Adrift in the waiting

I am currently four days “overdue” with our ninth baby.

I realize that I never announced anything here. It’s been a weird year for blogging. And life in general, if no one has noticed yet.

For the last few weeks before hitting my due date, I kept doing things that had a deadline – such as reading certain books of the Bible with a specific number of chapters that ended on a day I thought would be nice to have a baby or eventually on my due date itself, which was Sunday, the 11th.

Monday morning I got up and wondered what to do now. I decided it was time to go back to reading what I felt led to each day. It was a Psalm that first day, another the following, something from 2 Samuel yesterday and today a chapter of Romans.

I was explaining how I felt about this time to my husband and a good analogy came to mind. Imagine you are on a cruise ship and you know that you will be on it for seven days before you reach your port of final destination. You have a few stops along the way that you can look forward to – one or two days in between each one and they are always on schedule. Then you get to day seven and rather than pulling into port so you can leave the ship, you are placed on a lifeboat a great distance from the beach and without any oars, left to drift into shore, having no idea of how long it will actually take you to get there. You float aimlessly, relying on the waves to get you there. Sometimes you seem to be pushed farther out to sea and your view of shore seems fuzzy. There are a few things to do on the lifeboat so it’s not completely boring but not enough to keep you busy all of every day. There is at least promise of reaching shore – you can’t actually stay at sea forever.

I’ve had days of prodromal labour now – hours of intense and regular contractions that could easily be early labour, but aren’t. They fizzle out and I go to bed (thankfully I am sleeping quite well still) and then the next day go about my business until it seems they start up again in the late afternoon nearly every day. It feels like being adrift on the lifeboat. There are things to do – both relaxing things and work that needs to be done – but much of it is just sitting there feeling the waves and hoping that this time, they’ll bring me into shore. I am struggling with some physically painful things but trying to stay patient and just wait for this baby to be properly ready for birth – inductions in the past have mostly not been very positive and I would far rather wait this one out, even if it means being really “late.” Baby is also not always head down so any kind of self-induction methods are out for the time being.

In the meantime, I have much to be grateful for and I know that. I’ve had a number of strange potential complications during this pregnancy that panned out to be nothing at all. Baby appears very healthy and happy and every time I’ve dealt with some kind of physical issue, it has passed within a few weeks or a month rather than sticking with me for months like some have in past pregnancies. I was approved to deliver here despite my history of two cesareans (baby number eight was born seven hours away because hospital policy said no VBACs after two cesareans). This pregnancy has also flown by, mostly thanks to us not even telling our kids until I was seventeen weeks pregnant. Most people did not know until I was twenty-one weeks.

We prayed for an early baby the whole time, hoping to avoid the pressure to induce towards the end. So far I haven’t really had any of that pressure, and I realized that the majority of my babies have come at forty-one weeks or later so if baby comes this week, it would still be “early” on my calendar.

I am certain that nearly every woman who has ever been overdue will agree with me that it’s a strange time. That knowledge that in theory, baby could come any minute, but also that it could be weeks still, is a slightly uncomfortable thing. And of course when you add people commenting multiple times a day, messages and texts coming in asking if you’ve had the baby, etc. it is tiring.

In the end, God is my strength and I am doing my best to stay at peace and trust Him that His timing is perfect. He knows when this baby and my body will be ready. He knows when just the right people will be present at the hospital to make this birth a positive experience. I just have to keep reminding myself that the waves will eventually get strong enough to bring me to shore and get this baby out of my belly and into my arms, which I long for each day.

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