Baby #8 and Why I Pick My Own Due Date
Exciting news! Baby #8 is on the way.
(Which you already know if you read last Monday’s post about Doug’s tremors. By the way- he ended up hospitalized and it became obvious it was his narcolepsy medicines causing his tremors. Thankfully, now that he’s off the meds, it’s all but stopped.)
We are all thrilled, and Doug and I are talking through names more slowly and methodically than we ever have before. (We always choose new boy and girl names, from scratch.) We have so many options and we both like them all, dagnabit. It’s going to be hard to narrow them down.
We’ve also never had anything other than spring and summer babies, so this will be new — a few-week-old baby at Christmastime!!!
Our 9-year-old daughter MeiMei has been praying for months, and hoping for another baby. She cried when we told her. (Video here.) You might think she’s hoping for a girl, and I think she is, but she’s been telling me every night, before bed, “I love whoever is in your tummy!” She’s learned over many babies that God already has this decided, and that the best thing we can do is embrace who He gives. She knows this lesson perhaps better than any of her boy siblings– God always gives us exactly the right person, and we’re never sorry once we see the person he sends.
You also might think that perhaps pregnancy is “old hat” for our family. But it truly isn’t! It never ceases to amaze me that 3 weeks ago, the baby was a size of a poppyseed, then an orange seed a week later, then last week a little sweet pea. The way God makes people is just mind-blowing.
To me, it’s awe-inspiring to be a vessel for it, whether it’s the first time or the (now, because we’ve had 3 miscarriages) 11th time.
MY DIY APPROACH TO DUE DATES
So let’s say my due date is June 18.
What I used to do is this:
- People ask: “When’s your baby due?”
- I’d say “June 18th.”
- Then, for months, I’d get comments about “I hope you don’t have to go into July. Your doctor won’t let you go over, will she? July is sooooo hot and humid!” Etc.
- I’d start feeling nervous about not having the baby in June.
- Then the doctor would do some re-calculations based on my long cycles and realize that my actual due-date was June 28th.
- I’d start really making a big deal in my head about whether the baby went that 4th day “overdue”– and would we be pushed into an entirely different birth month?!
- Those 10 “extra” days from my changed due date felt like an eternity.
- Then, imagine my surprise when we waited, and waited, and waited ANOTHER 10 days before that baby was born on July 7th. Almost a full month after what I thought my “due date” was.
This was actually– true story– what happened with baby #1. It was hot and sticky in Washington, D.C. I thought I was going to die. (I didn’t.)
But I did start to learn a lesson about what to tell people who ask for the “due date.”
Now, nearly a dozen pregnancies in (we’ve had 3 miscarriages), it goes something like this:
- People ask, “when are you due?,”
- I give a general time frame (ie, late November/early December) but then– for my mental stamina– I add 10 days to my official “due date.” So it sounds like this– “late November or early December. Lord willing, we’ll be holding our baby by December 7th.”
This is one way that right now, I’m doing a little end-of-pregnancy self-care from the beginning of my pregnancy…
- I build in some wiggle room from people’s expectations. They’re less pushy, less insistent, and I get less stress-inducing comments, by doing things this way.
- It helps with my own expectations too. I’m less disappointed when the “due date” comes and goes if I’ve been thinking “one way or another, by mid-December, we’ll be holding our baby”– rather than “November 23th is the day!”
“Due dates” are often wrong. (Do you know about the difference between a 28- and 40-day cycle length and that your due date can be two weeks “off” if you happen to be one of us gals who has lengthier cycles?) And the pregnant hormones and emotions can make it seem like our baby is NEEEEVER gonna come as each day passes beyond that supposed “due date.” But then add to that that perhaps you ovulated later than the 28-day gal, and you haven’t even hit your actual “due date.”
You could be “sweating it” and feeling like you’re overdue, when in fact, you haven’t even hit the full 40 weeks yet.
As a pregnant lady, especially toward the end of a hot, big, tired pregnancy, the difference between these two perspectives is more massive than my everyone-keeps-asking-are-you-sure-it’s-not-twins-massive belly.
If you’re newly pregnant, do yourself a favor and consider adding some days to the answer you give… you might be super-super-super glad you did, 8 months from now. 😉
IN THE COMMENTS, PLEASE SHARE:
- If you think we’re crazy. No, not really. Please don’t share. If you think that, kindly keep it to yourself. 😉
- What your experience has been with “due dates.”
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