Almost eight months ago, I stood in your shoes. I was nine months pregnant; overdue. I was committed to doing everything naturally. It seemed like the most important thing to me. I didn’t hear a word the doctors said about potential complications. I didn’t take the warnings seriously. I refused to be induced.
And it sounds weird writing this now, but I think I didn’t realize what “complications” meant. I never really knew it was possible for a baby to die.
I don’t write this to scare you. I’ve been following your journey for the past several months, and more than anything, you remind me of me; the me I used to be. And this is why I write to you — because I constantly wish someone had told me, in plain language, exactly what I was risking.
Going overdue in your pregnancy is dangerous. Going against medical advice is dangerous. And while most people who do these things will be fine, there is still a chance you will lose your child.
I lost my child. There were no warning signs; nothing my midwives took seriously anyway. He was perfectly healthy, and then he died.
I lost my child. I was the 1 in 160*. And those numbers being “small” are no comfort to me.
Please reconsider your decision to go overdue, or to otherwise disregard your provider’s recommendations.
I understand, possibly more than most, the desire to want a beautiful, natural birth that goes exactly according to plan. When I was pregnant, I thought that was the most important thing in the world.
I don’t think that anymore. I would give anything to have my son.
Whatever you decide, I wish the best to all three of you.
*1 in 160 pregnancies ends in stillbirth, defined as the death of the child at or after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The risks of stillbirth at term are less precisely known, anywhere from 1 in 1000-2000. The risks do increase with every day a pregnancy proceeds past 39 weeks.
Reference: Elective induction of labor at 39 weeks compared with expectant management: a meta-analysis of cohort studies, by William A. Grobman, MD, MBA & Aaron B. Caughey, MD, PhD