My once slender ankles have swollen so badly that I can no longer wear shoes. In the sweltering August heat, I can barely move. I’m considering moving into a hotel so I can have air conditioning. The midwives think the baby I am carrying may be 11 pounds. I want nothing more than to just have this baby already.
And then there are the casual remarks: “You’re still pregnant?” “When were you due?” “Are you carrying twins?” “They let you go this long?”
Still, with all tests showing a healthy baby and placenta, plenty of amniotic fluid, and no warning signs for me, the pregnancy went on. Sure, I walked around as much as my puffy feet would carry me and ate plenty of basil and spicy foods. For the most part, though, I waited. I can’t say I waited patiently…but I waited.
My second baby arrived just a few days short of 42 weeks, weighing 10 lbs, 4 oz.
And the next time, I made the same choices. My third baby was born at 41 weeks, 9 lbs, 15 oz., though thankfully at the end of May this time instead of August 31.
We live in an instant gratification society. We are so used to being able to control our circumstances with technology. Birth, with all of its unpredictable variables just does not fit into that model.
There are absolutely babies who need to be born early because either the baby or the mother is in distress. A properly developing baby in a healthy mother does not need to be induced, however.
I’ve known the exact gestational age of all three of my babies but many women are unsure. If a baby is induced at 39 weeks, the dates could be off and the baby might actually not be full term.
Those last few weeks are very important for babies. Many babies need the time for their organs to fully develop, especially the brain and the lungs.
Inductions also double the risk for c-sections, which bring a host of risks when not medically necessary.
My second baby was definitely ready for the world. Within a week, he was smiling. He had great neck control and he slept much better than my first (who spontaneously decided to make her appearance at 38 weeks). He was definitely worth the wait!
We make a lot of decisions to give our children the healthiest start at life, breastfeeding exclusively to six months and then continuing into toddlerhood, choosing “real foods” over processed foods, and avoiding plastics. One of the first and biggest decisions we can make is, assuming no medical complications, to allow babies to come when they are ready.
A healthy baby is worth the wait! Let that bun bake, baby!
Children’s health is at the top of every mother’s mind. What decisions do you make to give your children a healthy start? By replying, you will be entered to win an exclusive Million Moms Challenge Gift Pack, which includes an iPad2, a custom-made Million Moms Challenge pendant and a $50 donation in your name to Global Giving.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Million Moms Challenge. The opinions and text are all mine. Contest runs November 14 to December 18, 2011. A random winner will be announced by December 20, 2011.