The big due date milestone for Baby No. 2 was two days ago, Friday 12th August 2016.
Our whole family has waited in anticipation for that day since I found out I was expecting back in December last year but the day just came and went, and baby hasn’t yet made an appearance. Despite that a very small percentage of babies are actually born on their due date, I myself had become fixated with counting down the days until the B-day. It became a focal point of many conversations over the past few weeks and days as family members and friends in the know would call or text to ask how I was doing and how long I had left. As a result, I had raised my expectations so high about the baby coming “on time” that it felt really disappointing and disheartening when Friday night came and I didn’t feel even a twinge, especially after feeling some tightening for a few days. Another day came and went yesterday, two more spicy Thai and Indian curries later – and still nothing, while I grew more and more impatient.
With the impatience came grogginess so today I had to take some time out to self reflect and find a coping mechanism for the next few days. Even though I have managed my post-miscarriage anxiety so well over the past nine months, these last few days have made some of those anxieties come back and take over my mind.
As I was meditating about how I can change my way of thinking and take control of my reactions to those thoughts inside my head, I decided to make mental notes and then write down all the positive things I can see in the situation I have found myself in:
1. You can’t hurry nature.
No matter how much I want to hold my precious little baby in my arms RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW, nature has its own rules and things will progress when the time is right – I simply cannot control it (well, I can try a few tried and tested old wives’ tales but they don’t work for everyone). And it looks that just like his big brother, who was nine days late, this little man living inside me seems very cosy in the comfy environment that I have aimed to create for him for the past few months. So I need to take comfort in the thought that my body knows what it’s doing and all the hormonal changes that need to happen for me to have the active and natural birth that I want will indeed happen when the time is right. And if things don’t pan out how I want them to (they don’t always do, I know that from my first birth!), then I will need to have a flexible attitude to the way this birth happens for us because the most important thing is for the baby to arrive safe and sound.
2. I want to enjoy those last few days with my older son.
For nearly five years, he has been the centre of our attention and every single day has revolved around him and his needs. Of course he will always remain our top priority but undoubtedly things will be very different when his little brother comes along. So as we keep waiting, I will make sure my big boy feels even more love and affection than ever before. And I will be 110% in the moment as we fool around in bed in the mornings, spend time together during the day or read books at bedtime, cuddling up. These are our last few days on our own so I will make the most of them.
3. I will enjoy those last few days of being pregnant.
I don’t know what the future holds for me and my husband as far as more children are concerned – we may have more or we may not. After our miscarriage heartbreak last year, this pregnancy has been quite a big emotional rollercoaster not just for me but for our marriage as well. Although we are stronger than ever, I simply don’t know whether I can go through it all again. So this could well be the last few days of me feeling the bliss of precious new life inside me so as I feel every kick and movement, I will repeat a little affirmation to myself: “This is an amazing feeling and I’m so grateful I get to experience it.”
So as another day comes to an end and we keep on waiting, I feel more in charge of my thoughts and emotion as I rub my tummy in excitement and exhilaration.
Not long to go now, not long to go…