When you’re pregnant with your first child, you hear from everyone: First-time mothers almost always go past their due dates!
Actual statistics disagree with the anecdotes, as 34.61% of all births in 2013 happened at 40 weeks and beyond. I don’t know how many of those births were to first-time moms, but I was among that 34.61% when I gave birth to Caroline at 41 weeks-and-change.
Point is, you kind of expect to be waiting around a little longer with your first. The expectation doesn’t reduce the physical or emotional suckage that is late 3rd trimester pregnancy, let’s be clear about that. I am the same woman who stood in the shower at 41 weeks pregnant, crying, convinced I’d be pregnant forever. At the very least, you’ve had time to consider the possibility.
I don’t know if I’m among a minority of second-time mothers who go beyond 40 weeks. The CDC doesn’t break that kind of information down, as far as I can tell. I can tell you with the utmost certainty that the waiting is a lot harder the second time around. Especially when maybe, accidentally, you get your hopes up you won’t have to gestate for quite as long. To make it worse, the aforementioned ‘everyone’ surely thinks that your uterus is packed with live ammo and your birth canal is greased, because they practically expect you to fire a baby at them if you so much as lift a leg the wrong way.
I was convinced I’d be popping this sucker out at 37 weeks on the nose. And yet…you know the rest. I’m a little angry with myself for getting swept up in the early baby hope; after all it’s not like the best place for the baby to grow is IN MY UTERUS or anything. I know they come when they’re ready, that there are no problems with it, me, or my placenta at this point, and that I should go ahead and have a big, steaming mug of chill-the-fuck-out. 40 weeks pregnant is not overdue.
I’ve already spoken at length about this pregnancy compared to this first. I’ve taken better care of myself as a rule, gained less weight, had fewer unpleasant symptoms, yadda yadda. My blood pressure is excellent and I’ve had next to zero signs of edema in my extremities. I don’t hate myself for once again feeling like a mere gestational vessel.
All of that is fine and dandy. I’ll be no worse for the wear on the other side.
I still look tired and I’m run-down as all get out, and C has been making things extra interesting since she apparently is a PERSON who has OPINIONS and isn’t shy about voicing her disagreement, displeasure, dissatisfaction.
Anyway, the plan is to ride out the weekend, get through the next foot of snow that’s being dropped on the Northeast, and go in for a NST on Tuesday. On the upside, I’ve been feeling twingy and crampy for a few days, AND I was dilated 1-2cm at 39 weeks. That gives me some hope that the end is nigh since I didn’t feel anything at all before my induction.
Cross your fingers and relax your cervixes for me, my friends.