I’d had a hunch this one was going to be early. It was more like wishful thinking. My first, J-, had been a week late, but I had always been told that second babies generally come early or on time. Well after 41 weeks of pregnancy, you can imagine I’d heard my share of You’re still pregnant? from well-meaning friends and neighbors.
I’ve got to be honest. That 42nd week was a little emotional, a little frustrating, and I was a little worried about the possibility of having my labor induced with Pitocin. But it was actually kind of a fun week, too. Those around me banded together to make it a sort of all-inclusive vacation for me. They watched my daughter when I needed a break, took trips to the park with us, where J- played in the splash pad. Grandma and I went under the big mushroom shower in the middle, while all of the other parents and grandparents watched, amused, in their hot, dry clothes. We got soaked, and it felt wonderful. We went mall-walking when it was rainy, and J- got to ride in the 50-cent car. We went out for burgers at Old Man River, listened to some live jazz, and took a walk by the river. My parents made us dinner every night. I got to try all sorts of fun things which are supposed to help labor start naturally, like eat a whole pineapple in almost one sitting, eat eggplant parmesan every day, go for walks, get acupuncture (or, as my husband, Jeff, said, take a $40 nap), dance around the house like a crazy woman (which J- loved, and imitated). I had access to on-demand foot massages from Jeff, using the excuse that there are pressure points in the feet that help encourage labor.
And now, as I struggle to find patience for my toddler sometimes during this phase of recovery, when I am still physically tired, still very hormonal, and taking care of a newborn in addition to her, I am so grateful for that extra week I had to spoil her a little bit and to let her know how special she is to me.
I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
– T.S. Elliot
I finally went into labor at 42 weeks, with some manual intervention, but no Pitocin, and had my sweet little R- at 42 weeks + 1 day. I hadn’t imagined I’d be having a July baby when I was due mid-June.
J- absolutely adores her sister. Well, we all do. She’s pretty stinking cute.