The date is etched in your memory. It’s been there as a mantra for the last 36+ weeks, constantly counted down to day by day, told to the world. As it grows ever closer, you become a heady mix of impatience and procrastination, crossing off activities as the last time you’ll do them without a baby, leaving friends telling them ‘the next time I see you…’. The day comes. On the morning, you wake, analysing every move, every twinge even more so than before. Today is the day. Today my baby comes. And then night falls. There is still time for action. Still time for this show to get on the road. You hold your stomach lightly, willing your body to listen to your words. Today is the day. Today my baby comes. Only it doesn’t. Welcome to the overdue club. Take a seat.
I could talk for hours about the joys of going overdue. I’ve been there. Ten whole painstakingly slow days of it. But rather than bore you silly (can you bore a baby out?! worth a try next time), here are seventeen things you’ll only understand if your baby was overdue…
- You’ve never been so popular on the phone in your life. Every conversation must be started with ‘No, still no baby’ as if you’d secretly snuck off and had it in the middle of the night without telling your mum. Eventually you’ll snap and say ‘I will tell you if it happens you know!!’ which will stop the questioning for all of an hour.
- Secretly you’ll love people asking you if you’ve had it yet. You’ll get affronted when people don’t ask, ‘oh by the way, I’ve still not had the baby, thanks for caring’. There’s no win.
- Every night you’ll go to bed knowing that this is the night. There was a certain different twinge, definitely a bit of a feeling in your waters. You prep the bags, tell the husband and wake up eight hours later without a baby. Who am I kidding, you were up 115 times in the night to wee/rearrange pillow mountain/open the window/close the window/have a drink/deal with heartburn/ponder the meaning of life and so on.
- You’ll do all your pre-baby ‘prep’ – haircut, nails, maybe even a waxing (or blind attack with a blunt razor, whichever you fancy) – ready for your due date meaning you’re actually fast approaching needing to do them again.
- Atleast you would if you hadn’t given up caring about the world. Instead you’re spending your time researching average gestational lengths for elephants and getting lost in Wikipedia.
- You’ve heard every tip known to man about getting the baby moving. If one more person suggests eating pineapple or climbing the stairs, you may just punch someone.
- You’ve bounced on your birth ball for the last 84 hours straight. In fact, you’ve learnt how to do everything whilst bouncing on your birth ball; eat your meal, watch TV, sleep…
- You’ve eaten and re-stocked the snacks from the hospital bag atleast three times a day. It’s become your new go-to snack cupboard.
- You take great delight in freaking people out by telling them how overdue you are. Especially the checkout lady at Tesco. Nothing gives you greater delight than answering ‘When’s it due?’ and watching them treat you like an unexploded bomb when you explain it was eight days ago.
- You forget that you have to actually give birth. You’ve been talking about it for such a long time, it just seems unlikely that it’ll ever happen. Sometimes it’s hard to remember a time when you weren’t due any moment.
- Walking round the block is considered a marathon level distance.
- You wake up each morning with no plans for the day. Why make plans only to cancel them when you go into labour?! Each day is spent scrabbling around for something to do before concluding a day on the sofa will do just fine.
- You make plans just to see if you can jinx the baby into coming. You agree to something hideous, smugly believing that you won’t make it because you’ll be in labour. You’re not. You’re going.
- You openly resent people who have their baby in that inbetween period. How dare they give birth when it’s meant to be you?! Inconsiderate.
- You’re a dab hand at having sweeps done. Scary?! Pfft, you’ve had loads!
- You start to become quite proud at how overdue you are. Oh really, you’re only seven days? I’m nine. That’s right. My life is worse than yours right now.
- You’ve made your peace with induction. In a way, it’s quite nice knowing the date that your baby’s coming, you can get your hair done, tidy the house, do the… wait, was that a twinge? No, I’m not ready!!!