Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Waiting Game

The excitement of discovering you are expecting is replaced usually be a few months of the "morning sickness", followed by several  months of energy and a growing belly, followed by the realization that labor will eventually come....Lastly it is the 9th month and for some reason this turns into a 9th year.  Especially when it is the first baby, days become months, hours become weeks. 

The phone calls increase - lots of family just checking on you.  Friends pass you and ask "when are you due" - strangers pass and ask "when are you due".  All this builds in you a watchful eye for every feeling you have.  And everyone expects you to be the expert on when your labor starts - and yet you feel so uncertain that you'll know.

Each night you secretly wish for labor to be delayed because you feel so tired - each morning is followed by disappointment that there are still no signs of labor.

Week 39 approaches and the fear that you might need an induction looms higher in your thoughts.  And now you are definitely sick of the "when are you due" question.  No one is satisfied with a reply that expresses a desire that the baby pick the due date if possible.  Sometimes not even you!  Thoughts go to "it would be nice if the baby came today" or "I hope the baby waits until the weekend".....

This waiting game can wear on you quickly.  Here are some suggestions:  Enjoy the time you have that allows you quiet movie watching, an afternoon nap, a quick trip to the store, an uninterrupted dinner with your husband.    These are the last days that you still have control of your time and energy.  Don't wish them away.

Schedule something that will nurture you - a pedicure, a massage, a lunch arrangement with friends.  See a movie you've wanted to see, visit a museum, read a book.  These are adventures that will not be available to you for awhile.

Put an updated message on your answering machine.  I had one friend who would give updates each day of his wife's progress in the pregnancy.  It was fun to call and just hear the update - and not disturb them.  Or a message that says "no baby yet - we'll let you know" answers their ever present question to you.

So enjoy your pregnancy, enjoy the 9th month, and hopefully feel great about the birth.  Babies are worth all this effort - be creative in playing the "waiting game".