Statistics and Surrender: Savouring the Last Days of Pregnancy
The duration of my first pregnancy was 37 weeks and 5 days.
He was healthy and ready to go at early term, catching us pleasantly off-guard. The bags were packed on the day with me calling directions to my patient husband between contractions. The car seat was installed and the pool booked all while I labored. We had to stop for petrol on the way. It was an adventure – the final adventure we travelled together before we became a family of three – reaching a climax at the arrival of a little son, so keen to enter the world that he arrived the day before the baby shower.
Fast forward two and a half years and baby number two is incubating away, hidden in that secret place.
Week 37 and 38 came and went. 39 too. The so-called due date passed. Although it was my second pregnancy these final days were oddly unfamiliar. I realized I had never actually been this pregnant before. I never experienced the particular aches and pains and Braxton Hicks of the final countdown last time around. I had never gotten to the point of regular inquiries of “any news yet?” and “so when are you due?”, or the assumptions that I must be really over it and could not wait for the baby to arrive.
I was nesting like a wild woman (albeit a tired one), and with a toddler in the house I got into this weird cycle of re-nesting, where every few days I’d feel the urgent need to re-clean and tidy because the house had become a complete mess again and still no baby. I also started habitually googling the statistical likelihood that I’d go into spontaneous labour on any given day.
And yeah, I was tired.
Restless, yes. Moderately uncomfortable most of the time, for sure. But I was also aware of enjoying it. The strange, expectant, last days of pregnancy. Firstly, from a pragmatic view point, there is the convenience of a baby who you don’t yet have to feed, soothe or clean up after. I’m under no illusions about this baby thing. Pregnancy (for me) was the easy bit.
But there was more than that. These were the very last moments I would carry this fully formed child inside my own body, knowing that they are safe and warm and content in their compact home. I felt incredibly grateful to be pregnant, even full-term-whale-lady-pregnant, not because falling pregnant was a particular struggle for us, but because it is a miracle every time God breathes life into a tiny new person and allows us to be so incredibly close to the process.
God could have clicked His mighty fingers to complete creation in a millisecond.
Instead he savored the process, celebrating each new part as it contributed to the whole. He took the time to appreciate each addition, declaring it to be good. In creation, God gives us the ultimate lesson in mindfulness. There is something to be said for waiting for the onset of labour. In our culture that is so heavily dictated by time constraints, what a blessing it is to have such a joyful opportunity to surrender to His timing.
On Sunday afternoon I saw the midwife. “Stretch and sweep?” she offered, “Do you want to get the ball rolling?” I declined, being all too aware that the statistical likelihood was still pretty high I’d go into labour spontaneously in the next week or so. Sure enough, that ball started rolling (and pretty quickly too) the very next morning.
The duration of my second pregnancy was 40 weeks and 3 days.
She was well worth the wait.
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Cat is a follower of Jesus, the tea-drinking wife of a coffee roaster and the stay-at-home mum of one busy toddler. She delights in the mingling of art and science, small and simple pleasures, wit and whimsy, and the doing of life. Her heart is to encourage. When she’s not pottering behind the scenes at Precision Coffee Roasters, you’ll likely find her eating cake, trying new recipes, making lists, or just playing – with or without a child.