Getting pregnant and going through the trimesters was a beautiful experience for Tokunbo, who now has a four year old son. Even before her bump started to show, her hands had taken up permanent residence on her bump. There was no mistaking the fact that she was in love with her unborn baby.
However, as her due date came closer, her tone changed; she was tired of being pregnant. She must have calculated and recalculated her due date a thousand times, before she finally gave birth.
Her new song was “I’m tired of being pregnant oh.” As soon as she hit 36 weeks of pregnancy, she was ready to have the baby, but baby was a no show. She consoled herself with the fact that there were still some weeks left. She looked forward to the coming weeks, then she began to count days and then hours…she was that desperate.
When Tokunbo crossed the 40-week mark, she was looking up DIY labour inducing methods and trying them with the earnest expectation of going into labour soon. Nothing of such happened, instead the baby seemed to be having a party with the increased amount of activity coming from her bump.
When she met her doctor, she was a bit disappointed that he didn’t feel her urgency or think being overdue was a big deal.
Tokunbo’s doctor however suggested that they wait till the end of the week, and if baby was still a no show, then they would try other means to let the baby know it was time to meet the world.
One week elapsed, they tried inducing labour, she wasn’t responding, they were on the verge of moving her into the theatre for surgery, when her labour started.
Within an hour, a baby that had refused to come for almost five weeks since his mother had been ready, showed up on the scene.
And in that instance of the baby being put in her arms, she forgot all the anxieties of the previous weeks.
Even more recently, this drama ensued with the wife of one of the brothers that I grew up with, who were all born in the first 8 days of the month of April.
She had a mid March due date, but the baby refused to come. Her due date came and went, yet the baby was a no show. As a first time mom-to-be, she was worried, her mother was worried, her mother-in-law, who is like a mother to me, was worried. Let’s just say worry was the main exercise every one indulged in, asides from praying sporadically for a safe delivery.
As March came to an end, her mom asked that she come to their place, which is in another state. It was a distance that no third trimester pregnant woman should consider, but the next I heard was the fact that she had travelled to her parents’ but the best part was she got there in one piece.
And on the birthday of one of her uncles, this baby we had been waiting for, showed up. Finally, we all heaved a sign of relief. And come and see the baby! She’s a dream. Her dad showed me her photos, and I could see her paternal grandma’s beauty in her, with a full head of hair!
Years from now, we will tell her about the wait for her to show up.
As an overdue baby myself, I asked my mom what the wait was like. She told me that, although she was anxious about my health in utero, there were plenty experienced moms around her, who allayed her fears, as well as stayed close by her, keeping her engaged, but also staying close, so they would be available, should she go into labour unexpectedly.
So, you could say there were quite a number of people who were eagerly waiting for me to show up…or at least I like to think like that.
Before you think overdue babies are strange, know that only about 5 per cent of all babies are born on their due dates; the rest come before or after their due date.
So, why do babies stay longer in utero than they are expected to? There are quite a few reasons, as espoused by experts, and I will share some reasons with you.
First on my list is, baby is just not ready for the world:
The expecting parents may be ready for the baby, but the baby may not ready for the world. In the last few weeks of pregnancy, hormonal changes develop the heart, lungs, skin, and other organs the baby needs to survive in the outside world.
This is why premature babies sometimes need help breathing because of their underdeveloped lungs.
The obstetrician or the midwife may want to induce labour at 41 weeks, or they may have a wait-and-see attitude. If the expecting mom is a couple of days past the due date, don’t expect the doctor to induce the labour right away. Medical professionals become more concerned when the baby is a couple of weeks overdue.
The dates are incorrect or unknown
The date of ovulation is one of the most precise pieces of data needed to estimate the due date. If the mother-to-be has undergone In Vitro Fertilization, she will have the exact dates. Unfortunately, most women do not have this information.
For instance, if the woman has a 35-day cycle, she most likely ovulated on day 21. As long as she can pinpoint ovulation, she can determine a rough due date. If the ovulation date is unknown, a woman can use the date of conception to tell how long she has been pregnant…if she knows it.
It’s a boy!
One of life’s greatest surprises is finding out the gender of a baby at birth. But if the pregnancy is overdue, the soon-to-be parents may be expecting a son.
Studies have found that boys not only produce longer pregnancies, but also longer labours.
The apparent reason for the extra duration is that boys are typically heavier and larger than their female counterparts. That is regardless of the myth you might have heard about girls waiting longer to show up.
If the mom-to-be was an overdue baby herself
If the baby is overdue, there may be a biological reason. Was the mother-to-be born late? If so, it’s likely that her child will also be born late.
The reason some expecting moms tend to have prolonged pregnancies is that they themselves were born later, as pregnancy delays runs in the families.
In fact, if other women related to the mom-to-be have delivered past their due dates, the expecting mom is also likely to deliver late.
Drama or no drama, babies are babies and absolutely welcome, when they do show up.
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