Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Due Dates - our worst enemy

On this date two years ago, my husband and I got a million phone calls.  Okay, not really, but we were questioned so very much about reaching my due date and the baby wasn't here yet.  Shocking, I know, since most women these days feel as though they are going to immediately self-implode if they reach their due date and baby isn't here. 

Well, since I was pretty miserable during pregnancy and especially the end, I was sick and tired of the phone calls.  I know, I know, everyone just had innocent intentions but I wanted to shout, "Don't you think I want this baby out?" 

I was not one of those glowing women that we read about.  I was far from it.  During early pregnancy, I had the classic morning (all day) sickness.  I didn't even want anything touching my belly.  Exhaust from cars made me want to hurl and brushing my teeth had to be done over the toilet because for about a month I threw up every time I brushed my teeth.  In fact, it got so bad, I just bought mouthwash and rinsed for about a week so I didn't have to stick the toothbrush in my mouth!

Then I felt good for about two weeks after getting into my 2nd trimester.  Then I woke up throwing up.  Seriously, vomit in the mouth.  I guess it was then determined that I had acid reflux and something else that is escaping my memory right now.  It got so bad that I actually took some medication for it.  I do not, do not, do not like taking medication period and especially while I was pregnant, but it got so bad, I needed to do something allow me to eat.

Oh, and physically I HURT and ACHED.  I had what was called Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD).  Just to get out of bed was a challenge and not in the normal pregnant lady style.  I seriously couldn't move my legs without extreme pain.  My hip.  Oh, my hip.  It still hurts to this day.  I think my son was buried into my right hip most of the pregnancy. 

The swelling of the feet and legs.  Seriously?  I knew women talked about swelling happening.  I had NO clue it would be that extreme.  Thankfully it didn't develop into pre-eclampsia.  I wanted to be out and about, but the swelling, although it didn't hurt, was incredibly uncomfortable.  I only had one pair of flip flops that would fit and they would even leave an indention in my feet.  It got to the point that even in the morning after having my feet elevated most of the night, they were still swollen.  I began to really hate my couch at this point.  Really detested the living room.  I'd spent months at this point on that blasted couch.  Thank goodness for laptops!  I also played a lot of Super Mario Brothers on the Wii during the early sickness.  I guess it helped me focus on something and took my mind temporarily off of the nauseating feeling in my guts!

So why am I "complaining?"  I'm not really. I'm just telling the story of my pregnancy.  My long, sick, painful pregnancy.  And yet, I never considered induction.  Yes, I was absolutely miserable.  I couldn't WAIT to get that baby out of me.  But I knew that induction was not the answer.  This was a human life I was carrying.  Every single second in the womb is essential for development.  Baby knows when it's time to come. 

Yes, yes, I realize that there are extenuating circumstances where we MUST induce, but they are far and few between.  However, many Ob's are now convincing pregnant women that there are many reasons for induction.  My favorite - the suspected large baby.  An OB tells an almost full-term pregnant woman that he/she is in danger of not being able to deliver a large baby because of different reasons - broken pelvis, broken shoulder of the baby, horrendous tear or painful episiotomy, or the worst outcome - a C-section. So most of these women, terrified and rightfully so, agree to an induction before the due date, in most cases. And guess what happens in the majority of those cases - a C-section, exactly what the OB convinced the woman to induce to avoid. Rarely is the child a giant! 

If you don't believe me, start asking questions of the people you know who have children.  Of the ones you know who had a C-section, ask them if they were induced.  Chances are, yes there were.  Then ask why they were induced.  Most of these women truly believe their doctors were helping them by doing the induction.  Their doctors made them afraid of giving birth.  It makes me sad.   Our society has taken birth from us.  It's put birth in a hospital.  A hospital is for illnesses.  Again, yes, yes, I know that C-sections are sometimes necessary, but NOT at the rate it's currently at.  Over 1/3 of all deliveries are c-sections.  That is absolutely absurd.  One-third of all deliveries should not be c-sections.  

I wish I could remember (or have the energy to go search for it) the statistic about first time moms.  Typically, first time moms go into labor after 41 weeks.  I'm thinking it's 41 weeks, 1 day (maybe 2 days).   That's a FULL week after the due date.  Oh the horror!  There is a reason babies are born when they are.  The NEED the development.  Why strip them out a week or two early.  A woman is only pregnant for 40 weeks on average.  One week can be huge for development.

So do me a favor.  Educate yourself.  Don't agree to an induction, or worse yet, ask for one.  I know you may be miserable.  Seriously, I have a video of myself at the end of my pregnancy.  I remember.  It was tough.  But it's so very temporary and so very important to your baby's development.  If your OB scares you with the whole "large baby" thing and tells your horror stories of what *could* happen, ask your OB how many babies he/she has delivered that had broken shoulders or how many women had her pelvis broken.  Ask about the true risks...chances are they are very low.  

Get back to the basics especially here.  Baby will let you know when it's time to be born!  Enjoy the anticipation (even though it may be hell sometimes!)


  1. Very Well Stated! Kudos to you!

  2. Aside from the swelling part, I could have written this. With Evan, I almost lost him at 3 months and spent 3 months on the couch. I had acid reflux that would come out of my nose it was so bad. With Ella, I had morning sickness from day one thru the 7th month. Plus I had ankle reconstruction surgery at 3 months that left me on crutches and in a boot thru the 7th month. That left me walking very much lopsided and Ella sat on my right hip. It was so severe that my uterus and cervix are still tilted to the right side 3 years later and I still have pain in my hip from it.

    I have said over and over that I would give birth once a week, every week for a year... just so long as I never had to be pregnant another day in my life. LOVED giving birth and had super fast and easy recoveries. HATED being pregnant.