I’ll never forget the face of the Whole Foods cashier after she asked me, “When are you due?” and I replied, “June 15th.”
It was June 26th and there was no baby in sight.
Her eyes widened and she looked like the baby might just drop out of my pelvis right onto the floor in front of her. Little did she know that I would still be pregnant two days later, totaling my days of pregnancy to 588 by the end of my second pregnancy.
Each pregnancy has its ups and downs. My lot in life was to endure them significantly longer than the average human.
It was my dream to go into labor naturally. I wanted the spontaneity of having my baby pick their own birthday. I wanted to wake up and ask my husband, “Did I pee the bed? Or did my water break?” and then excitedly get all my things together as I headed off to the hospital.
Shockingly enough, I decided to have a third. Things were going to be different this time.
I was going to do everything I could to go into labor on my own
It didn’t work.
So there we were, at 42 weeks pregnant, waiting to get induced. I took a deep breath and made peace with it.
I had now been pregnant for 882 days of my adult life. That’s almost two and a half years!
Being overdue is physically & emotionally exhausting.
Rolling over to get out of bed is painful, the sleepless nights are difficult and the endless texts and calls saying, “Did you have the baby yet?” are draining.
And of course the answer: “Oh gosh, yes, I had the baby a few days ago and we forgot to tell you… NO! I DIDN’T GIVE BIRTH AND COMPLETELY FORGET TO TELL YOU!”
Related: 14 ways to *really* help a new mom
So, to you, my overdue friend, here are my 3 tips for surviving 42 weeks of pregnancy:
1. Practice self-care
Use these last few days to take care of yourself as much as possible. Get a few massages, acupuncture, Reiki, manicures—anything doctor-approved that will keep you comfortable and in a good headspace.
2. Find a way to relax
For me, it was HypnoBirthing. I would listen to my relaxation tracks when I was overwhelmed or anxious about when I was going to meet my baby. I would tell myself over and over, He will be in your arms soon. And he was!
3. Speak up
It’s might sound trivial to people who are not pregnant, but constantly hearing, “Are you STILL pregnant?” and “Is it safe to be pregnant this long?” and other annoying questions (we know they mean well!) messes with your head! It’s hard to hear and it’s okay to say, “Please stop asking me these questions. I will let you know when I have the baby.”
You’re almost there! The finish line is within reach. Your baby is going to be in your arms so soon, mama. And by the way… I’ve heard that the longer they’re in the womb, the higher their IQ will be. Maybe you should start considering the name Einstein?
A version of this story was published January 27, 2021. It has been updated.