Week 40 and Still Pregnant

10/13/08: Making the Most of the Last Days of Pregnancy


Since I went early with both the girls, I never thought I would make it to week 40. Yet here I am—still pregnant. At my last doctor's appointment a few days ago, I was very disappointed to learn that I hadn't really progressed much from the week before. I'm still 3 cm and 50% effaced. Of course, I know better than to read too much into these numbers. The baby will come when he's ready. Besides the doctor, much to my chagrin, wants to wait a few days to see if I'll go on my own.

I'm tempted to continue my labor inducing efforts, but truthfully all the energy I've spent thinking about when labor will start has left me feeling anxious and preoccupied. As an alternative, I've decided to refocus my thoughts and tune into my body—instead of fighting it.

Yesterday I picked out a good novel at the bookstore. Even though I haven't read a thing since I became pregnant, I actually feel ready to immerse myself in someone else's story. I've asked my mother-in-law to take the girls for a few days so I can curl up with this book and retreat until the baby arrives. This is such a gluttonous luxury, but I feel it's a matter of survival at this point. The girls certainly aren't benefiting from all my complaining and inability to easily move around. They will have a great time hanging out with someone who can actually walk faster than a snail.

With some kid-free time awaiting me, I'm tempted to clean the house top to bottom once again. I've heard it can put you into labor (oh, there I go again). But instead, I've decided to focus on my mini retreat. I've armed the house with some of my favorite "final days of pregnancy" food. I haven't eaten a dinner in a week. I'm just not very hungry. My stomach can barely accommodate anything. I do love cereal and fresh fruit with plenty of skim milk though. I also enjoy a light salad for lunch. So I've stocked the house with lots of light but healthy pre-labor nourishment. You definitely don't want to go into labor after eating a heavy meal of Mexican or Italian!

I've also planned a few restorative walks—not in the hope it will put me into labor, (OK, I'm lying...maybe it will put me into labor) but as a way to really clear my head and think about the days ahead. This pregnancy hasn't always brought out the best in me (remember this and this). It's certainly stretched me as a parent in many ways. I guess there's wisdom in this because having a third child will stretch me even further. Perhaps the extra days of this pregnancy are really a gift. They are a reminder to stay focused on the present and cherish the things that truly matter.