Posted in Blog, Emotional wellness, Friends, Life as a mom, Love and marriage, Mother, Posts for mommies-to-be, Recovering from childbirth, Shawna, Wife, Woman

How I survived the two weeks AFTER my due date

This time last year, I was very, very pregnant. My due date had come and gone and I’d stopped working a few weeks before, so my primary occupation was waiting for my baby.

Throughout my pregnancy, I had heard that the average first baby is eight days “late,” but I still didn’t expect that to happen to ME. My baby had turned head down early, she had dropped early, and my Braxton Hicks had been building for months.

At 40-plus weeks, squatting in yoga placed intense pressure on my cervix, and my cute round belly had started looking more like a deflated beach ball. I was ready to pop any moment, wasn’t I??!!

Amazingly, the two weeks between my due date and my baby’s birth ended up being a pretty magical time. During week 41, I rented silly, girly movies to watch “with my daughter,” spent an hour or two a day in the Magnolia Pool and practiced to yoga three times a week. I walked the hills of Phinney Ridge, sat and read in my baby’s nursery and sucked on fruit popsicles. I did a million cat-cow poses.

During week 42, I made playlists that I could use for the different stages of labor, including some of my favorite upbeat songs for the early, giddy moments, more mellow stuff for the middle, and ocean waves and didgeridoo for transition and beyond. I took copious notes on every early contraction during the three days that my early labor built. I walked around Greenlake and enjoyed people’s horrified reactions after they asked me when I was “due.” “Is your car nearby?” they would always ask, slightly panicked.

The hardest part was surviving the constant calls and emails from well-meaning family and friends. I would have three different “Are you still pregnant?” texts and messages awaiting me each morning, and receive dozens more throughout the day. Baby inquiries littered my wall on Facebook. I toyed with leaving a preemptive message myself: “I promise to tell you when I’m no longer pregnant, but only if you stop asking.”

Instead, my husband and I decided to make and eat a Dutch Baby every morning until our real baby arrived. We took a picture every day of the crisp, eggy pancake, sometimes with lemon and powdered sugar, other times with fresh berries or bananas and cinnamon, and posted in on our baby blog. “If you see a new Dutch Baby on the blog,” we told our relatives, “there is no real baby yet.”

On the thirteenth day after my due date, I ate my last Dutch Baby with blueberries and lemon juice. I went to the pool in the morning, then had my third acupuncture session. I had strong early contractions all day and listened to my upbeat labor playlists. By 5 a.m. the next morning, I was listening to the didgeridoo at the birth center.

At 11:30 a.m. on June 14, I gave a last hard push and felt my little girl come surging out in to my midwife’s arms. She let out a small, healthy little cry as I let out a long, well-deserved sigh of relief. I lifted my head to look at her tiny, perfect face as she rested on my chest. She smiled faintly and settled her cheek on to my belly, my husband’s arms around us both. I’m grateful that we all had the extra time to prepare.

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  1. I love the Dutch Baby thing! Dee-licious!

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