The due date is like the holy grail for the first time preggo. The first time you hear those words coming from doc’s mouth, it’s like the all-consuming date for the next 10 months. It is the date that so many live for, the wonderful date you can meet your baby!
The thing is, there’s so much psychology and neurosis behind this particular date that it has yet to stop fascinating me. I’ve found there are two tracks of first time preggos. Like with brides, there’s the pack of brides who only want an all white bouquet and there’s the pack of brides that want a vibrant color bouquet to pop off their dress.
There is the first time preggo who longs for that date, who absolutely cannot wait for that date, who holds that date up as the end-all, be-all date, and if that date comes and goes and they are still preggo, they are devastated.
Then there is the other preggo who just isn’t that into the date and figures baby will come when baby will come. By my count, there are very few first time preggos like this……but some of them are out there. What I’m beginning to notice, however, is that the reality check and wisdom you gain from having one child, puts the majority of second time preggos in this camp.
I only come at the due date from the experience I had, which was, I never made it because I had my baby 4 weeks early and my water came gushing out one cold November Saturday evening right around dinner time, to everyone’s surprise. So, I have no idea what it feels like to have your due date come and go – but I can tell you this – I longed to know what that felt like at the time and I still hope for that whenever there is a next time.
What I observed about sonograms and due dates is this – it’s not an exact science. The docs might state things with absolute certainty but this is the mystery and power of pregnancy and growing a child inside of you. Things happen on baby’s terms and baby’s schedule – so it seems like a due date is best considered an estimation…and if you’re lucky enough to still have that baby inside when that day comes and goes, then that’s the best case scenario because it means baby is happy and getting really fat inside. And what happens with big fat babies when they enter this world? It means they can eat more food….which in turn means they can sleep for longer…and just as the due date was once the holy grail for a preggo, sleeping at night quickly becomes the holy grail while the due date gets tossed and forgotten like the placenta.
And so, imagine my surprise and sheer delight upon hearing of a little trick my friend used recently. She is now pregnant with her second child. Her first child was induced at 42 weeks and that process still took almost three days because that baby was so happy inside, she just didn’t want to come out.
This particular friend was thrilled to have gone past her due date and actually pushed her docs to let her go past 41 weeks. She couldn’t see the logic in forcing the baby out if baby was happy and healthy inside and she was being put at no risk. Furthermore, she wasn’t dilated or effaced at all and she said “You can squeeze a green tomato all you want but it doesn’t mean any juice is gonna come out.”
Ha ha. Loved that.
So anyhow, moving on to her second pregnancy. When she went in for that first OB appointment, she actually fibbed on the first date of her last period, deliberately telling the docs it was 4 days later than it actually was. She wanted a later due date, she wants to keep that baby in as long as possible. I LOVE this approach! How ingenious, I sat there thinking! I asked her if the docs have tried to shift her due date after several sonograms, and each has noted that she seems to be a bit further along than her due date suggests, but then they move on and leave it as is.
It was so refreshing to hear this story. I’ll say it once and I’ll say it again, as long as mommy and baby are healthy, why the big rush to get that kid out? I just don’t get it.