I am still pregnant. As in 41 weeks + 1 day pregnant = 8 days overdue.
I should have known better than writing a post extolling the virtues of waiting patiently and actively, celebrating the gifts of the moment even while longing for what you really want. Was I daring God to put my patience to the test?! If so, this past week has definitely given me ample opportunity to practice what I wrote about in Waiting for “It”. Some days, hours, minutes I’m successful and other times I start to flounder and feel impatient or negative–“Will this baby ever come?!”–only to have my wonderful husband or a phone call from a family member or a blog comment from a reader help me to readjust my focus again. This moment really is a gift and I’ve enjoyed some special memory-making times this past week which I could’ve missed if I’d been too focused on “getting there”…including a few bouts of hysterical laughter with Seth, which must be a great stress reliever. 😉
On Sunday, I had two older women share a piece of advice which I’d never heard before: “When the fruit is ripe, it falls.”
There’s good wisdom in that folksy saying. I looked it up online and learned that it originated with our friend Ralph Waldo Emerson. In other words, let things take their natural course and in due time, they’ll work themselves out. Or, as it applies to my particular situation, this baby will come when he’s good and ready. So even though I’m doing all the little things I can to help encourage him along, I’m also trying to stay relaxed and remember that it isn’t up to me to step up and “make it happen.” As a natural type-A / recovering perfectionist, it is tempting for me to place the burden on myself as though I just need to do something or perform.
This weekend I picked another bushel of apples from the orchard, mostly Golden Delicious. It felt great to be out in the sunshine, with the chickens and turkeys comically clucking around my feet to see what I was up to and if I had any scraps for them. Picking those apples returned my thoughts to “When the fruit is ripe, it will fall.” Because sometimes instead of waiting for a piece of fruit to fall, it’s best to pluck it from the branch, right?
As you know from Our Birth Plan my goal is to deliver this baby naturally. I believe the female body is brilliantly designed to be able to carry and deliver a baby healthily, and that medical interventions often impede that process in a normal situation. But I’m also grateful to have access to medical advancements if truly needed. Since studies show an increase in unhealthy outcomes for babies delivered after 42 weeks, we will go in for an induction next Monday if William hasn’t arrived on his own by then. I’d prefer not to induce because once you start down that road, it tends to lead to one intervention after another and even an increase in Cesarean sections.
Time will tell if the fruit of my womb is going to ripen and fall on his own, or if we’ll need to go fruit picking.
So please say a little prayer for us, that this baby would come soon. My 30th birthday is on Thursday and a baby in my arms would be the best birthday present ever! Meanwhile, I am seeking to live fully here and to savor each day as the unique and once-in-a-lifetime gift that it is.
Postscript–some technical details:
- Yesterday we had an ultrasound and non-stress test. Baby’s size, heart rate, amniotic fluid levels, etc, are all showing perfectly healthy and I feel good.
- I continue to have light contractions, but I guess you could call them Braxton hicks or prelabor, as they’re not increasing in frequency or intensity.
- I think it’s helpful to clarify that a “normal term” pregnancy is considered 38-42 weeks. Wouldn’t it take pressure off expectant mothers if we quit referring to the “due date” and started calling it what most medical professionals do now, the “estimated delivery date” or EDD? I personally am going to make that switch, starting now. 🙂