Monday, June 6, 2011

Eviction Notice: Get Out!

There are several topics I want to tackle in this post.  As you know, I work with moms who are typically in their last trimester, which, for some, can be a very trying time.  Personally, I always enjoyed being pregnant with my four babies.  With the fourth baby, however, I did have a glimpse of understanding why women get induced. I was 34, which I must admit, was harder than the other pregnancies had been, and I suspect age had something to do with it, although having 3 other babies to look after was probably the majority of it!

I totally understand wanting to meet your new baby and getting your body back, or being able to breathe again and not having to switch sides all night long because your hips are killing you.  Maybe you've had some ailment, like a foot in your ribs for the last 6 weeks, or constant heartburn, or maybe even the worst of all ailments, PUPPS.  Lately, it seems that the "due date" has been referred to by some as the baby's "eviction notice."  I honestly believe that most people use this term jokingly.  Some, on the other hand, have seemed quite serious.

 When someone gets an eviction notice, they are being kicked out of their home for doing something wrong -- most likely for not paying the money they owe for rent.  They no longer have the right to live there.  Your baby, on the other hand, has not done anything to warrant getting "kicked out" of his/her home.  Maybe their "due date" has come and gone.  You know it, but your baby does not.  He doesn't have a little calendar in the womb with the date circled in red to tell him "today is the day to move out!"  While 40 weeks is the average gestation, some babies need longer than that.  Be kind to your little tenant.  He is much easier to deal with in his current home than when he actually does "move out." 

I've had many moms over the years who have sat on my couch in tears after their baby is here because they can't believe how hard this little one is to deal with.  They always comment on how if they had really known, they wouldn't have been so anxious to get him out!  Once that baby is here, he's here.  Pregnancy is over.  It can be an emotional thing with the attention shifting off of mom and onto the baby.  Many women will experience a sense of loss once the pregnancy is over, which can surprise many women who were so anxious to get the baby here.  

And who doesn't miss feeling the baby move?  I can't even remember what that felt like now.  I would give anything to feel that again, to remember.  I always tell my moms, at 40 weeks, even if they go the full 2 weeks "over," they will be mamas in less than 14 days.  Somehow that makes it more tangible.  The pregnancy will end.  You will hold your baby. 

Treasure the end of pregnancy.  Do something really fun and creative to pass the time.  Feel free to add to this list in the comments.  The possibilities are endless.

*Do a belly cast.  
*Do pregnancy photos one more time.  
*Rent some good sappy movies with your husband.  (We saw "Little Women" and "Mr. Holland's Opus" when I was due with Daymon.  David cried more than I did!)
*Or some really great comedies.  
*Stay in a hotel and enjoy these last days together as a "single" couple.  

Don't just sit around watching the clock or the calendar.  Make the most of this time. 

Once the baby is here, spend as much time holding your baby as humanly possible, despite your mother-in-law telling you that you shouldn't.  Your baby will be easier to deal with and bond with if you can recreate the womb for him. 

Recreating the womb involves making his new home as close to his last home as possible:

*He never experienced hunger before.  This is a new sensation in his belly.  He might want to nurse all the time to keep that funny feeling away.  That is OK.  Let him nurse. 
*He never felt wide open space around him.  He was curled up.  Cozy. Warm.  Put him in a sling and wear him.  He'll think he's in the womb again.  (Yes, I can sell you a sling, but that's not why I'm telling you this!)
 *He listened to your heart beat all day long.  He heard your voice, knows your walk, your laugh, even the noises of your stomach.  Those sounds are comforting to him.  Keep him nearby and he will be comforted.

I'm tempted to make co-sleeping it's own post.  I've written about it on the blog quite a bit, but I just want to mention it here briefly.  I'm not sure why Americans think their baby needs their own separate room and bed.  To quote lactation consultant, Mellanie Sheppard, again, "You are your baby's environment."  Seriously.  You want to sleep?  You want your baby to sleep?  Then you need to be co-sleeping.  It's not strange.  Your baby will not be in your bed forever.  You will still have sex with your husband, although maybe not in the bed!  Again, this phase of your life will not last terribly long.  Enjoy it!  We miss that time of having a little baby sleeping between us. 

It took David and I four kids to figure out the best way to parent a newborn.  We didn't set up a crib.  Our bed was her bed from day one, even for naps.  She was continuously is the sling.  She nursed around the clock.  She hardly made a peep.  I remember David even commented one time that she didn't seem to have much personality.  You should see her now!  Wow!  My point is simply that when I see parents meeting their baby's needs before the baby even knows what they need, baby is totally content. And so is mom and dad!

One more bit of advice:  Don't compare your baby to other babies.  That will make you insane.  Also, at some point, as much as I love for you to read my blog and my recommended reading list, you need to just put all of that aside and get to know your baby.  Some things sound great in a book (or a blog!), but the reality is sometimes completely different. 

Your baby is unique and you are the perfect parent for him or her.  YOU are the one he wants.  So just be there.  If you are a good landlord, he'll likely be a great tenant. 



aideen said...

love it!!! love your wisdom!! Would love some further advice on adding aa new baby to the mix in my co-sleeping/nursing relationship with my little man ....he'll be two and a half when baby arrives. We also have an 8 year old but since she was 6 by time DS came along none of these things were an issue!!!

Kylie said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I wish somebody had told me this when I was twiddling my thumbs the morning of my due date. It would have made it easier for me to resist an induction I didn't really want for what I believe was a bogus reason. Everything you said is so true--I did miss pregnancy very much and would have treasured it more had I known what I know now!

Angie said...

My first pregnancy I did not experience that end of pregnancy stress with wanting baby out. She came a week early. Then number two I thought "oh I have my babies early" Wrong wrong wrong. He was 11 days late and a very big guy (10.5) I had some complications with him at delivery (shoulder distocia) that where a bit tense but in the end all turned out just fine (thanks to wonderful midwife and doula). With baby #3 last year I was a total basket case. The last two weeks of pregnancy I spent doing everything I could think of to naturally induce myself. I was worried of a big baby repeat. After the smoothest delivery two days "early" and my smallest child yet (8.4oz) I felt so silly for being all worked up about "due date". After reading this blog I am determined with my next baby (which I'm pretty sure there will be one, but don't hold me to that) I am going to just not stress about it. Baby will come when he/she is ready! It is a hard concept to have when doc's (and society) tell you there IS a time-clock. I wish I would had this mindset with the last two pregnancies!
Co-sleeping. I'm still not sure about this one. I have tried with all my kiddo's but within a few weeks they are in a bassinet next to my bed and they, and I, sleep so much better. I really love the idea of co-sleeping and would like to be successful at it. Maybe next time.

Mellanie said...

I love it when you quote me! ;-) I do have to give credit where credit is do though. The thought stems from "Breastfeeding Made Simple" and their 7 Natural Laws. #2 is "Mother's Body is Baby's Natural Habitat." Everything goes so much better when we realize & respect this!

Brittany said...

I love this! I'm in my 38th week and am really trying to just enjoy myself. I'm still relatively comfortable and am in no rush for anything to happen...I AM excited though and every little pain or twinge makes me think, "OMG, is this it?" I know I probably still have a few weeks to go and that my husband's and my "single" life is coming to an end. I'm really trying to just be in the moment right now.

Donna Ryan said...

I'll do a transitioning baby post. The other baby throws a wrench in things, huh?! This'll be fun.

Donna Ryan said...

I'll do a transitioning baby post. The other baby throws a wrench in things, huh?! This'll be fun.

Sara said...

That is so true about cosleeping. I can honestly say that have only had 2 or 3 restless nights in the 16 months that my daughter has been here with us. I tell people that and they think I am crazy, though.

Also with my daughter I was determined that I would be 2 weeks overdue and there she was born 5 hours away from her due date! That is irony there.

Anne B. said...

My daughter was evicted at 42 weeks +1 day. A few days before, I was very down and needed some alone time. My step-mom was in town for the birth, but I asked her to let me spend the morning alone, my husband was at work. I just sat on the couch and read a whole issue of Mothering magazine. This helped me settle my mind and focus on excitement to meet my baby. I was able to stay positive for the next weeks days before her birth.

Amber said...

Hi there. I'm new to your blog and thus far agree with much of what you've written. I'm curious though, as to this statement:

"I always tell my moms, at 40 weeks, even if they go the full 2 weeks "over," they will be mamas in less than 14 days. Somehow that makes it more tangible. The pregnancy will end. You will hold your baby."

I'm just wondering how you can be so certain? Not all mamas have their babies by 42 weeks. Both of mine have come in the 43rd week (I was charting my cycles, so I'm fairly certain of my ovulation date), and I've known others to go even longer. It's not common, but it happens.

Ginger said...

These are great ideas! Well, except for the "stay in a hotel" idea. Sleeping in a hotel bed is trying enough when I'm not pregnant; doing it when I'm already fat and uncomfortable - out of the question. ;)

This is my 1st visit to your blog. I'm pg w/ my 5th bio child; planning my 5th homebirth. I totally agree about the way hospital births are done (esp in DFW), but I'm not getting what that has to do with baby showers. My friends and I celebrate every single child that is born or adopted. This will be my 8th child, but is celebrated no less, apparently despite the fact that I have homebirths.
Do tell: What's the connection?

Kate said...

Oh I AM SOO glad you mentioned PUPPS. I had it and I was OH SO ready to get that baby out of me! No he hadn't done anything wrong of course but it was time to go! Yep I put an eviction notice on my belly on my due date, chugged the castor oil and 3 days later he arrived. Thank goodness! blarg! I know I would of begged for an induction if I was seeing an OB but I was with a midwife so we had to tough it out. And yes I mouuuurrrneed not being pregnant anymore and was so sad and ended up with PPD it was crazy.

trimommy2009 said...

I remember when I was pregnant with my first and attending Bradley Classes that my instructor told us, most babies, if left to their own devices actually arrive 1 week and 1 day after the "40 week" mark. So we added that extra 8 days to our due date and sure enough our little one was born 9 days after our original due date. Having that adjusted due date in my head really helped me relax when he was "late". I even started telling people our new Bradley date so people would stop asking if I was going to get induced because I was SOOO late.

Refrigerator Memories said...

THANK YOU! I love this post and shared it with others. I have several friends due in the next couple of months (including myself) and I can only hope they read this and research before inducing for no good reason.

Mrs B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mishka Brownley @ Birth by Heart said...

This is an excellent post. Thanks for putting it together. Sharing with everyone I know!

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