Friday, September 20, 2013

In honor of the beautiful, full, harvest moon.

In honor of the stunningly beautiful harvest moon that rose from behind the dusky grey/green northwest forest silhouette last night, while I sat and talked with my husband, my son and parents by a fire in the backyard, shared a glass of wine, listened to my guy sing a Neil Young love song, I decided to spend a few minutes this morning acknowledging one of the gifts she offers.

For the soundtrack in my mind, open this link:

This short and sweet little article succinctly explains the issues surrounding how due dates are determined.  It will not likely become an exact science anytime in the near future, but getting as close as we can scientifically (by scientific I don't mean modern science, I'm referring to the science that has stood the test of time, a very long time) will help care providers know if they should be intervening, and allows parents to accept the idea of going "past" the due date.  The range of normal is far broader that the average that we are presented with in selecting a finite due date.  I have been encouraged lately, locally, by doctors and midwives alike, offering a due date range in leu of a concrete date on the calendar.

Going past the due date may not seem like a very big deal, but the number can get in her head after awhile and she begins to make plans surrounding the arrival of this exquisite gift she is anticipating.  There are family members, perhaps, planning to visit.  There may be another event in the same time period that you might want to attend.  There are Babymoons to enjoy with your partner, perhaps.  Sometimes there are plans to be made for care of older children during the birth, and maybe for the days following.  Some women and/or their partners have work to contend with leading up to the delivery and that can involve, pressure, training a replacement, deciding when to begin taking leave, baby pools, panicked phone calls if you are few minutes late. None of the above even begin to tackle the emotional challenges of going past her due date.  These are all just logistical.
Emotionally many women are raw by the time the due date draws near.  She isn't getting the deep sleep she once enjoyed because her body is in training for caring for a newborn, and there is a reasonable about of fatigue that is inherent in growing a baby and carrying the added weight of pregnancy around all day.  Her hormone levels are changing, shifting under her feet.  Even if she has loved pregnancy, at least some part of her really wants to be done, she wants to see her feet, she wants to be able to hug her partner close or hold her older child in her lap.  She wants to be done fantasizing, or worrying, about how everything will begin, what the labor will be like, what the birth will be like.  She wants to meet the baby, make the exciting announcements.  As the date on the calendar approaches, and all those unanswerable questions begin to rise, and the questions from well meaning friends, family members, co-workers, passersby in the produce aisle start to flood in, it can feel overwhelming.  Everything is waxing.
I always encourage my clients to allow their care providers to do the worrying, if they don't seem concerned about mommy or baby, she should be free to wax.  The more open and accepting she can be to trusting her body and her baby to decide when it is time, the sooner it's likely to be.  Tension and stress can interfere.  Whether or not you rely on the lunar/moon cycle entirely, or in combination with modern science, it is an ancient, beautiful, centering, accurate, glowing, and universal connection.  The waxing and waning of the moon and the waxing and waning of your body during and after pregnancy is a lovely synchronicity.

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