In case you haven’t noticed today’s post is a bit late. I am so mixed up that I thought today was Wednesday and the day before Tuesday and so forth back to Monday which was such a perfect holiday, I almost didn’t want to start the week at all. And that makes me think about other things that sometimes come late.
It used to be a woman found out she was pregnant when she started to see a distinctive bump form around her middle. Oh, she might have suspected before that time but only then did she know for sure. Then, from that time she would think ahead and others would guess with her and eventually they would settle on a date for the anticipated arrival. “Sometime in the spring.” or “Around harvest.” or “Most likely before the first snow.”
Now, even home pregnancy tests are so accurate we can know of the life growing within us weeks before any outward sign exists. This is a blessing. It allows us more time to eat better, exercise, prepare our homes as well as our minds for the birth of our babes. But this knowing is also a curse. In such a highly calculated world DUE DATE is king.
I remember pregnancy and I remember the number one asked question. “When are you due?” With Sister I answered with confidence, “September 19th.” I had read variations were possible but was certain that referred to women whose cycles weren’t regular or who didn’t keep track of such things. Neither of those applied to me, therefore my child would be born on September 19th, 2001. Fortunately, by the time September 19th came (and went) I had done a little more reading. I wasn’t so confident at that point but surely… surely she would not go more than a week past. At 10 days I gave up even guessing and having had a good laugh at the expense of her mother, Sister appeared on Oct 2nd (12 days past her forecasted due date.)
With Brother I was smarter or so I thought.
“When are you due?”
“Around the end of July.”
I smiled secretly at how clever I was. No one would get an exact date out of me. Saying “the end of July” kept the parameters so much more open than saying July 25th. (Oops, how did that slip out?)
Somewhere around August 9th thoughts of castor oil, black cohosh, spicy Thai food and a number of other natural induction methods started playing on a steady reel through my mind. A few more days past. I walked for miles (or at least blocks… okay one block and back) trying to encourage his entrance. We rode on bumpy roads. We made love. (which is by far the most pleasant induction method, BTW) Would this child ever arrive? Even by the most generous adjustment he was already 2 weeks “late.” That was two days more even than his sister. Somewhere around day 18, I drank the nastiest, “NEVER fail to give birth within 24 hours” Chinese herbal potion ever. Two days later feeling as large as a house, I gave up. “The baby will come when the baby will come. I’m through trying to make something happen.” Brother laughed just as Sister did and greeted us the following afternoon – three weeks to the day past his due date.
I know my experience is not a typical one at least not in these times but it deserves some thought. Your baby will come when your baby will come. No amount of calculating will give you the date. Your baby will not be “late.” Given the opportunity, your child will arrive exactly on schedule.
There was a lady I used to work with who repeated me to daily, “Don’t be in such a rush. They are a lot easier to take care of in there than they are out here.” And so I leave you with those wise words.