Since I’ve experienced going past the 40 week mark with both babies, I feel able to talk about the preferences of overdue friends. In both circumstances I had people waiting on me to give birth before leave expired or a visit ended. Here is one way I described it:
My body is a single bedroom apartment staged for a solitary tenant- one bed, set of dishes, arm chair, etc. Yet I’m sharing it with someone. This is a person I love, but I can’t wait until they move out.
My suggestions for what not to do when your friend is overdue:
1. Ask if you’ve had the baby yet. It’s better to make the assumption your friend has not had the baby yet. Chances are they will tell you when they do. If they have given birth, they can make the happy correction.
2. Judge the way they spend their overdue time. The best an overdue person can do is spend that time the way they want to keep themselves comfortable and not go crazy. If they want to sleep the whole time, don’t tell them to talk a walk or a ride on a rocky road. If they want to nest, don’t tell them to put down the laundry basket and vacuum cleaner and just wait for their child to get here in a dirty house.
If your friend is overdue some things they might like:
1. Tell them simply you are thinking about them and that if they can think of anything you can do for them, including listening to their feelings, you are there.
2. Send snacks. Something non-perishable probably won’t go amiss right now and can be stored for post-baby hunger.
3. Tell them what is going on in your life. Give them something else to focus on.
4. Tell them how perfect sized their belly is. No one wants to hear how big they’ve gotten or worry about their belly being too small.
5. Ask what is the worst thing about their situation right now. Deciding between their discomforts and worries can help them feel validated and perhaps lead them to think about a solution for one big thing instead of feeling helpless among a bunch of things they can’t control.
The great thing about being overdue is that you can’t sleep and are antsy. Perfect time for writing and lots of negative emotions to use as creative fuel.
What are your thoughts on what to due and what not to due?