Thursday, February 2, 2012

"Overdue" Natural Pregnancy Manifesto

Current culture can be so unintentionally unkind to "overdue" (aka, women who go past 40 weeks pregnant, as calculated by their LMP) women, causing women to feel particularly vulnerable and conspicuous if they chose to wait on baby's timing for a healthy birth.

This pressure comes in countless variations. As I'm currently nearly 41 weeks pregnant (although I suspect it's closer to 40 weeks, luteal phase/ovulation/conception considered), I'm well versed in the gems that people like to toss at ladies great with child. Ah, but the sting is still fresh! Considering how "catching" those comments leaves one's fragile resolve feeling, perhaps a better metaphor for such little pieces of cheer are the stinking fish tossed around in an open air market-if one slaps you in the face unexpectedly, it's insulting in more ways than one! 

There's Mother-pressure: "Hey, sweetie, I have the 14-16th off, so, you'd be a great time to go into labor!"
There's spouse pressure: "Do you feel, yanno, birthy today? I really don't want to go to work..."
There's girlfriend pressure: "Well, you know what worked for me was castor oil. It made me feel awful, but I was in labor in 48 hours..."
There's well-meaing (but ignorant) cashier at the grocery store pressure: "When are you due? OH!!! *suspicious glare* Oh, HONEY. You're about to POP, aren't you? Let me know if you want us to boil some water."
And, of course, random dongleberry on the sidewalk comments: "You're about to calve right here, aincha, Mama?"

Instead of being praised for your patience and goddess-like ability to sustain such strong physical and spiritual energy in brand-new human life form, you're poked like a tired old cow who won't cross a grate quickly enough. Yowza. 

It's hard to remind yourself that you're giving your baby the gift of a peaceful and timely journey earth-side. But that's exactly what's happening; your body serves as a sacred buffer between a brand new soul and the outside world until every last intricate piece is in place for the last Big Push.  The final creative spinning and sustaining of an unborn child comes with a mighty weight, both literally and figuratively. I personally feel that I'm holding so much energy, both for my own body's journey and baby's, that I may well implode with a mighty "BANG!" if I'm not gentle with myself.

It helps to think of myself as a vessel that peace can flow through, washing out all anxiety and angst, rather than  a bomb waiting to go off. Just as easily as I can let go of worry and let my heart open up and release it, my body will be capable of opening and gently guiding my baby out into the world when the moment is right. I am not a lemon. I am a guide. I am a vessel. I am a protector. I am a mother.