The third trimester of pregnancy can seem absolutely interminable. Crossing days off the calendar, people incessantly asking if you "had that baby yet", and false alarms, it's enough to drive a pregnant woman out of her tree.
All expectant mothers (and fathers, too--who can be just as impatient during the last weeks) need to understand the idea of "full term." A baby is considered full term at 38 to 42 weeks gestation. Yes, 42 weeks is a possibility that parents need to prepare themselves for, mentally. About 6 percent of women give birth after 42 weeks. So there is no need to think the baby is going to come "any minute" at 36 weeks.
This might be little consolation as the expectant mother waits for what seems like an eternity for the baby to be born. Here are some ideas to keep in mind while you "hurry up and wait" for the last few weeks of your pregnancy for your little one to arrive.
* It's only temporary: No one stays pregnant forever. After 42 weeks, your doctor will intervene, regardless. So just keep your eye on the goal, get busy doing something else while you wait.
* Pregnancy isn't on your schedule: It just isn't. This is a hard pill to swallow for some mothers-to-be with "Type A" personalities, who want to schedule everything down to the last minute. We want the birth to coincide with our vacation schedule, our work schedules, the in-law's flight times. But unfortunately, children are a "wild card", so get used to not having complete control over every outcome. Welcome to parenthood.
* Birth plans MUST be flexible. Some of us get embroiled in constructing pages-long, detailed birth plans. Many birth attendants have had to be the ones to break the bad news to expectant mothers that for one reason or another, the birth plan will have to be altered or scrapped altogether. This is no reflection on your ability to plan, as a mother; it only means that your baby didn't get a chance to review and approve the plan!
There are no "wasted trips" to the maternity ward. So many expectant mothers get discouraged during the last weeks after having a perceived reason to pull the alarm. She and her partner rush to the labor and delivery department at the hospital, get hooked up to monitors and allowed to sit for an hour or two, only to be sent home empty handed. Instead of looking at it as being "wrong", view it as confirmation that mother and baby are healthy and doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing. Medical personnel could find no reason to interrupt nature's work. Count every "false alarm" trip to L&D as a point in your favor as a concerned and conscientious parent.