The thing about a pregnancy due date is it’s an estimation. But, we tend to cling to those dates don’t we? When a woman’s baby is late, these are some things she’d probably prefer not to hear!
We’d had our hospital bag packed for about a week, baby’s car seat in the car a couple days before, and freezer meals were made ahead of time. Our due date came and went. I was in shock as our first was born on her due date, so it was highly unexpected when my pregnancy due date came and went.
We had out of town family who scheduled to be in town for their Christmas just two weeks after the baby was due. If that wasn’t stressful enough, a late baby meant he was going to be that much younger while the family tried to gather for visits and gift exchange. I wasn’t even happy that he was only going to be 2 or 3 weeks old at the time.
The stress kept piling on as conversations about extra ultrasound scans and possible medical interventions like inductions were looming on the horizon. To some of you, extra scans and inductions aren’t scary, but to me, the thought of medical intervention for a natural and, thus far, healthy pregnancy was just frightening. I had a completely natural birth the first time around with no medical intervention, aside from being forced to an IV at the hospital because I couldn’t convince hubby that having a baby at home was safe. So, the idea that I might need medical interventions with baby #2 didn’t sit well with me and really added to my stress. The pressure was on to get this baby out before they messed with me.
A couple days past due, the stress really got to me as we began receiving messages or seeing people who felt like they had to ask about the baby. Even after dropping my daughter off at school the first time after Thanksgiving, I had comments and questions from no less than 4 moms who knew I was overdue. Let me tell you, I made it to the car with some dignity before bawling my eyes out.
Things not to say (or do) when expectant parents’ pregnancy due date has come and gone
When will you be induced?
Obviously, yes, one can be induced. If mom hasn’t been induced, there’s a good chance she doesn’t agree with inductions. I’m that mom. Baby will come when baby is ready and an induction when your baby, or body, isn’t ready may only lead to more medical interventions. Don’t make the assumption everyone is okay with these things. Further, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) guidelines recommend induction at 42 weeks unless there are medically necessary reasons otherwise.
Aww, you’re still pregnant?
Um, it’s not obvious? Does my round beach ball-sized belly and exhausted face not give it away? By the way, the sympathetic “aww” may just induce crying. Don’t, just don’t.
That baby is comfortable in there.
I guess that’s possible, but what if he/she isn’t? I know my son keeps putting his foot in my ribs and pushing down as though he’s trying to escape. And, I guarantee you I’m not comfortable.
You still haven’t had that baby?
Hmm, let me think about it and get back to you. Damn, I sure thought I had him around here somewhere.
[tweetthis]Stupid question when baby’s late: “you still haven’t had that baby yet?” #pregnancy[/tweetthis]
When are you going to have that baby?
Um … we already missed our due date, so I don’t think I have an answer for you. Can you think about your question before you ask it?
Have you had the baby yet?
Any such random message inquiring about the lateness of the baby is just annoying. Don’t you think you’d know if I had the baby yet? If you’re in regular enough contact with me to ask me that question, you’d certainly be on the list of people who receive a text, email, phone call, or Facebook notification that the baby has arrived.
How long will they let you go?
Mom may not know yet OR they’re in discussions with the doctor. For me, that was a difficult subject. It took a lot of research on my part to determine on what and when to make compromises. We can go back to ACOG guidelines, but every doctor is different and every circumstance is different. In my case, I was in for an ultrasound to check on the baby and fluid levels just before I hit 41 weeks. When the results came back perfect, my doctor was willing to leave me alone for quite a while before intervention, though I would still be required to make weekly visits with the understanding that I should expect medical intervention in week 42.
Are you kidding me? How does one relax when your pregnancy due date passes, you have to visit the doctor at least once a week, and you have people calling or texting you wondering about the baby all day, every day? How about help me relax. Invite me out to do something to help me cope with the disappointment of my late baby and get my mind off it altogether. In which case, be mindful that’s what we’re doing and don’t bring up the situation. Otherwise, give me a gift card so I can get a massage to have a little peace and quiet.
Simply asking too many questions which the pregnant woman or her partner may or may not have answers to can become highly frustrating. The constant barrage of phone calls, texts, and emails is so stressful. We all know you’re anxious to meet the new baby. How do you think mama feels?! Can you give the parents-to-be some peace and quiet until they choose, or finally get the chance, to divulge any information? I know, in our case, we updated when we could, felt like it, or when we finally had more information worth sharing.