Weeks 39 and 40 and. . .Still Pregnant

Every time I read this post, I think I should delete it all and just have happy smiling pregnancy photos of myself. But I just can’t bring myself to do it. So, probably you should just skip this and go read something about kittens and baby polar bears. Consider yourself warned.  

It is really hard not to get grumpy about having an overdue baby.

Not because you are mentally thinking you should already have a baby (I was somewhat prepared for a late baby after Ella’s birth, eight days after her due date), although it’s not exactly pleasant to still be pregnant in a month you were truly hoping you would NOT be pregnant in.

But because your entire life becomes about the fact that you HAVE NOT HAD THE BABY YET. Every text message is asking where your baby is (safely inside my apparently way-too-hospitable womb). Every conversation is about how if I’d just take a long walk, I’d go immediately into labor (no. I will not. I went for a four-mile brisk walk yesterday with a couple of friends and didn’t have a single solitary contraction). Everyone is asking why my doctor won’t just induce me on my due date (because a due date is not like a stone marker of when your baby is ready to be born).

And, look, I know, logically, everyone means well and is just excited, blah, blah, blah, and not trying to make me tear out my hair with their “helpful” suggestions about how to put yourself into labor (my strong medical opinion is that you cannot put yourself into labor. If your body is ready to have a baby, you can do things that might move things along, but you cannot just force your body to go from “totally not ready” to “grab the bags and let’s head to the hospital” by virtue of spicy food/pineapple/castor oil/sex/walking/running-up-stairs). Logically, I recognize that everyone’s questions and comments about this baby and her late arrival are well-meaning. But it’s pretty hard for me to feel logical about this when the barrage is never-freaking-ending.

Are you feeling so incredibly sorry for Bart who has to live with me ranting endlessly about this? You should be.

The moral of the story is, I will clearly never be one of those women with a 40 week picture where I’m holding a newborn.


On Friday, when I hit 41 weeks, this baby will be induced.

And then I shall have a little tattoo done on my arm to remind me to never ever speak to an overdue woman unless it is to suggest we go out to lunch.

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  1. Poor you! Don't apologize for being grumpy… I can only imagine how you're feeling. And I enjoy reading a good rant now and then 🙂

  2. Don't forget trampolines! I got the suggestion that I jump on a trampoline when I was overdue. I didn't try it and neither should you.

    It is my belief that every DAY of being overdue is like another 40 weeks to the pregnant mom.

    Good luck! Thanks for writing. This stuff NEEDS to be said.

  3. I know nothing about being pregnant, so I generally try to avoid offering advice. But I will take a mental note about offering lunch to an overdue pregnant friend, that seems like a good route to go.

    Good luck. I hope you get un-pregnant soon.

  4. I read a great newspaper article by a woman who was about as far along as you are right now. She said there are only three things you are allowed to say to a pregnant woman at any stage. I can only remember two of them: 1.Would you like to sit down? and 2. Would you like a cookie? The third was along those lines. I've got to look it up. It was perfect.

  5. Oh man. I was wondering but I was not about to ask. I think you should spend two days doing everything indulgent. Forget about cooking and routine. Have some hot chocolate at the bookstore and read all their books instead of yours. And take Ella to the park and silently guilt the other moms into watching her so you don't have to get up. And maybe a half dozen or more episodes of whatever you love on Netflix.

  6. amen. I actually skipped church the Sunday before my due date and the Sunday after because I couldn't take one more "oh you poor thing" comment or look.

  7. When I worked for an obstetrician, I never allowed women who were less than nine months pregnant to say they were "hanging in there", but you are officially "hanging in there" and still looking fabulous! Be consoled by the fact that about thirty years ago they would not induce until someone was about three weeks overdue!
    Meanwhile, enjoy another day with that adorable only child!

  8. I feel your pain. Forrest was over a week late, too, and I was going crazy towards the end . . . not because I was desperate for him to be born (although it was, as you know, a little discouraging to keep wondering and waiting), but mostly because I couldn't wait for a conversation that wouldn't revolve around, "You're STILL pregnant? Have you tried _______ ?" The only positive for me was having a close friend who was a massage therapist who offered to give me massages until he was born, with special focus on the pressure points that are supposed to help move things along. Honestly, I'm not sure if I'm convinced that it did anything (I 100% agree with you–I think if your body is ready, you'll go into labor; if it's not, that's that, sorry), but it was nice to have that one friend who actually offered to do something sweet instead of just texting each day with, "Well?! Where is he?" I hope you have at least one of those friends in your arsenal! Good luck.

  9. When I was 40 weeks with my second, a friend jokingly suggested I post a picture of my bump with an eviction notice taped to my belly. The eviction date was my scheduled induction. Baby came two days before its eviction. You could do the same for your pre-induction picture, if she hangs on that long.

  10. I think you can also say things like "wow, you're pretty" because that's what I'd say to you if I saw/texted you.

  11. I understand!! My babies were ALWAYS 'late' and the texts and calls- yeah- and I would have contractions for WEEKS before (like 2 weeks) and no baby- so I feel for ya! hang in there- you look beautiful! )

  12. I poem and wish for a fast and easy delivery.

    "The Ninth Month"

    by Carol Lyn Pearson

    Being a duplex,
    I have been happy, my dear,
    To loan you half the house.
    Rent-free and furnished
    as best I could.

    You have been a good
    Tenant, all in all,
    Quiet, yet comfortably there.
    Tapping friendly on the wall.

    But I hear
    You have outgrown the place
    And are packing up to move.
    Well, I will miss
    The sweet proximity.
    But we will keep in touch.
    There are bonds, my dear,
    That reach beyond a block,
    Or a mile, or a hemisphere,
    Born of much love and labor.

    I approve the move,
    And gladly turn from landlady
    To neighbor.

  13. I think I love you. My husband and I have actually lied and/or been extremely vague about my due date in anticipation of this. Hang in there! You look absolutely beautiful. Wishing you a safe and healthy birth!

  14. So sorry! I totally knowhow youare feeling. Everyday you go past your due date feels like an extra month of pregnancy. Hang in there!

  15. Even though we don't *really* know each other, I sure do like you!!! This post made me laugh- it is nice to read about how normal feelings of frustration are when the baby doesn't show up right on time, like a package from Amazon. Mine were both late and I chose to be induced. Best wishes for a rockin couple of days before the bebe is there. 🙂

  16. you rant all you want! i've never been pregnant, but i can just imagine how bothersome it is. and by imagine, i mean i've had enough pregnant women tell me how annoying it is. well, fingers crossed that no one else asks you and that all goes well then the birth actually comes!

  17. I only made it to 35 weeks, so I can only imagine how frustrating the "have you tried this" gets. On the bright side, you are the most beautiful pregnant woman I have ever seen. You look AMAZING.

  18. I'm still banking on tomorrow. And for your sake I hope your uterus evicts the baby on its own rather than having to be induced. The difference for me was night and day. Best of luck to you.

  19. One on time and two late. Very late. Like 12 days late. When women who are 38 weeks look at me and say "I'm so done!" I just grin through gritted teeth. You haven't been pregnant until you've been 42 weeks pregnant and spent the last four of those with a baby-sized foot jammed under your rib cage night and day until the nerves are so overstimulated in that spot it is constant pins and needles . . .

    Thanks for reminding me of at least one reason why I don't want to do this again.

    As for the above rant–I'm not referencing women with twins or more. You are the really tough mommas.

  20. Everyday I when I look at the blogs I think, "maybe Janssen will have had her baby." Sorry you are still waiting. I wish I could take you to lunch to distract you.

  21. And PS

    My one friend who did castor oil DID go into labor. And spent the whole time with violent diarrhea. So, yeah, don't do that.

  22. Well if you're gonna give us a grumpy post at least give us a grumpy picture to go with it. Seeing you all smiley in that 40 weeks pic makes me want to suggest you try jumping jacks. Feel free to think about flipping me off right now…

  23. Oh how I adore you and your overdue rant. I totally sympathize except for me, last time, people were mad I wasn't being induced even though I was contracting. There's really no pleasing anyone. So with that, I'd say just take your last days as a mama of one and give Ella lots of kisses and try to take naps whenever you can. She'll come when she's good and ready and you can rant and rave all you want until she's here.

  24. Be grumpy. You probably don't feel good, either, which you did not specifically mention. Being 10 months pregnant is. not. fun. (Thanksgiving due baby was born by c-section the day after Christmas, so I'm empathizing. Is that a word? lol) Will be keeping you in my prayers.

  25. …or unless it is to suggest that she walk (briskly, or otherwise) to the hospital to read Llama Llama Red Pajama as soon as possible.

    (pretty please?)

  26. Oh do I feel your pain!!! Both of my girls were induced within a day or two of 42 weeks!!! It was excruciating. I won't say much else because I know it won't help. I'll just wish for you that the baby decides to come TONIGHT! How about that??? Good luck to you.

    I had false labor for three weeks and at every non stress test they'd tell me "any minute now!" because they'd see all these contractions and NOTHING. Erik would call people up and tell them to get ready and then NOTHING. Eventually I stopped even telling him because I couldn't take it. At one point someone who shall remain nameless (my MIL) called me and asked if I thought I knew when I'd have the baby!!! because "she needed to make plans." And then I killed her. And then I was induced at 40.5 weeks and it was fine.

  28. This sounds SO FAMILIAR. I stopped answering my phone because my mother-in-law kept asking me when the baby was coming EVERY DAY – and CB came 3 days early! My stupid doctor told me he thought she'd come a week early (because I dilated super early and then did NOTHING), and I made the stupid mistake of telling other people that, and then suddenly she was late even though she wasn't. I just about burst into tears whenever I saw someone giving birth on a TV show, because everyone was having a baby but me, and then there was oh FOR THE LOVE WILL YOU STOP ASKING WHEN SHE WILL BE HERE THE DUE DATE ISN'T A DEADLINE and YES I AM WALKING AND IT DOESN'T MATTER SHUT UP I HATE SPICY FOOD, and Eric had a business trip planned for 3 days after my due date and I was about to have a panic attack. Anyway. I don't think anyone can truly understand how awful the last few weeks of pregnancy are except those who are pregnant or those who have recently been pregnant, but you have every right to be grumpy until this baby comes out.

  29. You do look fabulous though! My first was 12 days late. My second induced 9 days late. I wised up and asked for an induction at 39 weeks with my third. Also got an epidural that time. Best. Decision. Ever. Best of luck to you!

  30. Hahahahaha. This post is hilarious. Callum was six days late so I have been there. However, I didn't get as much of the constant obsession with where the baby was as I was expecting. I am thinking maybe this is because I wanted Callum to be late, I decided that he would be late, I told everyone that he was going to be late, and as a result I think I actually managed to get most people out of the mindset of expecting him to arrive on his due date.

    Or maybe I just got lucky or was too menacingly pregnant for anyone to dare ask me anything. Impossible to know for sure.

  31. I totally agree with your medical opinion. I tell friends they can try working their uterus reflexology point, but it's only going to help if their body is already ready to go into labor. I don't believe anything will spur labor before the body wants to go itself.

    I also hate doctors who tell women "it could be any time now!" Don't get their hopes up early, you jerk! Tell them their body will go when it's ready and be prepared for the long haul, in case it takes that long! That way, the poor pregnant mom is not sitting around waiting for labor and getting mad at you and the world that they're not laboring yet. (You would think that with how many pregnant women ob's see every day, they would have figured this out by now….why is it that they haven't?)

  32. I was overdue with my second after having my first right on her due date, and my midwife telling me "she's coming any day now" FOR A MONTH, so I can definitely sympathize. Hang in there… the baby can't stay in there forever. :o)

  33. I remember feeling certifiably insane after about 38 weeks. Those last few weeks are so tough! Hang in there. And you look fabulous, by the way. Absolutely lovely.

  34. Oh Janssen – wish there were some way to bring a baby when you wanted her, but I fear you're correct. I hope you go into labor on your way to the induction, like I did with Shannon. Or even better, go into labor tonight right after your daughter goes to sleep. Your sister comes up to stay with her, you have a one hour labor, and three pushes later, you've got your December baby! We'll be praying for that option.

  35. My babies have both been a week "early" so I don't get the labor inducing tips, but I get comments every single day from people telling me how HUGE they think I look. From complete strangers, even. What kills is that I measure right on. I'm short and small people, give me a break! So what I do, and what might work for you, is to stare blankly at the person who is making annoying/offensive/ridiculous comments, throw in a few slow, "are you freaking serious?!" blinks and then turn and walk away. Then there will be one less obnoxious person you want to punch in the face, because they don't usually make the same mistaken comments again. Good luck!

  36. No, 40 weeks already? You don't look a day past 36! Sorry for the very very unfunny joke, but in all seriousness you are very lovely Janssen, inside and out. I hope this superabundance of sympethetic mothers will buoy your spirits! (At least until Friday) Then I'll bring you, and your family of FOUR, lunch!

  37. My doctor decided with baby K to show some mercy and induce me the weekend before Christmas (due date was 23rd, he came on the 22nd) so I could be home with E and my family. This was earlier than 41 weeks. Greatest idea ever. I was ok with having baby come on his own, but I was glad she was thinking clearly because I wasn't. Anyways, sorry about the waiting game and the comments. You do look like the baby has dropped so good signs right? Hang in there. The end is the hardest mostly because of the inability to sleep and heartburn and sciatica. Thinking of you!

  38. You look amazing, as always! And I know the feeling – Noah was 5 days overdue and it was awful. But then there was Lucy, so….

  39. I hope baby gets here before your induction! Although, since it's already late Wednesday night, I doubt that will happen. You still look great!

    Also, the other day I was wondering how you were and thought about tweeting at you. Then I remembered being past 40 weeks pregnant and came to my senses.

  40. So sorry about the barrage of comments about whether you've had your baby yet. I don't think I've ever peppered someone who's overdue with questions, but I definitely will just send her a gift or take her to lunch instead. 🙂

  41. At least you're still smiling in the pictures…..even if you're not smiling on the inside. 🙂 (Had 2 over due babies myself – it blows.)

  42. Oh man, I feel for you. I was not a pleasant person those last few days. I wanted to respond to all those text messages with "The baby arrived last week! I guess I forgot to tell you?"

    If you were closer to Portland, I would bring you some spicy shrimp tacos with Por Que No, which I ate 3 times the week that Henry was born. They probably had nothing to do with going into labor but they were very, very tasty.


  43. I'll admit, I Facebook stalked you to see if you had already had the baby but hadn't posted here about it yet. Haha! But I wasn't going to say anything about it. I have the feeling I'll be in your shoes in about a month (I'm measuring small, so I am gearing myself up to go a week overdue).

  44. I got induced with Molly at 41 weeks. Blah. Longest week of my life!! Good Luck and Love ya!! So excited for you!!

  45. Aw, Janssen. You honey. I'm glad you posted this.

    You might remember I went to 42 weeks with both of my girls. I actually don't mind that part at all (oddly), the only part that annoys me is that EVERYONE ELSE MINDS SO DARN MUCH! So I relate to that part of your post, for sure.

    My plan with this one is to be very vague about when I'm due…perhaps name only the season or month, maybe it'll help. I might even overshoot so that when baby does arrive it's a surprise. Na, probably won't work, I tell people, "Ah, I go over, so I'll be *my* full term a couple weeks later."

  46. i love you. you make me laugh. i felt like i was having a conversation with you at the park while watching our kids play while reading this post. thanks for being such a great writer. it's just gosh darn fun to read. 🙂

  47. Hey Janssen,
    I hope that whenever this baby comes,both mama and baby sail through the delivery. 🙂 There is nothing that ever makes me rant more than people presuming that they have a right to know everything about someone else's pregnancy and have a right to tell the woman how to go about handling her pregnancy. You and this baby will be ready for the next part of your adventure when you are both ready. It is as simple as that. 🙂 Hugs to you!

  48. So glad she made it safely and so happy you aren't pregnant anymore! I feel your pain – my THIRD child was 11 days late and was born in June instead of May. I thought I was going to have to rip her out myself.

  49. I am with you! I have had 2 "past due" babies, one induced. And I will happily, gladly, with a smile on my face go 14 days past my due date before I ever get induced again. And no, I didn't have a terrible, terrible induction experience but waiting til that baby is good and ready is SOOO worth it for baby and mom. Congrats on your sweet baby, she's beautiful.

  50. I went through that with my first 2 as well. Both late and both ended up being induced. Everyone bugging you all the time. Scott was born in March instead of Feb. In short, I agree – it sucked. I'm sure it would have happened the 3rd time around too if I hadn't had a medical need to be induced a week early!

  51. I feel you pain. I was 11 days over due with my daughter and was induced kicking and screaming and still had an emergency c-section. I may lie to the doctor about my last period date just to not go through that again!

  52. I'm so glad there's someone to commiserate with! I worked out most days of the last 41 weeks so I don't know what to tell people when they say I just need to walk one.more.time (I ran up to 38 weeks and that didn't do anything, apparently).

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