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Overdue and scared

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Hi, my name's PJ and I'm new here.

This is my first baby. My due date was May 12th, so I'm 41 weeks +1. The original due date was the 17th, but after the first ultrasound was changed. My midwife keeps saying I should consider the 17th the real due date, which would make me only 3 days overdue today, rather than 8.

We're planning a home birth. I've been envisioning and dreaming of a beautiful, sacred, natural home birth for years now. I know things can go differently, and at a certain point it's out of my control. I've also been trying to prepare myself for the possibility of ending up in the hospital, maybe with a c-section. You never know....

Now that I'm overdue my fear has really come to the surface. Every day we get closer to this ending in the hospital (although the midwife does have something she can give me first to see if that gets it going). Today my cervix was checked for the first time, and it is completely closed. I know this doesn't necessarily mean anything, as it can theoretically stay closed right up until labor begins. Also, my baby's head is not fully engaged, it's still floating around a bit.

I'm trying not to worry but I am really scared of losing my home birth dream. I'm scared that my body won't do this 'right' and the extreme disappointment that could come from that.

Sorry this is long. I don't know what I'm asking for. If you've had your dreams of natural and/or home birth shattered, how did you get through it? Any advice for how to come closer to accepting that I may not get the dream birth I've always wanted? And should it go to the medical side, how to accept it as it happens and not get overwhelmed with the disappointment in my body? Any stories or support or advice are welcome.

Many thanks.
post #2 of 32
I can tell how concerned about this you are.

Here's the thing: due dates, particularly those that are assigned or changed by ultrasound can be off. I agree with your midwife that if the later due date is by last menstrual period, then you should definitely go with that one. I imagine that changing your due date to earlier felt good when it happened, I mean after all, it means your baby is coming sooner!

By the LMP due date, you are only 3 days late and that's not late at all! Still in the realm of normal, really, since most primiparas (first time moms) gestate until about 41 +3 days. Your cervix is strong and has held your baby in your uterus for all these months, but it's also smart, and knows when and how to let go to let your baby out. Your baby is smart and he or she WANTS to come out; it's just not time.

Addressing your fears and doubts is very normal at the end of pregnancy, though it can be very painful as well. Part of that *is* letting go of the dream and embracing the reality of birth, which it sounds like you are beginning to do.

Patience and peace are what you need for now. If your midwife tells you all is well, believe it! It's the most likely scenario, after all!
post #3 of 32
Oh momma. Those overdue days are so hard.

Remember - 40 weeks is not human gestation, especially for first time moms. The theory that normal pregnancy is 40 was based on NO SCIENCE. The study that the PP refers to found that primiparas on average go 41w 1 day. Now if May 17 was indeed 40 weeks for you, that could mean a bit more of a wait. Which I know will be really hard on you.

Talk it over with your midwife. Get her "permission" to go 42 weeks from May 17, and try to relax. You body and your baby need a little more time. It is normal and healthy.

You can do this!
post #4 of 32
Even though I'm sure it feels like you have been pregnant forever, you aren't overdue - Normal gestation is 37-42 weeks and you are right in the middle of that. Overdue starts at 42+1. And edd is just that - an estimate.

fwiw, my mom went 6 WEEKS past her edd with me (her first).

Hang in there - i went into actual overdue territory with my dd and I know how hard it is.
post #5 of 32
Hang in there and remind yourself that nobody stays pregnant forever. As my (male) colleague said, when I was 9 days past my EDD with my last child, "well, I don't know much about these things, but I suspect you're closer to having your baby now than you were when I last talked to you".

If you or your MW are concerned about baby's health you can always do a NST to check and make sure all is fine. I had one at 41+1 and it was good for peace of mind.
post #6 of 32

My youngest two went to 42+3. I got risked out of the free standing birth center both times. So upsetting, and the treatement from the doctors at the hospital was just yukky.

However, I did have both of them naturally. Short, intense labors, no major complications. Basically I pacified hospital policy by having regular NST's, and then staying home until labor was really going at a good clip. When we arrived, the wonderful midwives attended the birth, I didn't have to see the doctors, and there wouldn't have been much they could do to me anyway since I never got to the hospital before I was 7-8 cm.
post #7 of 32

please try not to be scared. Due dates mean very little, your body and baby will know when the time is right.
Its normal for a first time moms cervix to be tightly closed, even if you are "overdue." trust me, labor will open that cervix right up!

With my first baby I knew when I was ovulating and my dates were accurate. I went a couple days past 42 weeks. He was posterior and his head remained high in my pelvis until several hours into my labor. He didnt rotate either, just came out posterior so it was a long and difficult process. And you know what? Everything still turned out ok!
I had a wonderful homebirth with great outcomes for baby and me.
Read lots of positive homebirth stories involving "overdue" babies and remember that your body is wise, it will know what to do when the time comes. Try to relax and let it
post #8 of 32

I am so sorry you are stressed. I think perhaps spending time pampering yourself will really help. Take a lovely bath with a nice book, get a massage (or have your partner give you one) all of that can really help.

Just remember, once that baby is out you are going to be run ragged so do all the pampering while you still can.
post #9 of 32
I've had 2 "late" babies. One was 16 days late, the next was 11 days late.

Due dates determined by ultrasound can't be entirely accurate, but in general, the earlier they're done, the more accurate they are, which is probably why your midwife is sticking with the 17th. As PPs mentioned, first time moms average 8 days "late". By that, you're still 5 days from average.

I don't know if this would help you or not, but packing a small hospital bag 'just in case' has always helped me relax. Even though I plan (and have had) homebirths, I felt so much better knowing that I was somewhat prepared for other possibilities.
The act of packing the bag is somewhat meditative for me. It gave me time to reflect on and accept uncertainties, which helped me to stop constantly dwelling on them in the back of my mind.
..and I felt that being prepared for a possible transfer of care to hospital was some kind of Murphy's-Law insurance that all would go well.
post #10 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so much for the care and support!

I guess it really does make a difference when we look at this as the 17th being my due date. The only thing is, I'm not sure what is legally allowed (I live in Germany). The 12th is what's been officially and finally recorded (as well as the 17th, but it says "updated" next to the 12th), and they have been using that date for my maternity leave and insurance purposes. I'll talk to the midwife either today or tomorrow and ask her where her liability allows her to go. She may have to work from the 12th, legally speaking, I don't know. But I do know that mentally right now, we're both thinking the 17th. I asked her previously how long we could actually go, and her answer was rather vague, as if there was no specific guideline. She only said it wouldn't get to 20 days overdue....but was not clear if that was a legal thing, or only her experience, or what. Also at that point it was only the 12th and we weren't yet looking at the 17th being my "date".

I have packed a hospital bag, so we'd be prepared for that. And luckily, the hospital we'd go to (unless it was a dire emergency) is nationally renowned as being very natural-birth oriented. It's "Baby Friendly" certified and their C-Section rate is something like 12% and I know they won't recommend nor even let anyone have one unless it's absolutely necessary.

I've also now started giving myself affirmations "My baby knows when to be born, my body knows how to give birth, and I can accept and flow with any situation that arises". I'm not usually an affirmation person, but I'm finding it does help calm me if nervous thoughts arise.

Any other stories, tips, or just support are really helping me. I keep coming back and reading the replies and I feel held in all of your care and experiences. Thank you so much!
post #11 of 32

My first was 10 days post 40, my second was 8 days past 40, I expected to go at least to 41 weeks with my third. She was 13 days past 40 weeks. I was a wreck, also seeing my homebirth slip away, but my midwife was so reassuring and talked about our options. My dates were not 100% reliable so she was comfortable going slightly past 42 weeks. She did an NST and then we went for an ultrasound to make sure we were fine waiting - we were. We talked about membrane sweeps, herb tinctures, but in the end, my daughter came at 40 weeks 13 days. Try to hang in there, discuss natural induction techniques with your midwife, and mostly, remember that dates are not set in stone, and if your midwife is going with May 17 as your due date, I'd go with that.
post #12 of 32

I think every mama gets stressed, on some level, as they pass their due date. Don't think less of yourself because you're a first-time mom. EVERYBODY just wants to have their baby at that point...especially when they're feeling pressure to deliver by a certain date.

I agree with the other posters. Your due date should be the 17th. Your baby likely measured long/tall/big at that first ultrasound because of genetics, and that's why the ultrasound bumped up the date. In two of my three pregnancies, the ultrasound gave an earlier due-date than what I KNEW to be the case.

Relax if you can, do your positive affirmations, and (as silly as this might sound) have conversations with your baby. I'm not usually that kind of person (), but I really think that having a conversation with my first (twins) helped me talk through my fears, encourage the babies to arrive, and to release the tension and expectations of going into labor. It took several conversations, some tear-ful, to release all of my pent-up anxiety and fear, and to stop obsessing about the dates.

You're only a few days overdue! You can do this!
post #13 of 32
I just wanted to offer my limited experience here. I went to the OB at 40+3, at 4pm, when pregnant w/DD1. He checked and told me I was 0cm dilated and barely if any effaced. Baby was also not engaged.

I woke up the next morning at 5am with contractions and had her that evening.

Wonderful advice on this thread, but please don't get attached to the dilating/effacing stats as (like many others said) they really don't mean anything.

Best of luck to you in getting the birth you want.
post #14 of 32
One more piece of advice: don't let anybody do a VE on you again until you are definitely in labor! Hearing how dilated/effaced you are doesn't mean anything and it isn't likely to make you feel any better about going postdates. Just focus on how your body feels, and like a PP recommended, talk to your baby. Don't worry! You have plenty of time yet to have this baby, and it sounds like your MW has plenty of options to exhaust before you have to think about anything but a perfect, peaceful homebirth. Now go pour yourself a glass of wine and relax!!!
post #15 of 32
Originally Posted by Gena 22 View Post
Oh momma. Those overdue days are so hard.

Whew! You can say that again! Ugh, that was some of the worst time in my life. So I really empathize!

I made the stupid mistake of telling all my co-workers my exact due date (early in pregnancy, before I had a clue how stupid it was to assign due dates of 40W 0D - since that's "Nagel's Rule" & not based on..uh, science! Mittendorf's meta-analysis shows 41W 1D to be average for primiparas.)

So I had everyone saying over & over & over, "No baby yet?!" "You're still here?" starting since like 38W along! I stopped working at 40W 0D even though I physically felt fine because I just couldn't take it anymore. I wasn't even having any BH ctrx & was starting to worry that my uterus didn't even work! & the constant comments were pouring salt in my wound.

I got so worked up that on 41W3D, I decided to see a therapist! Not something I've done since college (11 years ago!) but it helped. & I agree that pampering yourself with a massage, etc. - just being indulgent is a great idea.

All that being said, I think it's smart of you to consider the possibility that you may not have the birth you envision. Because some things just are out of our control. I think it's really, really tough to try to focus on positive affirmations & visualize the best, while simultaneously trying to be accepting of the fact that it may not progress how we want. These things are contradictory & it's hard! But I think it's smart to be aware of the reality that birth is unpredictable. (But, again I agree that you aren't even "late" - haven't hit average & it's good to just say focused on positive birth stories.)

Originally Posted by P.J. View Post
She may have to work from the 12th, legally speaking, I don't know.
Yeah, I think you'll definitely want to find that out. As others have noted, some free-standing-birth centers here in the US can't have Mamas birth there past 42W. Laws for HB MWs vary by state & type of credential, so it's inconsistent. If her license REQUIRES her to transfer care (or even attend your birth in hospital) past a certain date, you need to know.

All that being said, there is absolutely, positive, no law that you must be induced! While you may not be able to have your MW attend an HB, you can still decline anything & everything in the hospital if you so chose. & Excellent to hear that you have a baby-friendly hospital nearby! Those are very rare indeed in the US (I think there's something like 15 in the whole huge country. pathetic!)
post #16 of 32
I went from nothing to baby in about 6 hours with my last. Don't stress where things are now...it really, really doesn't matter.
post #17 of 32
Hugs to you!

I wouldn't be too worried about your baby's not showing any signs of being ready to leave. I had no indicators, no contractions, nothing at all... then I woke up at 2AM with really strong, closely-spaced contractions. My son was born just over 2 hours later.

I also think that even if you were to transfer to this hospital, while it may not be what you have envisioned, a nationally renown baby-friendly hospital cannot be so bad. I gave birth in a hospital with a similar reputation here, and it was wonderful. A really nice midwife delivered my son (my doctor didn't make it in time) in a great birthing room complete with birthing pool (which unfortunately I didn't have a chance to use due to the quick labor). And the breastfeeding support was amazing during the Wochenbett, which I think you have in Germany too?

P.S. I did the first half of my prenatal care near Cologne.
post #18 of 32
Germany is a lot more relaxed than the US. If I had to pick between the two I would choose Germany even though I don't speak the language
post #19 of 32

With my last baby I was really worried too once I hit 40 weeks. It was my first homebirth and I was so worried because everyone was worried for me! My family especially would ask everyday, they were worried and would try to give me advice. My mw was not worried at all, and was so helpful! I went to 41w, 3 days! Labor was wonderful, and when he was born he was so beautiful! So worth the wait!

Hang in there mama, your baby will come when he is ready. I know it can be stressful, but your baby and your body know what to do!
post #20 of 32
I had DD at 43+1 weeks and those last 22 days were absolutely interminable!! I was in a similar situation to you where the MW really wasn't being clear with me about what the legal situation/options were (I was in the Czech Republic where HB is almost unheard of and MWs operate under the radar.)

It was awful not knowing at what point she would just say - I'm not going to wait any more; you have to go and be induced. She actually never did (but was crap for other reasons..)

But I totally empathise with how difficult and scary it can be to 'go late' - even though really we shouldn't be put under so much pressure at the end of pregnancy. As many have pointed out, the 40 week 'rule' is archaic and inaccurate. Many, many mamas go well past 40 weeks. 37-42 weeks is considered 'term' (which IMO is BS, since following the bell-curve you've got to give the same amount of time on both sides, so it should be either 38-42, or 37-43) and even beyond that there are mamas who give birth to perfectly healthy babies.

My gran had a VBAC in the 50s at 46(!!) weeks, and all the women in my family, on both sides, have a history of long gestations.

I was also checked at 42+6 weeks - no dilation, almost no effacement. But I still went into labour the next day. It really has no relevance to anything.

Anyway, just wanted to empathise, give you a hug and tell you to hang in there. Your baby knows when to be born, and you won't be pregnant forever, even though it might feel like it right now!!
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