Motherhood & Madness: A Guilty Parent


I am 38 weeks pregnant today. My baby can come any time now! This is a happy and scary time as any day could be the day that labour starts. Unfortunately, I have been battling a mild form of irritable uterus. This is not officially diagnosed but when I saw my midwife yesterday and continued to describe my symptoms she started using language like “overactive uterus” and “irritable uterus”. Researching it, I find it fits my experience. For about 3-4 weeks I have been experiencing frequent uterine contractions that cause tightness and pressure in my belly. This is very uncomfortable and is causing me to become inactive, have difficulty sleeping, and making me very unhappy. The suggestions of staying hydrated, emptying my bladder, lowering stress, and limiting movement do not work at relieving the contractions. It is especially difficult to manage the hydration and emptying my bladder is impossible. I have found some relieve with laying on my side with pillows behind and in front of me and trying to truly relax.

Where does the guilt come in? That’s why I wanted to write this blog in the first place. When I saw my midwife yesterday and told her about my continued experience with my uterus, she offered to do a stretch and sweep.  This procedure is non-drug way to kick start labour. While in the office, B encouraged me to get the procedure done but I was so overcome with fear and guilt that I said I would think about it and if I decide to do it then I would do it next Thursday at my appointment. I trust my midwives to offer me non-medical solutions to my pregnancy woes and they would never force me to do something unless my life or my baby’s life were at risk. There is nothing wrong with having a stretch and sweep at 38 weeks pregnant. I still found myself feeling like a horrible mother for doing something to my body to make my body arrive before he wants to. I feel like I am being selfish for wanting to get him out because I’m uncomfortable. It also made me nervous that doing the procedure means I have an idea of when my baby could be born versus right now where I have no idea. This baby is still an abstract idea to me and the potential of having him arrive hours to a few days after a stretch and sweep makes my head spin. I feel a lot of emotions and I would like to cry.

After another night of discomfort, knowing there is something I could do to bring on labour and make the discomfort stop, I decided to call my midwives to see if I could come in sooner than next Thursday. I am waiting to hear back. I still feel immense guilt. I am trying to manage this guilt by reminding myself that my baby is ready to come out. Babies can 100% survive outside of the womb at 38 weeks (I believe I was born at 38 weeks). I think some deep breathing and meditation is in order as I do not need the added stress.

Thank you for reading this post. I really needed to get this out. There is a lot about pregnancy that we keep to ourselves and I think more needs to be known about the physical and emotional things that happen.


10 thoughts on “Motherhood & Madness: A Guilty Parent

    • Of course! I think when we’re at the point of basically full term you just need to do what is going to make you happy and keep your babies safe. There is so much outside pressure being pregnant to have this mythical perfect birth but so long as the end result is the baby/babies you spent so much time making then that’s all that should matter.

  1. Sorry for the double comment, afore mentioned Baby B kicked my phone and published by accident lol. Anyway… They scheduled the procedure at 38 weeks and I was disappointed. They made it all the way to 38, why not go two more? The fact that you’re concerned about it at all is a great indication that you’ll be a wonderful mother. Good luck!

  2. you are doing what is best for you and your baby. there is nothing wrong with that! that is what good mothers are supposed to do, and you are doing it. do your midwives have you drinking black cohosh tea and red raspberry tea? mine gave me that to help induce labor. also they recommended bumpy car rides and long walks to help stimulate labor as well.

    • I ended up doing the sweep and went into labour the next evening! They did recommend things like watching scary movies, spicy foods, walks, sex etc. I did some of them…only managed 1 scary movie and I actually hid the entire time lol

  3. Wow. I feel extremely concerned for you. I’m unable to comprehend this form of guilt that you are experiencing and while I feel for you, I am anxious. This is the first entry I’ve read of your journal. I know nothing about you other than being pregnant and having a form of mental distress too? What I want to say – and I did see a reference to BPD which I know a thing or 3 about personally, is that I’m scared you’re expecting too much of yourself in terms of being a parent. The way I see it – and I’m in no way suggesting you even pretend to see it this way for yourself – your body is signalling to you that it’s in distress even though your baby is ok. The messages from your uterus are hitting the part of your brain that’s letting you know it’s struggling. I do not know if there are religious protocols involved here or spiritual ones as a reason as to why you’re anxious about not carrying to full term. YOU at the end of the day, are going to be THE most important person in that childs life till the end of your life and then some. It makes sense to me based on that, that you do everything you can to ensure you remain sane, safe and as healthy as possible. I’m holding out that the midwife got back to you and you’re able to find some comfort sooner or in 2 weeks time. Go well.

    • Thank you for your kind words! I am happy to report that my son is now 16 days old and I am very happy with how I have been handling being a mom. I feel very good about where I am at with him and he’s the best thing in my life! I have found that using mass amounts of compassion and empathy during the times of when he has trouble sleeping and is crying (for example) are great at keeping the stress levels down. A crying baby can be stressful and understanding that he is expressing himself in the only way he knows how helps me. I’m very glad I have a background in early childhood development and have resources I can turn to, to help me understand what is going on with him and how I can support him.

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