While sitting in the Midwife’s office after receiving the official pregnancy test result here comes the? When was your last period? What, I don’t know. With my head bowed I reply” I’ll have to ask Arthur.” I have not marked the date of my period or counted 28 days since high school. I’m one that feels when it’s near. If my diet is not in check I get argumentative, crave sugar & salt and have a desire to go to the beach. If nourishment is stellar the shifts are more subtle and I still want to go to the beach.
Next comes the sonograms. We don’t want to know the sex, please. As I pretend not to see the penis on the monitor the technician takes all the necessary measurements. Your expected due date is April 22. Wow! that is 3 weeks earlier than our calculations. Once again here comes the question, When was your last period? Honestly I can not answer with confidence but we think it was_. “We” she replies with a smile.
April 22 no action…we didn’t expect any…trusting our prediction over modern technology. The Midwife measures my belly-” the length is consistent with the EDD of 4/22″. My belly is huge and high and being my 2nd pregnancy I know this boy is not about to have his birthday this week.
April 30th Emergency …after planning a homebirth my Midwife has to leave the island & tend to family. Will you wait? Please don’t leave me I’m past my EDD! ” Yes I’ll wait till Sunday, you are about 1.5cm dialted baby is still high” Art, the midwife is leaving can we have sex, I’m drinking castor oil right now….. He brings me back to our birthing plan. No unnecessary interventions; we waited patiently for 9 months why change our philosophy because of an external crisis. The castor oil gave me the runs and I was not in the mood for any sexual communication.
May 6th Birthday..Royal Aren Marshall was born vaginally, 8 lbs 12.5 oz in the hospital by a wonderful midwife, my referral. She made every accommodation no matter how far-fetched it seemed to her co-workers. I asked how does the placenta look is he post term? “No, you have a very healthy placenta I can see you exercised during pregnancy and there are no calcifications he is 40 weeks” replied the Midwife.
Well according to the EDD I was 42 weeks post term. Had we received more allopathic care.. we may have been induced possibly resulting in C-section. The EDD is not an exact science the growth of my son and measurements were not typical. Of course, my baby was in utero & still is taller and larger than average. His father’s 6′ and 220 pounds and I am 5’9… So don’t stress over the EDD it is just an estimate and actions taken based on this estimate when there is no fetal distress or maternal health issues results in a cascade of medical interventions. In Senegal, Midwives record a due month not a due date. So prepare for labor 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after the Expected Due Date.
Evidence based research
Large studies have shown that monitoring pregnancy while waiting for spontaneous labor results in fewer cesareans without any rise in the stillbirth rate. One retrospective study of almost 1,800 post-term (past 42 weeks) pregnancies with reliable dates compared this group with a matched group delivering “on time” (between 37 and 41 weeks). The perinatal mortality was similar in both groups (0.56 /1,000 in the post-term and 0.75/1,000 in the on-time group). The rates of meconium, shoulder dystocia and cesarean were almost identical. The rates of fetal distress, instrumental delivery and low Apgar were actually lower in the postdate group than in the on-time group.(3) This is only one of several studies showing postdate pregnancies can be monitored safely until delivery or until indications arise for induction. Even the famous Canadian Multicenter Post-term Pregnancy Trial Group (Hannah) of 1,700 postdates women showed no difference in perinatal outcome among women who were monitored past their due date, as compared with those who were induced at term.(4)http://www.midwiferytoday.com/enews/enews1220.asp
Under Post Date Pressure?
Labor commences when the baby communicates with your brian via chemical message. If allowed the baby initiates action with the release of hormones received by mother’s pituitary gland. If you and baby are showing no symptoms of distress or Postmaturity Syndrome try these techniques:
- Walk & Squat …Squat & Walk … You’ve been doing it for months…Right?
- Talk to your baby reassuring that life is great outside, share all the wonderful things in store
- Keep stress @ bay…spend time alone doing happy things that make you feel confident & secure
- Stop looking @ the calendar: prepare house for baby, cook, decorate, rearrange, discard clutter
- Start maternity leave allowing time to transition into labor
- Make love & orgasm: semen has natural prostaglandins to soften the cervix; orgasm contracts the uterus, releases oxytocin and feels good taking you back to doing happy things
- Nipple Stimulation: self or partner administered, breast pump. Use of a breast pump is often done in the hospital while connected to external monitors
- Acupressure point spleen 6
- Herbal interventions: Castor oil, Aloe, Black & Blue cohosh, Primrose oil..Homeopathics. These are interventions and should be practiced under supervision of a health care provider
- acupuncture: inform care provider of intentions & appointment schedule
- Dance & Laugh…laugh & Dance… Belly dance, movements that gyrate the hips, hip circles, Soca wind
- Prenatal Massage https://birthingbliss.wordpress.com/services/
- Proper hydration and nutrition. Muscles need water & fuel for proper function, to fight fatigue & recover
- Do nothing continue life as usual, giving no power to worry
The last few weeks of pregnancy are a true test of patience. One of the greatest lessons of parenthood is surrender of control. Children will push limits often exceeding our expectations to our delight and chagrin. Confronting anxiety with patience & grace will prepare us for the paternal road ahead.