The last few weeks of pregnancy: avoiding 'are you still pregnant?!'
The end of pregnancy can be an incredible time. For first time mothers, it's an opportunity to enjoy the last few weeks of pregnancy self-care, sleeping in, eating what you want and not having to pack a buggy and baby bag every time you leave the house. For mothers who already have children, it can offer a precious last few weeks to bond with your current children without the distraction of a beautiful newborn. However, for some women, the last few weeks and days of pregnancy aren't as enjoyable as they should be due to the bombardment of texts, calls and visits with people asking about the progress of your upcoming birth!
People LOVE a pregnant lady and so it's natural that your friends and family will all get super excited when your 'due date' is coming up, but sometimes that excitement can be too much to bear. Well wishing people will send messages asking 'how are you feeling' and this might be nice the first few times, but at some stage you will probably want to respond with a simple 'still pregnant, thanks for asking!'. And the reality is, people want pregnancy drama. Many people asking you how you are feeling will do so expecting you to tell them that you're tired, fed up or irritable, so they won't know how to respond if you tell them that you're feeling great, active and happy! I know I felt this way when I was nearing my 'due date'... many friends and family members simply couldn't accept that I still felt great even at 40 weeks. This led them to question if I was telling the truth or to tell me to 'take it easy', which of course wound me up because I really was perfectly happy! The day I went in to labour, I walked 10k and went to 2 restaurants in Central London that I had been wanting to try for ages... I made the most of my pregnancy and the start of my maternity leave, believe me! The last thing you want during late pregnancy is anything negative which could cause your body to create unwanted hormones like cortisol or adrenalin, when you really want your body filling with lovely oxytocin.
What I'm getting at here, is that ultimately, your 'due date' is simply a date plucked out of thin air by an ancient dating system which we KNOW is not accurate. Did you know that only 5% of babies are born on their actual due date?! Not exactly a high chance right, so why put all that pressure on yourself by focusing on this date and also allowing other people to pester you if baby hasn't been born by 23:59?
A few weeks before my 'due date' I started shaking things up, telling people that my due date had changed with the most recent scan. This way, I wasn't completely bombarded by people all on the same day. In hindsight, what would actually have been better would have been to give people a 'due month' or even a season; be like the royal family and simply tell people you're expecting a 'Spring baby!'. People might ask for a more accurate date, but you don't have to give one, especially considering how inaccurate they actually are.
So, take the pressure off yourself and avoid it from other people. Try and release that 'due date' from your mind and instead allow yourself a time frame of up to 5 weeks during which you expect your baby will be born. Remember that it's completely normal for babies to be born anywhere between the 38 and 43 week mark. Your baby cannot be 'late' because they know exactly when to be born. Try not to brand them as lazy or late before they've even made their way out in to the world, you don't want a self fulfilling prophecy with a child who is then late for school every day now do you?? Give people a 'due season' or even tell them it's a surprise, but they baby will come when he or she is ready. Keep them guessing and enjoy the final few weeks of your pregnancy in peace.
Pregnancy is so precious, try and enjoy every moment.