Lady In Waiting: Staying Sane Past Your Due Date

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21 days. That’s the amount of time I’ve spent in post-due date limbo. 15 days the first pregnancy, a relatively short six days the second. The first time around, my due date had already been pushed back eight days. So, in total, I’ve had to wait 29 extra days for my babies. That’s an entire leap-year February. But… who’s counting? {Excuse me as my laughter devolves into tears.}

Passing your due date is a mental challenge as much as a physical one. Here is my advice– take it or leave it– on how to survive those completely unfair extra days of pregnancy:

Take note from the French.

During my second pregnancy, my OB-GYN informed me that in France, due dates are based on 42 weeks of gestation. Adjust your expectations early. By the end of that 42nd week, you WILL have your baby. No matter how many times people ask the estimated due date, don’t get attached. That date means nothing. Nothing!

Treat yo’self!

Schedule something. Anything. A massage. A mani/pedi. Dinner with friends. A trip to your favorite coffee shop. A special date with your older child if you have one. Something that you can look forward to but wouldn’t mind canceling in the happy event that you go into labor.

Create a patent response.

Copy. Paste. Repeat. You will receive many check-in texts and calls. “Is the baby here yet?” “Any signs of labor?” “You just keep getting bigger!” “Have you lost your mucus plug?” Which reminds me: it’s completely normal if your patent response becomes increasingly snarky over time. Tell yourself that these people are asking because they care, and they also can’t wait to meet your little one.

Make a list of extra projects to accomplish before Baby arrives.

Clean out your refrigerator. Organize your dresser drawers. Dust the floorboards. Make a(nother) freezer meal. It totally counts if you get your partner or your mom to do it. For me, as an unabashed “To Do List” person, staying task-oriented kept my mind occupied.

Or don’t.

If you are done nesting, and all you want is to lounge on the couch with your feet up, checking Instagram, while someone fetches you ice cream, you’ve earned that. Guilt-free.

Look up fun holidays or family birthdays

…to justify why each day after the due date would be special. Maybe your baby is a week late, but he could be born on your grandma’s birthday or National Ice Cream Day! Worth it. Maybe

Remember, you get bragging rights.

You join a special group of women when you go past your due date, or in special cases, your due month. You’ll be better able to commiserate with friends who have been or one day will be in your shoes.

Repeat after me: “I WILL have this baby one day.” When you lay eyes on that sweet bundle for the first time, the date on the calendar (and the path you took to get there) won’t matter.

Did your babies arrive fashionably (or unfashionably) late?
What helped you cope as you waited for your little ones?

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I’m a stay-a-home mom to a 3-year-old boy, Theodore, and his baby brother, James, and a wife to my husband of 5 years, Gabe. I grew up in a small town in Michigan, and though I sometimes miss the country, I love living in Metro Detroit! I enjoy reading, playing piano, traveling, trying new restaurants, craft beer, and Michigan sports (Go Blue!). I graduated with a Bachelor's in Psychology and Sociology from U of M in 2009, and received my Master of Social Work degree from Boston University in 2013. Though I'm not currently working, I've found that my degrees turned out to be great training for parenthood!

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