, relax and nest. You’ll thank yourself after the baby arrives that you did. You won’t stay pregnant forever, I promise you.
Take Care of Yourself
It’s easy to get frustrated in these last few weeks, and attempt to do some wacky things to bring labour on. Remember that you are in a very vulnerable position at the moment, and no amount of wishing for labour should overtake your health. Continue to feed your body, and baby, with nutritional fruits and veggies. Take those pregnancy supplements and remain active. Practice your birthing training and meditate. Relax and sleep. Get ready for one of the most stressful journeys you and your baby will ever take in life – birth.
Stay Calm and Positive
This is possibly one of the most important things to remember… Stress is the mother of all killers, and being stressed out is not good for you or baby. It’s easy to complain about things in life, especially when you’re 39 weeks pregnant with swollen feet, a huge belly and very little patience. But please, Mother, I urge you to seek serenity and positivity. Modern society trains us to complain daily, but that does not mean we should not guard against it in any situation. God teaches us that we should ‘do all things without complaining or arguing…’ (Philippians 2:14) and being pregnant is a gift from God. When we complain in pregnancy, we do so for ourselves, and we are not serving our child selflessly.
We wish for others to feel sorry for us, to lament with us over our discomfort. Remember, negativity breeds further negativity, and you are not attracting the right energy into your home or into your pregnancy. You don’t want to attract this into your life, so please dear Mother, by all means let others know that you are in discomfort, that you need help or discuss how you feel, but do so with a spirit of positivity and gratitude. Your entire outlook and circumstance will change for the better.
Turn your phone off and ignore all the messages from friends and family asking “Are you in labour yet?”. These calls and messages, although coming from a good place, are not good for you. It adds unnecessary frustration and anxiety into your life, and you don’t need them reminding you that you have not gone into labour yet (as if your entire pregnant body wasn’t reminder enough).
Rather, distract your thoughts by reading a book, drawing, watching TV, going on coffee dates or dates with your spouse… do what you enjoy doing, relax and pamper yourself. Go for a Mani or Pedi (or BOTH) or just sit outside and enjoy nature. Your life is about to change forever, so use these last few moments to reconnect with your Self and with that which you enjoy doing. Trust me, it’s going to be a LONG time before you get to read that novel in bed all day again.
Nobody will be your biggest supporter over yourself. If you haven’t done so already, write daily affirmations down which you can look at and recite every day. Talk to your body and tell it how well its doing, what an important job it’s undertaking and how proud you are of yourself for coming this far. Talk to your baby and tell her how much you love her, how excited you are to meet her and how birth is going to be a wonderful experience for you both. Search for a few great talks or daily affirmations on pregnancy and choose your favourite. Remember to be your own Cheerleader
Lastly, this is a passing Chapter
No matter how you feel right now, the time is almost upon you to birth your baby into this world. Pregnancy, as I said earlier, is not forever. In fact, it’s for a mere 40ish weeks of your life, some of which you didn’t even know you were pregnant. This chapter in your life has almost passed, and in a few weeks’ time you’ll look back at it thinking ‘It flew by’. A philosopher at heart, I debate that time is a man-made construct. When we’re having ‘fun’, it flies by, right? When we are in pain or bored, it ‘drags’, yes? This alone shows how time is merely relative. It may be dragging at this moment for you, because you so desperately wish you had already given birth… or it may be ticking by quickly, because you don’t want it to end. Whatever your emotions at this moment, this period in your life will be ending soon.
So, my final words to you are to enjoy the last few moments with just you and baby, and then just you and your spouse (and maybe other children should you have them). Once baby arrives, everything changes, as cliché as that sounds. It will never again be just you and baby, you’ll have to share her with the rest of the world. You take a back seat as baby becomes the center of attention, and your life in general will change to suit her needs and wants. Before turning that last page in this chapter called pregnancy, take a moment to bask in your own glory and pat yourself on the back. You’ve done so well and come this far – what’s a few more days? Enjoy it as much as possible and take it ALL in.
Pray and Slay