Thursday, December 10, 2009

When You're Late

Sometimes you're late because you didn't plan ahead. And I've read that sometimes you're late because you're aggressive and controlling. But the most significant 'late' is the 'late' that is out of your control.

It's a fact that in this day and age, any pregnancy site will tell you that you're full term at 37 weeks. Therefore it usually doesn't take a lot of persuasion to have your obstetrician induce labor any time between 37 and 40 weeks or even to have your obstetrician promote inducing before 40 weeks. In fact, when is the last time you've heard of someone delivering her baby two or more weeks late. It's almost unheard of now. But back in the day it happened more often than than today's young mothers would ever believe. In fact, the rule of thumb, if I remember right, was that a pregnancy lasts an average of 40 weeks. That means that as many babies were born after 40 weeks as were born before 40 weeks. Now, though, most women don't reach that 40 week mark much less pass it because it's become so common to induce labor when it's convenient not only for the obstetrician but for the baby's family as well. I'm not saying this is a bad thing. In fact there's probably a lot of merit to this system. That's really not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the joys of pregnancy.

There are a lot of us that thoroughly enjoy being pregnant. I don't know if it's the anticipation, the miracle of carrying that new life within, or just the loving attention we get from almost everyone when we're 'with child' that makes it such a special time; but to them it's a wonderous interval in their lives. So it's this select group of women, who love being pregnant, that I'm talking about in this post. We spend such a relatively short part of our lives in this marvelous realm. If we only have two children, we get 18 months on average of pregnancy out of our entire lives. That's not much. And only 12 months, at the most, when it's apparent to outsiders that we're carrying something (or more accurately someone) special inside.

These women love and embrace their pregnancies and are fully aware that these months of pregnancy are but fleeting moments in the grand scheme of things.

It's just that as we approach and then pass our full-term date (37 weeks), Mother Nature starts to play tricks on us. The anticipation and excitement start to get the best of us. And the well meaning but endless amazement of our friends and acquaintances start to make us weary. Questions like, "anything happening?, how are you feeling?, still pregnant?! yada? yada? yada?. To the person asking the question it's just one small comment or inquiry but to the pregnant person, it's an endless string of questions with only a negative response possible and all these negatives soon take the positive out of a beautiful experience.

Part of what makes the last days and weeks of pregnancy so difficult is the mystery. When will it happen? It could be any minute, and you're so excited that you can hardly wait. And at this point our friends and family become even more concerned and interested and frequency of the inquiries actually increases.

The reason for this is that it's such a fleeting time. We ooh and aah over a newborn that we happen to see because we so seldom see a brand new baby. This stage in an infant's life is so very short. And we get just as interested in a full term pregnancy mom because, once again, that time period is so short. You really don't see a full term mom very often. So they garner extra attention.

And for this, I apologize. I apologize to every pregnant woman that I've inquired about their upcoming birth status. I really love them all and I have the warmest feelings for them but I suspect a smile would suffice.

So, Sarah, despite me and everyone elses best wishes and inquiries, I hope you can enjoy every fleeting, waning moment of this pregnancy. The miracle that you are experiencing should not be diminished by anyone elses curiosity or plans or longing to see and hold YOUR baby. Ignore us and revel in the miracle with which you're being blessed. Embrace every moment because before you know it, this special time of carrying your baby, every moment of every day and night, will pass. Granted the transition will be beautiful but don't let anything keep you from relishing and savoring each moment you have left in this picture perfect pregnancy.


  1. this makes my heart swell up with happiness. your girls are so lucky.


  2. You're so right, you never think about it this way, no matter which side you're on, but when you stop and think about it, it makes complete sense. Thanks for the reminder!!

  3. Mendie took the words right out of my mouth.

  4. Reading this made me smile because just a few days ago, I messaged Sarah and asked if she was going insane with all of the "So, have you had the baby yet!?" questions. It's so hard to be the woman at the end of pregnancy fielding those well-meaning questions. As content as I was to let my babies cook as long as they needed, I still was anxious at the end and getting asked that question constantly... oh, it started to wear on my nerves!
    That said, I loved the people who would email daily at the very end to see how I was doing, just to inquire how I was feeling without putting any pressure on me about having the baby. Beth was one of those people, and I will forever love her for it.

  5. beautiful sentiments...beautifully expressed


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