Is it Possible to Feel Great when your Due?
As soon as you pass the 37 week point people start to ask!!
‘Is the baby here yet’. ‘I GAVE BIRTH LAST NIGHT AND STUFFED THEM BACK UP MY JUMPER’
‘You’re huge’. ‘ALWAYS A COMPLIMENT’.
‘Any day now’. ‘NO SHIT BATMAN’.
And that’s not the worst of it. You can feel that clock ticking! Especially mums (like us VBACers) who induction is that much more complicated and may opt for a caesarean as soon as we reach 42 weeks (although we do not have to – more on that later). It can really really feel like alot of pressure to give birth ASAP. Baby did you hear that. NOW would be great!
And you have so many feelings!
Happy: You’re on the last sprint now, you’re blooming (obv). You’ve washed all the baby grows. You’re on mat leave.
Sad: That your pregnancy is almost over, that it’s your last time as a couple, or with your family at its current size, (I was overdue with my first and we had so many last meals out).
Excited: You are going to see their little face for the first time really soon, whose nose do they have? You are going to be able to hold them in your arms.
Or maybe you’re feeling scared: You don’t know how your labour is going to go and the unknown is scary. You may not feel like you have an option after 42 weeks and with every day ticking by you know that you may not be able to have the VBAC you want.
What I couldn’t get over, when I went on mat leave at 35 weeks, was that I could have the baby in two or seven weeks. How on earth do you plan for that? I just wanted to know TWO or SEVEN!
So here are a few ways to help with those third trimester days:
Hugs Before Drugs
There are many natural ways to encourage labour which I’m not going to touch here (but there is one in the works as ‘overdue’ is such a big issue – subscribe so you don’t miss it) as you may have got a leaflet from your midwife and google has it covered.
Now ignore what I just said.
Don’t Try to Start Labour
You can encourage but really your baby will arrive when he or she is ready and not before. That is why all ways to bring on labour say it may work only.
With my second labour I wanted a VBAC so really didn’t want to be induced. I spent hours looking on the net finding different methods, reading people’s stories and for every success story for one method there is another saying it didn’t work for her.
It is hard – but by focusing on ways to get labour going this itself can inhibit its beginning as it can make you tense. Or because, like me, you maybe focused on needing some help to get started not just relaxing and letting it start naturally. It’s not a matter of don’t try to encourage labour – if you want sex have it, if you’d like to try acupuncture do it, if you understand aromatherapy go for it! It’s just that the focus maybe more useful shifted in a more positive direction if, like me, you tend to get a bit too fixated on the end goal.
So this is so much easier said than done right?
So here are some positive focuses when you’re wanting to reach for the clary sage.
Enjoy These Last Moments
I admit I am sentimental. As a child I would cry before my birthday as I’d never be that age again – yes I’m a weirdo. But really this is such a special time. I always had this overwhelming urge to saviour the moment as even if I had another child I’d never be pregnant with this child again. That it was a special moment in our relationship. I liked to take a deep breath and just linger on that point for a moment.
Relax and Visualise
This can be before you go to bed, in the bath, during a walk, during your lunch break, or all of thee above. Just taking that moment. Maybe resting your hands on your bump taking a minute to think about your little baby. Tell him or her (can be in your head and not aloud) that you are ready. Visualise, imagine your body relaxing and opening with them coming into the world. Feel the weight and warmth of their little body on your chest. Tell them that you are ready, that all their clothes are ready, their bags are packed, mummy is ready. Feel the love relax your body. Feel your body open and ready.
These moments of relaxation are great for you – when does taking a moment and being calm not help. This is a great way of positively looking and thinking about your body being ready for when your baby wants to arrive. Instead of imaging them not coming you are saying I’m ready and excepting that they will choose the time.
Piss yourself Laughing
Not literally (although I’m not saying it will not happen). There is nothing better than a good laugh and not only does it help you not to focus on labour, or lack of it, but it gives you loads of happy hormones (so baby is happy too). You’ll feel relaxed after a big laugh. So watch a movie, see those funny cat videos or book a coffee with THAT friend.
Fill your Days, but Listen to your Body
It’s hard not to subconsciously write ‘might be giving birth’ across the whole calendar for the coming weeks and completely clear your schedule. But there is nothing worse than being stuck on Maternity leave at 40 weeks or stuck inside with your toddler wondering what to do today coz you’ve got birth pencilled in but there seems to be no birth today. So book that pedicure. Have a few things to look forward to. These don’t have to be all activities it could be a book, a new series to watch or visiting a garden centre with your mum.
But balance activity with listening to your body. The activity maybe sleep or rest if this is what you need. Pregnancy is a time that most women tap into their instincts and listen to their bodies in a way they do not usually do, so use that instinct. So keep busy as much as you want to.
If you can walk walk. This will help your baby to get in the best position for birth and keep you energised! Do yoga as well, sit on your birth ball if you have one but really do walk if you can.
False labour is not a failure.
I cried when I couldn’t have a sweep, I didn’t know your cervix could be closed! It’s hard when you just want things to get going. Your maybe having cramps but they don’t settle into a regular pattern (so you get excited, get everyone else excited, then nothing). These are great signs. Birth is not a switch. Your body has been working up towards this moment since conception. Every twinge you get is a step closer to meeting your baby. There is no formula for birth. Just because your cervix is closed today does mean it will be closed tomorrow – indeed you may birth your baby tomorrow. You will have your baby but when baby is ready.
You do not need to book an induction if you don’t want to.
I add this last bit simply because sometimes being given a date for induction or caesarean can feel like a deadline. And deadlines can equal pressure. How you birth you baby is your choice. You do not have to be induced if you do not want to. You can choose to give it more time to wait for your baby or before an induction. Or you can have additional monitoring if you choose to. Do some research on what you want to do. AIMS is a great place to start. But remember that you do not need to book it today. You can wait till you’re 42 weeks to book in your induction (you do not have to book it at 41 weeks if you do not want to). If you are happy however to have it booked in so you know what’s happening that is great too. It is what works for you that it the most important thing.
I hope you can relax and enjoy these last moments with your belly baby
Love Michelle xx