Is the baby here yet? How to cope with this constant question before birth

That last month of pregnancy, i'm convinced, goes for approximately 100 years. If you've been through it, you get it. If you're not there yet, try not to hate it too much. Take it as your chance to lap up those long, looonnggggg days of rest and quiet! 

For me, I took at least one bubble bath a day while I listened to some podcasts or music and hung out with my dog on the couch. Towards the end I found it hard to be on my feet too long. It was summer so the swelling was INSANE. My son was overdue, he stayed happily cooking until 40 +10 days, he had ZERO intention of coming out on his own, so by week 41 i was well and truly 1000000% DONE with being a fat puffy human carrier. 

A funny thing happens in that last month. Everybody goes into high alert mode. Like if you go to the movies and don't reply to a text for 2 hours, you MUST be in labour *everybody panic it's happening*. Yes mum, i'm looking at you. Friends ask, family ask, heck even the person at the grocery store asks. 

It can get full on. I'm lucky enough not to have a super over the top support system. Or maybe they just know me and knew that asking me that question wasn't going to go down well? Not sure. But they were mostly calm, only asking in a round about way #sneaky. 

But here's the thing. To absolutely everybody out there who is not pregnant but knows somebody who is. IF THE BABY IS HERE, YOU'D KNOW.

It's not like we've had the baby and just FORGOT to tell our family and friends about it. It's not a new car. They're just not here yet. It's honestly that simple. 

So before you go to text or call and ask that question, think for a minute. IF the baby had been born, you'd know, right? Yes. So please, leave it be. Instead, why not ask the mum to be how she's feeling? No, not things like "are you having contractions", i'm talking more like "how are you coping?". Does she need anything, can you help her with anything? Actual, USEFUL questions guys. 

I made the decision pretty early on in my pregnancy to go dark when we went to hospital. But in those last few weeks i also made an effort to leave my phone in another room and completely ignore the outside world. Just enjoy relaxing with my husband and our dog. The texts could wait. Sure, there were many occasions of family and friends freaking out thinking something had happened to me (i'm almost always on my phone), but it's what i needed to do for my own headspace, and i'm not sorry i did it. I'm not sorry i kept everyone out for an afternoon or so each day. 

Why did we go dark in the hospital? Two reasons. The most important one for me was to keep our attention in the room, in what was happening then and there. The last thing i wanted was my husband to be distracted answering all the "is he here yet? How is she? What's happening?" texts. No thanks. I needed him fully present. I also had no want to be focusing on responding to people, i had MUCH more important things to be giving my attention to, like, you know, giving birth. 

The second reason we made that decision is because labour can go two ways. You can be one of those weird ladies who sneeze and the baby falls out, over and done with in the same morning. OR you could be one of those mums in labour for DAYS. If we texted everybody when i went into labour, by the 36 hour mark, can you imagine what our phones would be like? Our closest would be panicking. "What if something went wrong? Why haven't we heard from them in days? We need an update." Yeah, not ideal. 

We sent a text to some family i'd say about half way through my labour, and then they heard from us again when our son was here and we were ready. Nobody knew our son was here until 8am they day after he was born. Why? Well, because his labour was long, it was hard and frankly after FINALLY getting to recovery at 1am, the absolute last thing on my mind was "must text the world". No. I was completely fucked. I just wanted to sleep. So they sent my husband home and finally, it was quiet. Just me and this tiny, new human. He was a dream that first night (and the night nurse was amazing), so i got some sleep, and then my husband arrived the next morning, coffee and food in hand. We spent some time just the three of us, and then we sent the messages to family and then just close friends announcing his arrival. We didn't tell anybody outside our circle until he was about 5 days old. I prioritised my healing and getting to know my son. It's okay for you to do that too. The world can wait. You won't get those first days back, so enjoy them. Don't let anybody rush you. 

I'm not saying this is going to work for you, this is just how i feel and what we did. Everyone is different, but if you're feeling overwhelmed in that last push to meeting your tiny human, know that's it's OKAY to say no. It's okay to shut your phone off and ignore the questions. Focus on what's important, and that is getting as much rest as you can for the birth, that includes resting your emotional state. Birth isn't a sprint my friend, it's a marathon. It will test every single part of you physically and emotionally. So fuck everybody else, YOU do YOU. 

x A

 

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