I’m now four days overdue with Bun, which I know isn’t a lot in the grand scheme of things, but I’m feeling pretty fed up. After weeks of “She’s engaged and ready to arrive at any point!” natter from the midwives etc, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that she’s super comfy in there and is just taking her sweet time. The old adage “Babies come when they’re ready” is so true.
Bringing a new life into the world is extremely exciting, and I feel like I’m living in a world where it’s a sort of perpetual, hormonal Christmas Eve right now. She could arrive at any moment, and the anticipation has me squealing every time I suddenly remember I’m about to have a baby!
However, there is also a frustration that comes with the excitement. Unless you have a c-section or an induction booked, you never know exactly when your baby will be arriving. And if you’re impatient/like to be in control of a situation like me, it can make you feel rather fed up. Add to that the barrage of ill-thought out messages and/or conversations from interested parties as you approach and go past your due date, and you can find yourself feeling more than a little more annoyed…
I understand that people are excited to hear our news, but our new bundle’s arrival isn’t something we’d hide from the world. Constantly texting an expectant mother for news isn’t going to do anything but irritate and put unnecessary pressure on her, which won’t help her go into labour. In fact, it will hinder this.
I’m definitely not alone in wanting to switch off WhatsApp and hide myself away until I’ve had Bun, so I thought I’d put together a guide for what NOT to say to an overdue pregnant lady.
1. “Any news?!”
This is the most common message I’ve received so far. And often this is all that’s said. I feel like texting back: “Yes, we had her 5 weeks ago, we just wanted to keep it a secret. Soz.”
One of my followers on Instagram told me she’s started screen-shotting the BBC News website and just replying with that. I think I might make this my next response.
2. “How are you?”
This message usually comes from someone you haven’t heard from for yonks. A gossip seeker, or someone you’ve lost touch with. Because obviously they’d be the first person you tell about your new family member. My current reply to this is: “Still pregnant! You?”
3. “Haven’t you had the baby yet?”
Pregnant women can be very vulnerable and sensitive, and this is an extremely stress-inducing question. Every time someone asks me this I think: “Am I failing in someway? What am I doing wrong?” and I find myself feeling very under-pressure to spontaneously start labour. Stress can interfere with labour, as it makes your body produce fight-or-flight hormones, such as adrenaline. So maybe leave this question for the internal monologue?
4. “Wasn’t your due date last week?”
Helpful. Because babies are well-known for adhering to dates. Statistically, approximately only 5% of babies arrive on their due date. But hey, thanks for the reminder!
5. “Have you tried… <INSERT NATURAL WAY TO INDUCE LABOUR>?”
I know this question is supposed to be helpful, but once you’ve tried everything, it gets a little bit tiresome. (And I swear the sex suggestion is a falsehood created by the patriarchy because men know it’s the last time you’ll be having sex for at least 8 weeks!)
6. “Gosh, you’ve been pregnant forever haven’t you?!”
Cheers love. If it feels like that for you, imagine what it feels like for me…
7. “Have they booked you for an induction yet?”
This is another question that puts pressure on a mother and makes them feel like they’ve failed in someway… Also, the assumption that as soon as you hit your due date you should be induced is ridiculous. In France, you’re not considered overdue until you hit 41 weeks. Induction comes with its risks and an increase in intervention, so no – thankfully no one has even broached the subject with me yet. (And unless it becomes a medical necessity due to Bun being in distress, I will be turning induction down.)
8. “Baby will come when she’s ready”
I know I’ve said it above. I know it’s true. But I really don’t need to hear it each time I say I’m fed up and uncomfortable. She’s on her way at some point, but I’m completely justified in my feelings of frustration. My feelings are valid.
Here are some things us overdue mums would love to hear!
- “You are looking gorgeous!”
- “I bought you cake/chocolate/a bath bomb.”
- “Fancy going out for lunch?”
- “Can I take the kids for you so you can nap/have a bath?”
- “I understand completely. These last few weeks are frustrating and tough, but you’re doing an awesome job. Let me cut you a piece of that cake and make you a raspberry leaf tea. Sit down and grab a blanket.”
Can you relate? What’s the most frustrating thing someone said to you when you went overdue?