We'll start off this article by saying, sorry you're reading this. Your due date has likely come and gone, and you're probably feeling more than a little cranky. But fear not! You will not be pregnant forever. We guarantee you'll be holding a real, live baby very shortly.
As you're lying around, relaxing (which you should be doing) and trying to mentally will your uterus to contract, remember that due dates are never exact. Your baby might not even be overdue at all -- it's often pretty difficult to pinpoint the date of conception, so your due date is something of an educated guess. About half of all babies are born after their due date, according to WhatToExpect.com. And if you are actually overdue, it's no cause for panic. It happens all the time, and in fact, overdue babies are often bigger, have more hair and appear more alert than their on-time counterparts.
If this is your first pregnancy, keep in mind that first babies are notoriously slow to evict themselves from the womb. All you can really do now is be patient; unless you're a high-risk pregnancy or there's a medical reason to induce, your caregiver will probably hold off until next week to do anything because a wait-and-see approach is favorable to inducing labor. So hang in there!
We have quite a few guesses about what you might be feeling this week, and fatigue and irritability are most likely at the top of that list. The baby is resting squarely on your bladder now, so you're probably practically living in the bathroom. By now, you're likely very familiar with the signs of labor checklist, which includes cervical dilation, effacement(softening of the cervix during labor), loss of mucus plug (known as bloody show), nausea and diarrhea. But you also know that the appearance of any of them is not a sure sign that it's go-time. You could go into labor in a few hours -- or a few days. You could also start contractions without having any of these symptoms.
Unless you have the patience of a saint, you've probably discussed induction options with your doctor or midwife. But if the baby is still fairly active and isn't showing obvious signs of distress, most care providers will wait until 42 weeks before inducing. And no matter how anxious you might be, you need to think twice before going ahead with an elective induction. The C-section risk doubles when labor is induced, according to a study in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Of course, the longer the little guy is in there, the bigger he's going to be when he's trying to come out. And after 42 weeks, your risk of stillbirth doubles, so you'll definitely be monitored very carefully.