Carrying a baby to 42 weeks and beyond has become such a big deal in our culture. In a healthy pregnancy, carrying the baby longer is a good sign and results in a baby that sucks well and is ready for extra uterine life. This is the information that I give to mothers who are being harassed by family and/or friends to “do something”. Gloria
Melissa wrote: WOW 42 weeks! Boy do I recall that like it was yesterday. (My newest & most
“late” babe is now 4 months old!) I, too, carried my daughter to 42 weeks. (my
third). After giving birth to my first at 40 weeks to the day, and my
second at 37 weeks, I thought I was in for another “pre-due-date” babe.
NOPE. I was miserable, feeling like I was 5 weeks overdue, instead of 2. And
at the time, I thought I was going to be the first pregnant woman in history
to NEVER give birth! I was starting to think that something must be wrong. I
mean after all, I had done ALL the remedies, tinctures, homeopathics, and even
Castor Oil! And NOTHING moved me past 50% effaced and 3 cm. I was that for 3
weeks! So I am not trying to discourage you, rather to give you words of
encouragement…Here are the articles/tidbits that I read that touched me SO
MUCH. (along with reading and re-reading Psalms 139, since HE knows when this
babe will be born, and EVERY detail of its life.)…Hope this all helps you
both to trust in Him and find peace within your body.
~Melissa H; Wife, Mother of 3 Girlies, CBE, Doula & aspiring Midwife
Dear Baby, here beneath my heart,
I thought that you might come today;
The timing seemed just right.
But the stars are out
And the moon is high
And sheepishly I wonder why
I try to arrange the plans
For now I know
You will not come
Until the One who holds eternity
Rustles your soft cocoon
And whispers in tones that I will not hear,
“It’s time, precious gift.”
“Now it’s time.”
-by Robin Jones Gunn. Thanks to Lara Nabours for passing this poem on.
Tips for Ten Month Mamas
-by Leilah McCracken
a. .AVOID SUGAR. This cannot be overstressed- sudden drastic peaks in
maternal blood sugar can harm a baby. (I even know of one baby who died in
utero after his mom, at 43 weeks with undiagnosed gestational diabetes, ate
two ice cream sundaes). Drink no fruit juice either, and avoid the simple
sugars found in refined foods, like white flour products.
b.. Eat lots of high quality protein foods, and keep your blood iron levels
c.. Eat lots of dark leafy greens for the nutrients, and to fight
d.. No drugs! (Including alcohol and “natural herbals” that are smoked.)
e.. Remember to exercise- swimming is best.
f.. If you can’t sleep, use that time to write, draw, paint, look at the
night sky- connect with your creative and spiritual side.
g.. Remember that the fruit that is taken before it is ripe is hard, bitter,
and not able to bear seeds well that will propagate new life. Adding
chemicals to ripen fruit leads to an inferior product as well. And when
fruit is chemically treated to appear ripe, it tends to rot from the inside
(right at the pit) outwards. This bizarre process is like how the effect of
induction agents eat right through the posterior fornix of the cervix,
causing back wall ruptures of the uterus.
h.. Trust in your body, trust in your birth. Nature is brilliant; human
minds are flawed.
i.. Avoid people who give you fear “vibes”- even your mother.
j.. Set your answering machine so your phone only rings once, and give
updates in your message, if you like. DON’T PICK UP THE PHONE if you’re
feeling weak and sad inside- an invitation to callous people to start to
k.. Connect with other ten month mamas- we are few and far between with the
current induction epidemic, but we do exist- and can offer great support to
l.. Rest if you want, walk if you want, eat if you want- do what feels right
(as long as that doesn’t involve chocolate bars).
m.. Have lots of orgasms. They are relaxing, and wonderful for preparing
your body for birth.
n.. Some women like to drink red raspberry leaf tea (I never bother,
o.. For most women, long pregnancies are safer and healthier than labor
inductions- which carry far greater risks in and of themselves. If
confronted by hostile people, tell them that labor inductions are dangerous,
unproven, and put you and your baby at risk of a hazardous cascade of
interventions- possibly leading to c-section. Also tell them that your baby
is smart enough to pick her own birthday.
p.. Remember that your body was smart enough to conceive, and then grow a
child beautifully; it is also smart enough to know when it is the right time
to give birth.
Prond Mama Apple Tree, letting her babies grow
“Babies really need to ‘ripen’ in their own way- regardless of whether that
fits an arbitrary timetable or not.
Imagine a tree filled with apples. Now we all know that some apples ripen
early, many at the same time, some much later- we all know about how one
apple will just stay on the tree for days and days- even weeks- after all
the others have fallen off. I have personally waited for apples like that-
and gently shaking the tree has no effect on getting them to come off.
Whacking the apple with a stick would make it fall off… but the apple
would not be at its most delectable. So- I wait, and my reward is a sweet,
big, juicy apple.
Well hitting the apple to get it off before its ripe time is like inducing a
baby because of ‘postdates’- making it be born just because other babies
mature earlier. And I would rather get hit as a baby than be made to be born
before my time, before my systems and brain have ‘ripened’ to what they need
to be for my own optimal health and wellbeing. Induction is a grave insult
to the baby.
My own babies are like those apples that take so long to come off. I wait
and I wait- and when the time is right, my babies come down to me- as
perfect as their internal schedules dictate they should be. And, writing
this in my tenth month of my tenth pregnancy, I’m proud to be that strong,
healthy mama apple tree- and I will nourish my newest baby as long as he or
she needs.” -Leilah McCracken, March, 2002
~ FAVORITE OVERDUE QUOTES! ~
God knows babies
“I’ve come to realize that a God who is big enough to so perfectly form
little eyes and ears and a little round nose and a heart and lungs and every
single part of a little person is certainly big enough to work out the
details of their coming into the world.” -Vicki in Mars, PA
Babies mature at their own rate
“Some babies take longer to bake. Just think about babies’ development after
birth: there is great variation in when they reach certain milestones of
growth, activity, achievement, etc. Why do we expect them to all mature at
the same rate in utero?”
Lovely blossoms open when they’re ready
“Attending births is like growing roses. You have to marvel at the ones that
just open up and bloom at the first kiss of the sun, but you wouldn’t dream
of pulling open the petals of the tightly closed buds, and forcing them to
blossom to your time line. ” -Gloria Lemay
Letting births happen in their own time
“There is a sort of chemical ‘combination lock’ that starts labor.
Everything has to be lined up just right to ‘unlock’ a good labor pattern.
When we interfere with that, it can be as frustrating as using the wrong
combination of numbers to open a locked safe.” -Midwife Gail Hart, “The
Birthkit”, Autumn 2000