When Overdue Becomes Overwhelmingby Debbi Baldwin
With my first child, I went two weeks overdue and had to be induced. For me, it was a scary, painful and very long process, although ultimately the birth was reasonably straightforward and being able to hold my son afterwards more than made up for it.
However, the whole experience made me promise myself that next time would be different, that there was no way I’d be overdue again. I’m not sure how I thought that was going to work, but in my exhausted post-birth state it seemed like a promise I could reasonably expect to keep.
Alas, I was obviously deluding myself. I am currently a week overdue with my second child, and the panic is setting in. And it’s not just being induced that scares me. Because I didn’t go into labour naturally last time I have no idea what to expect this time. I want to go out and go about my life as normal because maternity leave is very lonely, but at the same time, I’m terrified of going into labour away from home and having my waters break in the street, in a shop or in a cafe. I had the same fears last time, and my mum and dad used to pick me up and force me out of the house to be sociable for a while. I know they meant well, but every outing just made me more and more anxious, and the same feelings are returning now.
My back up plan this time is to have at least one sweep. I avoided it last time because it was never really properly explained to me what one was, and it just sounded very invasive and uncomfortable, but can’t imagine it could be as bad as being induced, so I’m willing to give it a try this time.
The other negative to baby not arriving when she was supposed to is that every person you have ever met bombards you with texts and messages to ask if there have been any updates. Again, I know they mean well, but surely they should realise that there would be an announcement if the baby had arrived? And then I feel more fed up and guilty that I have no news for them, which is obviously stupid but that’s how my mind is now working.
For now, I am trying to stay positive and focus on the extra rest I’m getting before the chaos starts again, and trying to look forward to baby arriving (hopefully sooner rather than later!).