Guest Post: The Trouble With Due Dates

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I asked a bunch of friends and family to write some guest posts for me so I’d have some good stuff to post, even if I was totally tired one day.

Jen G, the pastor’s wife and a really good friend of mine, agreed to help!

Jen has 3 boys, Sam, Levi, and Nate. They are super cute. I posted a picture of Jen in my “I Am Grateful” post, which you can check out here!

In her own words….

The Trouble With Due Dates

I think it’s interesting how the mind of a pregnant woman changes from conception to the 40th week.  When I first saw those two lines on the pregnancy test, I imagined myself becoming the serene, beautiful pregnant woman with the basketball shaped belly, the picture of femininity and good things to come.  But soon a realization came to me that brought with it a twinge of panic: this will inevitably end in labor and delivery.

How would my body do that?  Could I handle pain like that?  Would I lose control, yell at my husband, cry in front of strangers?  Would my body ever be the same?

For me, as the weeks of pregnancy moved along, things changed.  My body changed in ways that baffled me.  By the time I reached 38 weeks, my mind had changed, too.  I had prepared as much as I could, and I was ready to meet that sweet baby who had been squirming around inside of me for so long.  I couldn’t wait till I could hold him on the outside instead of the constant pressure and weight that having him on the inside was causing.

So, when my due date approached, I was ready.  Unfortunately, baby wasn’t.

He was due on July 3rd.  That day came and went with no baby.  So did the next, and the next.  We tried all the tricks:  spicy food, driving over bumpy roads, long walks, swimming.  (I did stop short at castor oil.)  I was hot and swollen.  Despite efforts to stay comfortable and distracted, I cried every day I was overdue.

Finally, one week after my due date, I had a contraction that I knew was real.  It was several hours before it was time to go to the birthing center and several hours after that before we met our son, but the waiting was finally over!

During my second pregnancy, I knew better:  Don’t take the “due date” too seriously.  This time I was due on April 3rd, but I would often warn myself, “more like April 10th”.

And this second sweet baby was also late – but only by 5 days this time!  I handled the lateness so much better with a more flexible mindset.

Only 20 months later I found myself again 9 months pregnant.  Number 3 was our little surprise, so we (and the doctors) weren’t certain of the date of conception and had to guess the due date based on measurements.  The funny thing is, all my babies were in the 9 pound range, so measuring big didn’t necessarily mean I would go into labor anytime sooner.  I prepared for a later-than-estimated due date of December 17th.

My husband, who works at a university, figured things were timed just right since finals would be over just before the baby arrived.  He had meetings scheduled right up to the day.  Why not, since I seemed to be a woman who had a longer than usual gestation period.  Funny thing is, I went into labor 6 days early.  This baby surprised us in more ways than one.

There’s nothing like that last month.  Knowing that an event will take place some time in the next 4-6 weeks that will change your life forever is sobering and thrilling.  Not having control over when it will happen can be maddening.

But the advice my midwife gave me is true:  that baby is gonna come out, some time in the next several days.  You can’t be pregnant forever!  And when my babies finally made their way into the world, all those questions from early in pregnancy were answered.  Yes, I could handle the pain.  Yes, I would lose control, but it would be ok.  No, my body will never be the same, and that’s ok, too.  At the risk of sounding cliche’, my babies were completely worth the wait.

Taken at 41 weeks, I was in early labor (obviously between contractions that were not too painful) at the birth center, about 12 hours before my first son was born.

Taken at 41 weeks, I was in early labor (obviously between contractions that were not too painful) at the birth center, about 12 hours before my first son was born.


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