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I know it is not an unusual occurrence - induction. Happens with homebirth midwives, happens with hospital providers. Either way, it's fraught with angst, fear and anxiety during a time when women should be gettin' lots of lovin' and rest.

The belief system behind inductions based on the due date are flawed. This has been shown to be true over and over. Our bodies are not machines.

But, still, it must be hard to deny a care provider the opportunity to induce you anytime after 39 weeks.

Please - share your story of going past your due date. It would be great to get positive stories, but I know that they are all welcome and will be respected. Let's speak the truth about our bodies, our wisdom, and trust. We cannot continue to take part in the fear!


A story about a client of mine, birthing at four weeks, two days past her due date:

It's a girl!
It's a girl!

She called me around 12:30am early this morning, letting me know that contractions were starting, irregular at around 10 minutes apart, but that she was bleeding quite a bit. With the whole due date issue, I wanted to listen to baby and check out the bleeding, so I went over there around 1:00am. I stayed for an hour, listened to baby, assessed the bleeding (just bloody show), and then mom took a shower and wanted to go to bed. I left their house with instructions to call if things changed.

Got a call at 5:30 this morning, things were moving, about 2-3 minutes apart and lasting at least 60 seconds, sometimes longer. Got there at 6:15am. Mom did amazing, threw up quite a bit, but managed to maintain through it all. Baby did beautifully through the labor and mom started pushing around 12:40pm in the tub. She was on hands and knees, I held her hand and sat in front of her while she guided baby out with the other hand. Dad caught his little baby girl at 1:19pm. Her beautiful big eyes were staring right up at him under the water (a nice benefit for hands & knees births!), her two little fists under her chin. He handled the birth like a pro (of course!) and mom had some little tears at the top of her inner labia from those baby fists. No repairs necessary, just lots of down time and some comfrey leaf.

Both grammas were there and were crying as she pushed - it brought tears to my eyes over and over. Baby looked to be about 43 weeks, but she was lovely! The placenta was gorgeous (what a testament to taking care of yourself nutritionally!) - I thanked it for helping this baby go as long as she needed to. Long after the placenta was born, I cut the umbilical cord off the placenta and wrapped it in a spiral to dry (mom wants to save it in a medicine bag for the baby). I then put the placenta in the freezer, where mom and dad will plant it with a curly willow tree on gramma's property.

Baby weighed in at 8lbs 6oz, 21" long. Four weeks past the due date, with mom sure of her intention to not intervene and trust the time her baby needed.

It was like a 9-5 birth! Wow! What a beautiful experience that I'm so glad we all trusted in the process for! Now, I'm eating a blueberry yogurt parfait with granola, thinking that in a few days I'd like to get a large, large, large margarita and spend an evening making love to my honey without worries about phone calls in the midst of it all.

A moving birth to kick off my off-call time and my vacation! I am so fortunate to witness events like this - when the world is so full of fear, hostility, anger and violence, I get to see the strongest women birth their babies in peace.

- And here's an entry from my journal:

Once these next two clients have their babies, I'm off call for a wonderful three months! Of course, the longer these mamas go, the shorter my off-call time is - lol! Not that I think about it much, but I do want to go camping with my girl a bit and also have a couple margaritas.

The 50cm mama normally goes two weeks over. So, she, as much as she wanted it to be different this time (this is her tenth baby), is resigned to waiting. The other mama was originally due around the 13th of March. Then, you figure in an additional three days (because the due date is based on a 28 day cycle and she has 31 days), give or take four or five days just for being a first time mom and you have...well, whatever you have, it's past that.

This is the time in the pregnancy where it becomes a real pain in the ass to be a pregnant mama. Everyone calling your house, asking if you've had the baby yet. Have they forgotten that you told them you would call them right away when you did have the baby? "Oh, I'm sorry, Uncle Fred, we had the baby two weeks ago and just completely forgot to call anyone..."

Within the medical model of (s)care, the placenta is viewed as an organ that has an expiration date. Just completely fails at a certain date. We know from studies and experience that this is not true. A placenta CAN start to deteriorate at any point in the pregnancy - usually from poor nutrition, smoking, or unknown causes. For normal, healthy pregnant women, the placenta is an incredible ever-changing organ specifically designed to meet the needs of the baby. I trust that our bodies are wise and know exactly when the perfect time for birth is. Our western model of medicine does not have that same trust.

This does not mean that I am naive. That I don't realize that these babies that go longer sometimes need to be watched a bit closer in labor. The vast majority of the time, things are beautiful and go well without any help from me.

What is the DUE DATE, really? It's an approximation of gestation. What influences gestational length? Many things COULD influence it - we don't know for sure. Sometimes familial history, baby's health, mother's health, etc. What I do know is that most women aren't able to find out how long their babies "cook" for - they are routinely induced on their due date, sometimes before. This is not a fault necessarily of our medical system. Women ask - BEG - to be induced. They need to know in their last month of pregnancy how far dilated they are. Family and friends now have enough information about labor/birth that they ask. Just like asking if people are having a boy or girl - it's just expected that after you're prenatal you'll be able to report to Aunt Susan the condition of your cervix. Most women (or their partners) in their last month of pregnancy don't touch their vulva/vagina as often as their care providers do! This should be reversed - less touching by those not intimately involved with them - more touching in loving, feel-good ways by themselves and those that are in love with them!

...Not that it matters, checking the cervix, I mean - I've seen mamas at 5cm for weeks. I've seen women be closed and thick one day, then start labor the next and have a smooth, fast labor. It's no indication of WHEN that twinge will turn into the "real thing".

Since so many labors are started for convenience, many people get freaked out if a woman is over her due date. There must be something wrong, they chatter amongst themselves. "How long will you let her go?" is a common question I'm asked by relatives and friends. Like it's my journey - like I dictate when labor starts. I usually smile and remind them that the baby is doing fine, and that mom is healthy. We cannot ask for anything more than that - and we are grateful to have that.

It's the first lesson in parenting: realizing that you are NOT in control. That there is another being that has his/her own agenda...and you must do your best to accommodate them or be patient. You're not the only one on this journey. It's a sucky lesson and it is not without pain and discomfort.

I usually call my past dates clients a couple times a week, aside from our regular prenatals, to check in. I make sure, usually from their partners, that they are releasing emotion (although, most of the time, the tears flow easily at the visits when asked) and that there is no undue pressure from the outside about the dates. We go over conception dates, last menstrual period dates, and varying ways to determine due dates beyond the typical common method (Nagle's Rule). We play with baby through palpation more at the visits, look at the clothes, the baby's room, etc. I listen to baby longer, expecting rises in the heart rate with movement and some variability in the rate. I make sure mom is feeling safe and supported - and that there is no underlying fear holding her back. We wait together. My family waits.

Tonight, we were watching "Anne Frank" on DVD (highly recommend it - it's the one with Ben Kingsley) and the phone kept ringing. I ignored it and let it go to voice mail. My daughter said at one point, "You should get it because it could be a mama in labor!" I reminded her about my pager and told her that people know to call my pager. (I rarely let the phone go - I should more often, though....)

The longest I had a client go? Well, we weren't completely sure of her dates, but if we went by her one and only period (she was nursing), then it was five weeks past the due date. However, after the birth and all (from looking at her baby), I would guess she was only a week over. It's pretty rare to have a mama go a full four weeks or more after the due date. Not unheard of, just rare. Usually it's a dating issue. This mama labored beautifully and had a VBAC at home - after being told she had a pelvis that was too small to birth a baby (and this baby was only six ounces less than her big brother).

That five weeks, though, was not easy. We ended up doing some testing and a biophysical profile at week three - which revealed all was well. The nurses at the hospital, however, were flipping out. They couldn't believe it...even after I explained the whole dating thing and her nursing - that we weren't sure about the dates. The physician we scheduled the testing through spoke to me on the phone at the nurse's station..."Get out of that hospital now before all hell breaks loose! Don't stay any longer!" We had the doc on our side - and managed to slide out peacefully....but not without two nurses tentatively asking me, "How much longer are you going to let her go?"

Self-nurturing is important these last weeks. Massage, baths, going to movies, crying, laughing, and spending time with friends and your partner are important. So is not answering the phone. Having a blessingway. Making a belly cast. Getting a facial. A haircut. Masturbating in the afternoon. It's all about self-love and savoring those last few days/weeks where your baby is much more portable and easy to carry diaper bags, no clunky car seats, no breastpads...

Still, I think I have the easiest time waiting. My back doesn't ache, I don't have heartburn, I'm not looking microscopically at the toilet paper for plug or bloody show, and my feet aren't swollen. I don't have the cashier at the grocery store tsk-tsk'ing me when I come in STILL pregnant.

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Oh pamamidwife, I love reading everything you write. You are so supportive of birth the natural way, birth the way I saw it/see it. Everytime I see your words at mdc I wish you had been my midwife. You should come up to Olympia and teach the midwives a thing or two, mostly about trust in their clients intuition.

I am crying again now, 81/2 months after ds was born. I still cannot let go of this grieving over the birth. I am not ready to write it all down. I can't do it yet.

Thank you for post this thread. I hope to read other mama's beautiful and challenging stories. You are a great asset to the birthing/mothering/human community.

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Interesting you should post this today, Pamamama!
I'm an apprentice and my close friend who's having a baby with us is entering into her 43rd week of pregnancy (43+ weeks if we go by LMP, but less by possible conception date). She's 44 (45 in a couple of weeks) and having her 3rd baby.

I have to say that because she's my friend, it's been trying for me! I'm much more involved than i have been with some of the other clients who have gone over since I became an apprentice-- though none has gone this far over.

I'm getting loads of phone calls from people who don't want to bother her, but keep asking me those same questions-- HOW LONG WILL YOU LET HER GO!-- AREN"T YOU WORRIED?-- WHAT DOES THE MW THINK?-- ISN"T IT DANGEROUS FOR THE BABY?

Anyhow... i'm just sharing a little of my anxiety!

But we have had several really nice "overdue" babies last year.
One in particular was a 2nd time mama who switched to midwifery care in her last month and wen't over 2.5 weeks. She had a 3 hour labor, pushed for 6 minutes and had a 10lb 13 oz baby girl gently in the water.
Her birth was one of my most favorite!!!



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ElisabethÕs Home Birth -- at 42 Weeks

I was told that my due date was January 2, 2001 Ð the second day of the millennium. However, I had a feeling my baby would come in her or his own sweet time. For one thing, my due date was based on the date of my last menstruation, assuming a 28 day cycle, which I have never had (try 32-48 days). For another, it was my first baby, and first babies tend to wait just a bit longer than subsequent babies. And for another thing, the women in my family tend to have longer than average pregnancies. Therefore, I did not let the nurse-midwives who comprised my back-up team pressure me into having any "non-stress tests," which are standard procedure beginning the day a woman reaches her due date. I was determined not to expose my baby to ultrasound in any form during my pregnancy.

On the Monday following my due date, I woke up to painless contractions which came at regular intervals and then stopped abruptly when my partner left for work (evening shift). On Tuesday, I experienced the same phenomenon. On Wednesday morning we went to a prenatal appointment with the Certified Professional Midwife who would be attending my homebirth, and told her what was happening. "Yes," she said, "I have a feeling this baby is going to come on the weekend, when you know that your partner is going to be home."

Sure enough, that Friday evening, I started having contractions that were not painless. When my partner came home (around midnight), I had been in labor for several hours. I was not concerned Ð I knew it would be a while Ð but my partner immediately called the Midwife, waking her up. She told us to go to bed, which we did. I slept between contractions.

The next three days were a blur, and I canÕt remember what things happened on what days, so I may get some things a bit out of order. I was in first-stage (non-pushing) labor for 72 hours Ð although my Midwife says that "only" the last 17 hours was "real" labor, and everything up to that point was "pre-labor." However, I did not notice a difference. It all seemed real to me. I was having painful contractions the whole time Ð they never stopped coming. They were all over the place Ð 1/2 hour apart, 2 minutes apart, 15 minutes apart, 1 minute apart, 20 minutes apart Ð no perceptible pattern. Seemingly random contractions, throughout the entire 3 days.

I believe it was on Saturday that my mother arrived, and I believe it was Sunday when my midwives arrived for the first time. As soon as they arrived, my contractions went from 2 minutes apart to 30 minutes apart, so they eventually went home and came back the next day. If someone watched me too intently during a contraction, and I felt too "observed," the contraction would "peter-out" halfway through.

I had to have someone pressing as hard as they could on my lower back for the duration of each contraction, or the pain was unbearable. My partner and my mother took turns doing this. Oddly, the pain was not in my lower back, but in my lower abdomen, yet somehow I knew that my lower back was where I needed the pressure. I spent most of the contractions sitting in a rocking chair, which seemed to be the most comfortable position for me. I soaked in a warm bath for a while, but it was harder for people to press on my back, so I got out. The worst was having to pee, which I had to do frequently because I was drinking so much water. Peeing always triggered a contraction, and the toilet was the least comfortable place to have one.

When the Midwives arrived on Monday, there was an unavoidable disruption in my progress. They needed me to lie on my back while they listened with a fetoscope and felt my abdomen during a contraction. It was very uncomfortable to have a contraction in that position. This disruption again caused my contractions to go from 1 or 2 minutes apart to 20 or 30 minutes apart. This may be because my mental focus went from inward, before they arrived, to outward, after they arrived and wanted me to do things and have things done to me. I was grateful for their involvement, however, because the baby was not in a very good position, and they needed me to do certain things to get the baby into a better position. For one thing, I had to walk in a very comical way, called a duck-walk, lifting my knees way up with each step. They also wanted me to kneel and lean forward over an exercise ball. At one point I was absolutely exhausted and wanted to try to sleep for a while, and they suggested that I kneel and lie forward over the giant exercise ball and sleep in that position. That is the most uncomfortable I have ever been in my life, and I couldnÕt sleep in that position any more than I could sleep standing on one leg.

I finally reached transition, but didnÕt know it. I remember screaming through each contraction, and the Midwives telling me to drop my jaw, which lowered the pitch of the sound I was making. I felt like I couldnÕt do it any more (the surest sign of transition, but I didnÕt recognize it). At one point a contraction hit and I yelled "No!" and my mother corrected me: "YES!" Ð she wanted me to welcome the contraction. Never have I wanted more to hit someone. I remember saying "I just need a break!" (I had tried, the two previous nights, to give myself a break by soaking in a hot tub and drinking some wine so that I could sleep a little during the night Ð it slowed it down the first night, but didnÕt stop the contractions from coming. It didnÕt even slow them down the second night. It was impossible to sleep through the contractions.) I started babbling incoherently: something about "everyone deserves a break!"

I went into the bedroom and sat on the bed. The Midwives suggested that they check my dilation, and if I was no where near 10 centimeters, I might want to go to the hospital just so that they could give me something to let me sleep. I actually started to consider it. I told the Midwives that my partner and I would discuss it, and they realized that the two of us needed to be left alone. My mother was sleeping in the spare room. The Midwives left me and my partner alone in our bedroom and closed the door. Instead of discussing the MidwivesÕ suggestion, my partner and I laid down on our sides on the bed. My partner promptly fell asleep. I, myself, went into complete denial. "IÕm not having a baby. ThereÕs nothing I have to deal with. ThereÕs no decision I have to make. IÕm just going to go to sleep!" (Yeah, right.) I basically just gave up, and closed my eyes. I stopped trying to "do it." I stopped trying to "deal with it" or handle it or think through it.

As it turned out, this is exactly what I needed to do. My Midwives had told me that I shouldnÕt try to control labor or intellectualize it, and I had agreed with them, but I thought that just trying to deal with it Ð just "taking" it, without collapsing into a sobbing heap or something -- was passive enough not to interfere with labor. It wasnÕt. I needed to mentally let go. I needed to "give up" and just let my body do its thing.

Almost immediately, I had a pushing contraction. I sat bolt-upright. "Did I just have a pushing contraction?" I couldnÕt believe it. I waited for the next one, and when it came, I pushed with it a little. I felt something move Ð I felt something give Ð I felt my water break! "Did my water just break? I think my water just broke!" I poked my partner awake. I showed him the wet pad I was sitting on. "Go get the Midwives!" I said. I have never been so relieved in my entire life. I felt a rush of energy. I had been completely exhausted, but now I was wide awake, and alert, and excited. It felt so good to actually be able to do something with the contractions Ð to work with them Ð to push, and feel movement Ð feel myself make progress. I remembered my mother describing pushing contractions as feeling "wonderful." I had thought that she meant "painless," and when she came in the room with the Midwives, I promptly informed her that they were not painless. However, I didnÕt care about the pain. The pushing contractions WERE wonderful, because I didnÕt have to just "take" them. That was what she had meant.

The Midwives went into high gear. They worked together like a well-oiled machine, getting everything prepared and positioning themselves on the floor in front of me. I squatted on a birthing stool, with my partner behind me. He put his arms around me and we held hands. The pushing stage took 45 minutes, but it felt like 15 to me. When I pushed, I roared like a lion and pushed forward with my arms, still holding hands with my partner. I pulled on his arms so hard, he probably felt like they were being ripped from their sockets. I needed resistance to push against.

After each push, the Midwives told me I was doing great; I was doing beautifully. They told me to reach in and feel the head, which I tried to do, but I couldnÕt feel anything. They held warm compresses against me, which felt absolutely wonderful. I would be roaring like a lion, and they would hold a warm compress against me, and I would actually stop to say, "oohÉ myÉ that feels WONderful." People kept handing me herbal teas to drink and sticking orange slices in my mouth, and I remember thinking I was a little too busy for that and it was distracting me. Nothing impeded my progress, however Ð I kept pushing and roaring and straining my partnerÕs arms.

I felt a stretching Ð a burning Ð a stinging Ð the babyÕs head came out. My mother says the babyÕs eyes were open and looking around even before the rest of the body was out. My mother thought I was supposed to wait at that point, but the Midwives told me to go ahead and push, so, victorious and triumphant, I felt the rest of my babyÕs body leave my own body. Almost at once, my baby was in my arms Ð all squishy and beautiful. I had warned my partner that newborns are sometimes purple and wrinkled, but there had been no need. Our baby was absolutely gorgeous from the first moment. The Apgars were 9 and 10. I whispered that everything was all right now Ð and I just held my baby for 10 or 15 minutes, without checking the gender. My mother was going crazy, but she held her tongue.

Finally, I let the Midwife look. She was a girl. "Hello, Elisabeth Jane," I said. I birthed the placenta, which was a wonderful feeling of release, and only then did I allow the Midwife to cut the cord. I didnÕt have a tear, just a skid. Elisabeth never cried once, that whole first day. The first time she cried was when we gave her her first bath. She was born on Monday afternoon, on Martin Luther King Jr.Õs birthday. Before she was an hour old, I was lying on my side, breastfeeding her.

That night, Elisabeth slept between her father and me in our bed. When I woke up the next morning, she was lying there, looking at me, still not crying. She is two years old now, still breastfeeding, and still sleeping in our bed.

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I had a wonderful homebirth at 41 weeks 2 days. My birthstory is REALLY long - but if you want to read it, you can find it at this link

What I appreciate the most, especially after hearing stories from other home birthing mamas, is that my midwife never once brought up the "what ifs" and scenarios of what would happen if I went past the 42 week mark. I knew she would not be able to care for us at home if this occured (AZ regulations), but it just was not mentioned again - so it kept us from dwelling on it.

For me, the weeks leading up to my due date were hard, everyone kept telling me they were sure I was going to go early, I'd had lots of preterm contractions and I just had "the look" :) However, my due date was Sept 10th 2001, and the very next day the world changed for good. My parents were flying that day, and were grounded outside NYC until Sunday. After that happened, with all the worry and craziness, I stopped worrying about my due date at all - I actually started praying for her to stay inside until things calmed down a bit. I went into labour early Wednesday morning, September 19th (can it be that my baby is almost two??) and had Bella at 7:12pm that evening.

It was everything I could have hoped, despite the fact that there were some unexpected complications. I am so glad I was cared for by people who trusted in me and my body.


PS: Pam - any chance of you moving to Arizona?
You are so inspirational, I love all of your posts. What a gift you are to these forums.

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I regret my ignorance during my first dd's pregnancy letting myself be induced at 41 weeks,
but my second dd was born at home at 41 weeks with no help by way of drugs or manipulation.
I labored through the night with mild but noticable contractions finally waking everyone (dh, dd, midwife, midwife assistant) around 6:30 to be with me. I mistrusted my body because of my first bad experience so I asked my midwife to check my progress. I was at a 4 which was great news to me as I had been dilated to 1 for 20 hours with dd #1. I labored pleasently through the morning walking through the house and leaning on my handy dandy labor ball during contractions, rocking my hips and dh rubbing me. I got into the water around 11 or 12 when things started feeling more intense. I labored through transition rocking my hips in the water, loving the way it felt lapping against my belly. After one long string of overlapping contractions my body started pushing. Since I had had an epidural with my first birth I didn't feel all the sensation of pushing. It took me suprise, the intensity of it. I was a bit frightened or at least freaked out for a moment. I pushed twice and her head was crowning. One more big push and her head was out. I felt it under the water, so warm and small. One more big push and she slid out. I flipped over (as I was on my hands and knees) and took her to my chest. She was wide awake and looking around at but almost immediately found my eyes. We locked our was amazing and I am not eloquent enough to tell it as beautifully as it deserves to be told.
It was a beautiful wonderful birth that really impacted my life in alot of ways.

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Oh, Pamamidwife, you know just how to make a pregnant woman cry! Such moving, touching, wonderful words from a woman who knows just how to listen. My midwife has the same heart and she will forever be a part of my soul.

I had my last at exactly 41 weeks. We went through the "How long will she let you go?" for at least three weeks. It was very stressfull. Not answering our phone became key, but the calls would begin at eight am. I am sure it won't be any different this time.

I had one major breakdown at three days past due. Laying on the massage therapists table, I started to cry and cry. She asked me why, I just said..."I don't think this baby will ever come out. I am so worried about going to a hospital". She then massaged me while I cried and then I just relaxed. I got it, the baby had his own time table. Nothing I was going to do would make him come any sooner than he was ready.

So, on New Years morning I birthed a beautiful 9 lb baby boy. One week, to the date of my due date. It was an easy, four and a half hour labor with only thirty minutes of pushing. He was wonderful, and I cry now thinking about how quiet and easy his birth really was.

I couldn't have done it without my dear midwife who encouraged me through it all. She confirmed to me that my body knew best. She supported me through it all and never gave up. Thank God for her.

This time, I am not worried. As a matter of fact, I have told all relatives and friends that my due date is a week later than it really is. That way, maybe the calls won't start so soon. I am prepared to wait, wait until I meet this sweet little one. So soon he will be on the outside, no longer so close to me. If I need to, I will call my massage therapist and get a good rub and a good cry. I am sure with my last, that is part of what helped me relax and turn it over to my body.

Best wishes to all mommas, especially the ones who are by the books, overcooked.


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Can I just post a quick birth story?

My dd was born at home at 42 weeks. MW did not seem at all concerned, and I wasn't worried either, just anxious for this baby to come out! My FIL kept saying things like, "no pressure--you just have that baby when you're ready" as if I had any control over it! He was really the only one who gave me a hard time--everyone else just asked our next door neighbor for updates!

So, anyway, I woke up at 2am with major back pain every 8-10 minutes. Called MW (who was actually at another birth) at around 5:30. Her assistant came right away, MW waited until transition. I walked around/laid on my side until things got really intense, then I got in the tub. Started pushing on the toilet after 13 hrs of back labor. Made very little progress, so moved to the bed. Pushed on my side for a while, then finally gave birth on my back after 3 hours of pushing.

Dd was 7# 14oz. She took quite a while to breathe, but looking back, I wonder if my MW had *not* intervened so much with the deep suctioning, she would have started on her own. I guess I'll never know. There was a slight meconium tinge to the amniotic fluid, but I got the impression that it wasn't a big deal (MW broke my water while I was pushing). The placenta had some calcified spots and my MW felt sure that she really was 2 weeks "overdue."

All in all, it was a positive birth experience (although I would not ever choose to have back labor again). I *am* hoping this little one will be more prompt. I'm just so anxious to meet her!

peace, Beth

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I love to read the stories but don't have time to write mine, really...

#2 born at 41.5 weeks, in <3 hrs with 3 pushes. She had rather long fingernails, 8lb12oz. She has always thrived & seems well ahead of her age in many ways. She sat in my true pelvis for 3 weeks before she was ready.

Contrast w/#1 born at 37 wks in 9hrs, 2.5 hrs pushing. 7lb14oz, no signs of prematurity. He often seems a little ahead of himself - neither of us was quite ready, I think.

It amazes me that so many people get induced. My OB didn't even offer to strip my membranes. But I feel strongly about it partly because MY mother had 4, I was the last & was induced, she still says it was worse than all 3 of the others put together!! And she carried them to 41/42 weeks.

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Beautiful stories, and especially Pam's comments, thanks so much. I hope that women who go overdue and start getting hassled by their carers can get to read them. And I think about the mothers who went overdue and did get induced- what a different experience, painful labour, drugs, monitoring etc.

My first baby was born at home a month early, so I made myself ready for an early birth with the other 3. I also REALLY enjoyed those last weeks each time, that I didn't get with Emma.

My second, Zoe, was on time, but Jacob, my third, was concieved while intensively breastfeeding my sick toddler (on holiday, too) so my dates were, in retrospect, right out. My first Edd was early September, but he actually wasn't born until the 25th. I felt so mellow and so good, and I knew from inside myself that he was fine, as I kept going past my dates and revising them with my carers! I declined the tests. My only hassle was that my parents were booked to arrive from overseas, and they had to change their bookings twice

Jacob's birth was my longest (11 hours), which I think was because it was in the daytime, and I had lots of people around. When he was born, at midday on the dark moon, in the tub in our back room, he was covered in vernix- in fact, it floated in the water before he was born! So maybe he was actually a bit early? Who knows.

With my last baby, I had a UC with no midwifery care. I worked out my dates by the moon, and didn't tell anyone when I was due, not even my husband. (He actually worked it out when he found the baby's 9th moon marked on the calendar!) I came to the conclusion that the numbers didn't serve me, and my baby would come when ready. She was born 9 moon months from conception, almost to the hour!
blessings to you all (and Hi Jeanette!)

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Four out of my 6 have been past 41 weeks. Two were past 42. My one dd was due March 23. I gave birth April 11 - on my birthday. Funny b/c my mom had said when I told her my due date "oh, maybe you'll give birth on your birthday." to which I replied "I better NOT still be pregnant on my birthday! UG!"

The birth went great. The only "problem" being that I delivered 50 minutes after the first contraction and 10 minutes before the MW arrived. I delivered in the bathtub and talked my doula through the catch - she had a bit of a panic at actually being there without a mw. Not exactly the headspace I wanted to be in, lol, but it was fine. DD was 9 lbs whereas my others had all been low 8 lbs, and she seemed more mature (still does acutally!) so I really do think she "cooked" longer.

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Well, with my daughter, as her "due date" approached I just knew she'd be late. The day came and went. I actually went to a play that night and someone asked me "When are you due" and when I answered "today" they freaked out. It was kind of funny.

But, something inside me just knew that I didn't have to worry.......the baby wasn't close to coming.

I was being cared for by a somewhat high intervention midwife, though. At 42 weeks I called her for something and she asked me to come in to get checked again. Yay.
She said she "wouldn't let me" go to 43 weeks. I balked but eventually went in and she stripped my membranes. In retrospect, I don't mind that she did it, but I wish she would have TOLD me first.

Once that was done, I went into hard labor the next morning and my daughter was born in about 8 hours and two pushes.

I always felt I had an easy birth because of how "done" she was.

And the last three weeks of that pregnancy were actually THE BEST. I was more comfortable, happier, and more at ease than I'd been the entire rest of the time. All the problems I'd had were pretty much gone in those last few was really nice. I was happy to have had some nice time in that pregnancy because the first part was pretty hard on me. And, as a first time mama, it gave me some extra time to fit a couple extra books in before she came.........I actually really liked being pregnant that long with my daughter.

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I just wanted to share that both my mw's babies went 44 weeks before they were ready. So, fortunately, she is not an alarmist when babies simply need more time
. (Yes, she was sure of her dates
) I think this just illustrates that our bodies are not machines, and there is a wide range of normal.

Unfortunately for many women today, it seems they're stuck in a dr-knows-best, machines-work-better, fear based culture surrounding birth. I'm always encouraged when I meet women who have reclaimed their births and their bodies! It makes such a difference for our babies. I will scream from the roof tops that pitocin is from hell---stay away if at all possible! It's not worth it!!!

Sarah, I think that's a wonderful point about numbers not serving us! Doesn't it also apply throughout parenthood---not to worry watch the clock, the pounds, etc. Look to the baby and to our instincts. Mother really does know best

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My son was born at 41 weeks 1 day. 8 pounds 3 ozs, beautiful and healthy. Hospital birth. My doula friend had stripped my membranes earlier in the week, I walked and walked and walked, and took cohosh, but baby seemed to come when he was ready anyway. (I had been 85% effaced and 3 cm dilated for almost 3 weeks).

8 hour labor from time water broke and first real contraction to delivery. 2 hours pushing on my back (I didn't get to walk around as much as I had wanted, but at least this doc was patient about not doing an episiotomy and let me push some on the squatting bar). I did tear pretty good. Baby born with giant conehead but otherwise fat and perfect. No vernix, definitely slightly "aged" haha. He was holding his head up well that first day and lifting it while on his tummy strongly way before one month.

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My mom had eight children, all post dates. Her first was 12 days late, second was 15, third was 18 (that was me!), etc. Her second to last child was 25 days late. All of us were absolutely fine, no problems at all. She told me that she was sure about her dates, she kept careful records. The 25 days late baby was a fat, happy girl. Even though she was under 9 lbs she was 50th percentile for height, 90th percentile for weight --no deteriorating placenta there!

I'm expecting my first and I fully expect that this will be a post dates baby. I think that my family just gestates longer.

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My yoga teacher suggested that I come to this thread to read all the amazing "post-date" stories. And Goddess, am I glad she did! I am 40w3d, not that post date (I know all the dates very well, so I know these are accurate), but before I read all this I had had a pretty nervewracking appointment with my OB, who tried to tell me of all the risks in waiting past 42 weeks, so she wants me induced if that baby doesn't come by June 1st or 2nd (when I would be 42 weeks)...and I was ready to go along with that.
Until I read this thread.
Thank you all so much for sharing such amazing stories, and to Pam for starting this thread with a post that made me cry.
I feel so much better, and instinctively I know this baby will come when HE feels ready to, and so I am feeling so much more ready to be patient and just wait for him. He's our first, and my husband and I can't wait to meet him, but we will wait as long as he needs to wait, and when he comes, we will welcome him with open arms.
No matter WHEN he comes.
In so many aspects of my life, I trusted my instincts. Never have I needed to trust them more than now.
Thank you all for reminding me of that.


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Both of my girls were born past 41 weeks.

Maddie was born at exactly 42 weeks. She weighed 8lbs 8ozs. She was supposed to be born at home but due to positioning we transferred after 10+ hours of pushing. She was born unmedicated and vaginal later that night.

Mary-Grace was born 41w4d at a Free Standing Birth Center after 6 or so hours of labor and 17 MINUTES of pushing. She was truly "overdue" and peeled skin for weeks. She weighed 8lbs 13.5ozs.

I hate going "overdue" but know that it will probably happen again. With Maddie I wasn't sure of my dates so we didn't really know when she would come. With Mary-Grace I was certain of them and was hoping she would come close to her due date. My MIL went overdue with all of her kids except one and she was a great support during my "overdue" days. She went 3+ weeks over with all over her kids. My SIL is the same way. All of her babies were born in months the weren't due in. LOL

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First of all, I fully expected to go past my due date (my mother went 3 weeks over with me and more than 2 weeks over with my younger brother). I only went a week over with both of mine.

Baby #1 - I was due on January 29 (a Friday). I had my first internal exam that day and an NST because baby was not moving as much. All was fine. I was starting to efface and nearly about 1 cm dilated. I went back to the doctor on the following Thursday and was 80% effaced and nearly 3cm. I had a lot of bloody show after that exam (even though my membranes were not stripped) and felt like jumping out of my skin all that evening and just had a general feeling of not being well.

I had dinner and went to bed early. At 5:30am I awoke with what I thought might be a contraction. At 6:00am my water broke (although I was unsure, it was a trickle, not a gush). I timed contractions for another hour and told dh to go to work since I thought it would be a long day and I wanted to be alone. By the time he got out of the shower I decided he should stay home. At 7:00 I got into the shower. At 7:30 I called the hospital because they were coming 5 minutes apart and were lasting anywhere from 45-90 seconds each. I was told to wait more. At 8:30 I called back and told them I really thought I needed to come in. They said okay, but they would probably send me home.

We got to the hospital at 9:30 and I was 6 cm. I was admitted and labored in the shower, on the bed, squatting on the floor, in the rocking chair, in dh's arms. At 12:20 I felt a tremedous need to have a bowel movement. The nurse decided to check me and found I was ready to push. I started pushing at 12:30 and after 20 minutes, Lars Peter entered the world exactly one week after my due date!! He was so ready to be here! He was trying to crawl up my belly to latch onto the breast which he did about 90 seconds after being born. We never had a single bf problem.

Only intervention was intermittent external fetal monitoring. I had no IV, no saline/heplock, no excess internal exams, no episiotomy.

Baby #2 - was due on September 1 (a Saturday). On Septemter 5 I had my first internal exam and was 4+cm already. I also had an NST and quick u/s to look at amniotic fluid that day and another on September 7. Both showed all was fine. My bp was good and no protein in my urine. My doctor was fine with letting me go unless something changed on those clinical tests.

On Sept 7 in the afternoon I had an increase in contractions, but nothing painful. I also had that same, "jumping out of my skin" feeling I'd had with my first baby as well as some bloody show. After dinner the contrax had totally stopped and I was frustrated. I went to bed, but had to get up every hour or so to urinate.

At 1:30 I got up again and realized I was having a contraction. They started to become very noticable and I started timing them. By 2:30 they were coming fast and lasting a long time. I called my parents just before 3:00 to watch my older son. They arrived and dh, my mother and I left for the hospital at around 4:00.

When we arrived at the hospital I was 9.5 cm (I walked up to the second floor... I still can't believe that). I was admitted and labored in the bed the entire time. I was NOT interested in walking, showering, or anything except being in bed.

About an hour after I got there I wanted to push. I started pushing very slowly, in my own time, rather than the all out hospital style pushing from my first birth. At about 6 minutes to 6am I felt him coming and rolled onto my back to deliver. 7 minutes later, at 6:01am, Dane Christian arrived!

So, two 41 week babies. No interventions. FIrst was 7 hours labor + 20 minutes of pushing. Second baby was 4 hours of labor + 30 minutes of pushing. I think waiting it out and not inducing really helped me to have two ideal (for me) births!!
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