A year ago today was my due date. To be honest, I had almost forgotten what it felt like to be pregnant. I know, how could I have forgotten *insert monkey holding head in hands emoji* but all the amazing, positive memories I’ve had since seem to have blocked out all my painful pregnancy and birth-related memories. Good job, otherwise I don’t think I could even consider having any more children.
All of my late pregnancy and labour memories have stayed packed away in a little box in my mind. That was until someone asked me today if my daughter was born on her due date and they all came flooding back. No, she definitely wasn’t born on her due date.
When I was five days overdue and still clinging to the last dregs of optimism that ‘today was the day- I definitely felt a twinge’, my sister told me to calm myself down because I wouldn’t be having the baby anytime soon.
I’m from a long line of ‘overdue’ baby-cookers, you see. My sister went two weeks overdue with both of my nieces, my mum went two weeks overdue with both of her daughters and so did my grandmother.
Despite knowing all this information, I was determined that this wouldn’t happen to me and she would arrive on time.
Here’s a list of things I tried to bring on labour (that didn’t work)…
- Drank copious amounts of raspberry leaf tea
- Ate dates. Six. Every. Single. Day
- Ate pineapple
- Ate curry
- Ate all the spicy foods
- Walked five miles a day. Yup even at 10 days overdue. A tortoise could have lapped me.
- Stepped up and down curbs (because it ‘ brings on labour’ apparently)
- Bounced on a birthing ball. On the daily
- Had three, soul-destroying sweeps
- Cried. A lot
- Had acupuncture
- Maniacally ‘nested’ and cleaned my house
- Maniacally Googled ‘How accurate is your due date’ & ‘How to bring on labour’
- The other thing…you get my gist
Despite doing all this, my beautiful daughter didn’t turn up until I was thirteen, yes, THIRTEEN days overdue after a very long , very slow three-day labour ending in a very pleasant (and thankfully quick) c-section.
In hindsight, I wish I had just chilled out and enjoyed the peace and quiet before she came along. I definitely wish I hadn’t spent so much of the later stages of pregnancy stressed to the max, wasting energy I would definitely need post-labour and putting unnecessary pressure on myself for a date that is only a rough estimate at best.
In the words of my lovely midwife (who I paid exactly zero notice of) ” You can’t hurry labour. The baby will come when they are ready. Not when you are ready.”