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Mothering › Groups › February 2013 Due Date Club › Discussions › Anxiety about going past 40 weeks

Anxiety about going past 40 weeks

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

So, I know a decent amount about birth. I've attended about 25 births as a doula, and had my son in a great natural hospital birth. I'm planning on doing the same thing this time around.


However, I've been feeling a lot of anxiety (already!) about not going "late", and by late I mean much past 40 weeks. This worry mostly stems from the fact that both my mother and mother-in-law live overseas, and there are only specific dates they can come help me out. My mother will come for a week or so in March, so that's not a problem, but my mother-in-law is going to be my main support system for the first few weeks. Next week she is traveling all the way from Congo to help me out, which I'm thrilled about. Problem is that she flies out February 22. Since my CNM-given due date (last possible one) is February 12, I am worried that I'll go to 41+ weeks and then not have much help at all for the baby's first few weeks. My husband can only take a few days off.


I know that it is SUPER pointless to worry about this, but I can't seem to help it. I thought maybe writing my fears out would help? Also, my EDD by ovulation is 2/10, and my early first trimester ultrasound measured baby's EDD as 2/6, so hopefully that bodes well for me...


My midwives won't allow for elective induction until at least 41 weeks (which I'm grateful for, and don't think I'd want to do anyway), but I think they may be willing to strip my membranes at 39 or 40 weeks. I'll have to decide at the time if I want that...


For what it's worth, my son was born at either 39.6 or 40.1.


Anyway, I obviously know that this will happen when it happens. But maybe I'm looking for some encouragement that everything will work out fine? I know that I'm stressing myself out unnecesarily, but I can't seem to help it. Any tips for being more zen about all of this?

post #2 of 12
Hugs, mama. Don't really know what to suggest.
I know full well that when my pregnant brain is stressing or fixated on something it can be hard to let it go.
Maybe just plan on making time for things that help you relax and NOT think about when baby will come. Take baths? Sex? Walks? Movies? Books? Activities outside of the house?
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Odinsmama. It really isn't constantly that I'm worried about it, but I think of the possibilities of going late I get anxious.


As I get closer to EDD, I'll probably think about it more and then I think I will proactively plan some fun stuff to get my mind off of things. It's better to plan things and have to cancel then to not have enough going on...

post #4 of 12

I feel you about anxiety about going 'late.'  I am hoping for a VBAC at a supportive hospital, but they are a hospital all the same and will be pushing for induction at 41 weeks.  With my first child I was forced into induction at 41 weeks because of low amniotic fluid and things snowballed from there ending with an unplanned c-section and I have big time anxiety that I am going to have a repeat...  I am already starting evening primrose oil and trying to walk daily and I am 35 weeks now.  Hopefully we will both have little guys to cuddle with sooner than later. 

post #5 of 12

Maybe you could try to balance things out by thinking about how a late baby might be an easier baby? or how you may not need that much help? visualize your mature, happy baby, who is a good nurser and sleeps well - and your speedy recovery..  be prepared with a special selection of toys/books for your older child to keep him entertained while you nurse and rest with the baby..  a basket of one handed snacks for you and snacks for your son..  if you're prepared for doing more on your own, and you don't need to be, then even better, right?   if it helps any, for me 1-2 was the easiest transition ever.. i was all prepared with help and was able to manage just fine on my own. (my ODD was 25 months)

post #6 of 12

great advice above!  all of them. 


i will say my late one who i had no help with was the EASIEST baby ever.  she slept through the night almost from birth, and napped all day, and was just nothing like my other babies.  my more on-time babies were much needier and took a lot more effort and energy.


prepare the best you can, and know that you will have the grace and strength to do it, even if it doesn't work out according to plan.  w/ my second, it was hard b/c she was late, and i had to keep busy.  my DS was 2 years on the button (she was due on his birthday, but didn't pay attention), and i didn't get to plan a lot of support as my family is in florida, and my in-laws are in missouri and i'm in massachusetts.  and my husband was a full-time grad-student and working.  i had my mom in town til baby was about a week old, then in-laws for another week.  but i was glad to get my little family back to myself.  i wanted more down time w/ my son and new daughter, and they were so much fun.  i loved that time.  it was hard, but it wasn't bad at all.  

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks ladies! That's very encouraging. HoP, my husband is also a full-time grad student and working full-time as we have number two. smile.gif


My oldest is almost 3, so in some ways I think that may be easier than him being 2 (he talks well, can fetch some things I need when I'm nursing, etc.) and in some ways I wonder if it will be more difficult just because he's been in a very independent/non-compliant stage lately. But of course, every stage has it's good and hard parts, and he seems excited about baby sister.


I do keep reminding myself that a well-done baby is a GOOD thing. I appreciate that with my son breastfeeding was relatively easy and straightforward, and I never had to worry much about weight gain since he was so big.

post #8 of 12

I am also having some anxiety about going late, but more because I really don't think I can make it 5 more weeks with this pregnancy. :/ (i am 37 weeks today) Thankfully I have help once baby is born, but I have been in such a funk the last 3 weeks that I could REALLY use some help NOW. :( and DS2 went to almost 42 weeks, so there is a good chance that this baby will too.


I agree with the others about being prepared with new toys/books/movies for your DS (as well as a good carrier so you can wear your DD while playing with your DS!!) and things for you too... Maybe start teaching him some things he can do independantly, like snacks he can get for himself (fruit, string cheese, make up a trail mix in small serving containers he can grab), teach him to use the DVD player, etc.... I have to admit my transition from 1-2 was HARD, for about the first 6 months I wasn't sure I would make it. I did not have much help though, and this time around we have a lot more help in place. DS1 was only 27 months though, but he was a very "old" 2 yo (is still very "old" for his age).. DS2 is a MUCH younger 2 yo so i am a bit nervous, but he has big brother to play with and who can help get snacks, etc and knows how to work the dvd player, i have a few carriers for DS3, and we saved some of their christmas presents and movies to give to them after DS3 is born. DH will have a week off of work, and his parents now live around the corner from us (they were 30 minutes away before) and my mom is 5 minutes away.. and they've all offered quite a bit of help. I am very thankful for all of that.


I just don't know that I can keep plugging away like this for 5 more weeks. 3 weeks? maybe. we are at the point that i am not leaving the house alone (too physically difficult getting the boys in and out of the car with my round ligament issues, plus they don't exactly stay with me or listen well :/ ), neither of my kids nap, and i am limited in how much standing/moving/walking i can do, so the days have been very looooong around here.

post #9 of 12

Hopefully everything will work out for you, Rach. No matter when the baby comes, pretty soon those first few weeks will be a hazy memory anyway. You'll get through it. That's what I tell myself at least.

Catie, I feel the same way. I've become so uncomfortable and homebound that I just can't imagine going more toward the 41/42 mark. 3, 4, 5 more weeks of this? AHHHHHH. Give me 1 or 2 please!

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks, ladies.


Jean and Catie, that sounds really rough. I hope someone in your lives offers up a good break for you soon! And we can still hope for 40 weekers, right? :)


I'm sort of a statistics nerd, so I found this and thought it was really interesting: A study on the length of pregnancy. I mean, obviously we are all going to have babies when we have babies, but according to this survey of thousands of moms, MOST non-induced women really do go into labor around the 40 week mark. It's not completely arbitrary. I love how she's charted the stats!

post #11 of 12

I sounds like "going late" itself isn't your worry.  :)  It's the not having help if you do...


Can you work out a contingency plan?  I get Postpartum Anxiety and one of my triggers is being alone with the baby plus its sibling(s).  I'm working on a list of things I can do if I'm left alone with three kids.  (Fortunately, my DH is a SAHD, so the chance is somewhat rare, but he does go do things like see movies, etc for his own mental health too!)


Make some meals, buy some "instant meals," make sure there are lots of decently healthy snacks to feed #1 and plenty of movies.  Shop for a bag of new toys and bring out one at a time when you just need him to stop needing you for a minute.  All these things could really help you when you're stuck in that period between helpers.  Lower all of your standards: don't plan to clean, cook, or get either child dressed.  If showering makes you feel normal, make that your single goal for the day and reward yourself with chocolate ice cream when you do that.


Schedule playdates (that is, people who will let #1 come over for an hour or two), ask for people to bring meals.


I completely get that fear of not having help...hopefully venting here, and making a plan, will help a little.



post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by kdorrain View Post

I sounds like "going late" itself isn't your worry.  :)  It's the not having help if you do...

Yes, it's this...plus the pressure of my sweet MIL coming all the way from Africa to help me and then possibly hardly getting to see her granddaughter. :( But again, there's no point in worrying about it.


I am going to begin stocking up on little fun toys for DS. It will help us not go to crazy with the TV watching!

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