Dear Pregnant Mom on Your Due Date

Pregnant Belly YAY
Photo © Jamie Grill/Getty Images

Congratulations! You made it to this mythological date that marks the end of what most people consider a reasonable pregnancy and what everyone else considers a no mans land. Don’t despair, this isn’t going to be one of those negative notes about how horrible pregnancy is for people. Nor will this letter be a series of horror stories about birth. It’s about you and all of the amazing things you have done, are doing, and will continue to do.

You are amazing! You took a cell and made it into a fully formed human being. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t have to stay up late at night worrying over how to make a kidney or think about growing fingernails specifically. You still did all of the heavy lifting (pun intended). Your body has done some pretty miraculous things. Your baby is resting comfortably, knowing only the love and tenderness that is the warmth of your womb and the sound of your heart beat.

Your baby is busy in the next few days and weeks. Right now baby is busy growing. This growth is at a near imperceptible pace at this point. A little bit of brown fat here to help regulate their own body temperature; a bit of gray matter there to help once it is time to be born for when it comes to all of the new things baby will learn to do like breathing and eating; and even just a bit development in their lungs so that when they take their first breath, their lungs are mature enough to take their second breath unassisted.

Your baby has things to do to prepare to rest in your arms.

Your body is preparing for labor.  You may notice this through periods of times where you may have contractions. Sometimes these contractions may make you think that it’s time for your baby to be born, only to have the contractions quiet down.

Don’t worry, they will return. They provide you and your baby with a bit of warning – “Hey, labor is right around the corner. I’ll be back when the time is right.”

Your family and friends are so excited to meet your new baby. Their excitement spills out like a child the morning of their birthday – I want my present now!  They forget that you, your baby, and your body still have work to do to prepare for the party. We all know what happens when the guests show up before the party, even just by a little bit of time. You’re rushing around trying to put the last few things on the table. You’re hoping that the meal you’re pulling out of the oven is done and not raw. Remind them that your guest of honor will arrive at the perfect time, which can include the fashionably late.

If you already have children, they may not understand that the work of pregnancy makes you tired. You may feel like caring for them takes away from your time to think about the hard work of pregnancy. You may even wonder if you have the mental energy for labor.

Make time for you and your baby-to-come. The quiet moments alone in the bathtub are a perfect place to practice what it will be like to hold that soft, squishy newborn to your chest. A pampering session can be helpful to get you in the right frame of mind. Even a few stolen minutes here and there after bedtime can be sweet relief, so make the time to be quiet and patient.

There will be times ahead, when you will tell others that if they want to hurt your baby, they’ll have to go through you first. That is no truer than it is today. You have spent the last 40 weeks being your baby’s first line of defense. Once the waves of labor start, this doesn’t cease to be true, it merely changes.

When it is your time, I wish for you peace of mind, confidence of body, and respect of the process. Trust those you have chosen to help you on this journey both physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. I hope that you can find a place of quiet and waiting in the next few days and weeks as you wait for your perfect time.

Signed,

A Mom Who Has Been There Before

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