And still my baby is snug inside of me.
Today is precisely why I hate due dates. Because even though everyone knows that babies are rarely born on their actual estimated date of delivery, a due date feels more like an expiry date than anything else. For forty weeks we look forward to this date, we count down to this date, we repeat this date over and over.
And yet, today, I am still pregnant.
Today is no different from yesterday or the day before or the day before that.
Just another day.
My due date.
Early in this pregnancy, I heard someone reject the “due date” philosophy in favour of a “due month“. I rather prefer this method of thinking. Babies are considered full term at 37 weeks but it is generally thought that they can stay safely inside of Mama until 42 weeks. So, in reality, I should be looking at May 2nd as my best before date. Not today. I should be assuming that this baby will be born sometime in April, but not necessarily by, or even around April 18th.
In theory, I fully subscribe to this philosophy. I find myself getting frustrated when women or doctors try to rush a body’s natural inclination to allow labour to start and progress on its own. There is without a doubt a point in which labour needs to be coaxed medically if it isn’t happening, but too often I see this happening earlier than I believe is necessary.
Still, as today’s date has loomed, people have been asking more and more when I am due. They expect an answer. And when we find ourselves in the midst of April, an answer of “in April” is no longer appropriate. So my focus has narrowed into today’s date. I have repeated the syllables “A-pril eigh-teenth” over and over. Last week I said “next week” and earlier this week I said “Wednesday” or “tomorrow”. No matter how much I tried to avoid it, today’s date has become the big date.
What makes all of this even harder to swallow is that ever since my pregnancy bump started showing, people have been guessing that I will go early. My husband has been saying for weeks that the baby will be here any day. Yet here we are, on the “due date” and not only is this baby still hogging my uterus but I haven’t even had a single early labour sign to convince me that this baby is ready to move out any time soon.
Photo taken this morning
40 Weeks Pregnant
So, instead of ending, today it starts. Today starts the excruciating waiting period. Today is when I no longer have a “date” to look forward to or count down to. Today is when I simply must give everything over to the natural rhythms of my body and pray that I will go into labour on my own, when I am ready. Today I can no longer rely on schedules or plans. I just wait. And watch. And feel. And expect. And hope.
Fun Fact: Cameron was born four days after his due date, though labour started at three days after. I started showing early labour signs with Cameron around 35 weeks and had started to dialate around 37 or 38 weeks. I went into labour on my own, but still needed to be induced after my body failed to progress.