Past the due date

 by Barb Duncan

After months of anticipation, you can wind up feeling a little nonplussed when your due date comes and goes. The baby’s room is complete, you’ve washed, folded and counted the sleepers numerous times and everything is ready— except Junior. Your little one may be rocking and rolling in your tummy, but there’s no indication he or she is about to come out to play. What do you do now?

Put your feet up, while you can. The due date isn’t quite as precise as other important dates on the calendar. It’s a calculated estimate and the birth date is often entirely different. Pregnancies that continue after the anticipated delivery day are quite common. As long as regular checks assure you and your health-care provider that baby is thriving, it’s standard procedure to wait several days before inducing labour.

What’s the rush? Although your maternity leave may have already started and you’re eager to get your hands on your little darling, this is precious time too. And there are lots of positive, nurturing ways too fill it.

 Here are some ideas:

• Take pleasure in me-time. Treat yourself to a new haircut or the play everyone’s been talking about. Get caught up on movies or TV shows you’ve wanted to see. Head to the library or go shopping to discover what’s new in the bookstores and on the fashion scene. After all, you won’t be in those maternity clothes forever.

• Commit to self-care. Enjoy lots of naps. Get a massage. Continue on with your prenatal yoga classes. Savour the opportunity to get creative in the kitchen, fixing yourself nutritious and delicious little feasts.

• Enjoy some quality one-to-one time with your partner. It’s about to end. Once baby arrives, it’ll be a long while before you have another adult date. Now’s your opportunity to go to a show, sit down for lunch or dinner at a favourite spot and be together with no interruptions.

• Get chores done. The thousands of files and images you have stored on your computer? This is your opportunity to edit and delete. Plan a small household project, an outing and a pampering activity for each day. The time will pass in an uplifting way.

• Shut down the annoyances. If you’re getting lots of calls, emails and texts asking why there’s no news yet, send out a mass email to politely tell people you’ll let them know when the baby has arrived and until then, you’ll be resting.

• If you’re dealing with some discomfort, such as swollen feet, heartburn or backaches, treat yourself with TLC. To deal with the swelling, try elevating your feet and if you’re inclined, go for a swim. Heartburn can be addressed by avoiding certain foods, such as those that are spicy or acidic, and by eating small meals. A prenatal massage can do wonders for the backaches.

• If you’re feeling anxious, ask your health-care provider lots of questions so that you feel more prepared. And try to put things in perspective. Days from now you will have a new baby in your arms.

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