No, I’m not talking about library books or utility bills. Yesterday was D-Day – as in our due date.
It came. It went. And today is just another day closer. So now we enter a period of indeterminate length which could be a mere smattering of hours or as long as two weeks, with the worst case scenario being an induced birth.
It’s a period which can best be characterised by one word: boredom. Tedious, mind-numbing boredom. Like responsible parents, we’ve made all the preparations we need to make. And socially, we’ve been cramming in as much as we can over the last few weeks (the weather hasn’t helped on that front), but we haven’t planned anything beyond yesterday. Which means we are currently gazing into the abyss of a social vacuum – yes, I know it’s a mixed metaphor – with nothing to look forward to as a distraction. We can’t really stray too far from home. And even though we’re planning a home birth, I need to be sober enough to drive to the hospital in the event of any complications.
Fundamentally, all that remains is to sit and wait patiently, silently cursing the weather forecast which is still predicting heavy snow for Wednesday.
I’ve never quite been sure why we place such importance on the expected date of delivery. Of course, it’s important in terms of determining the timing of pre-natal checks, scans and so on, but its calculation is fairly arbitrary, being simply the date 40 weeks from the mother’s last menstrual period. The statistical reality is that under five percent of births – in other words, fewer than one in 20 – occur on the due date. If there’s one thing you can be reasonably sure of, it’s that the baby won’t arrive on the expected date.
(Hmm, I know way too much about this.)
Anyway, we’ve been in this position before, as Zac was also a late arrival (by 12 days). It was a situation we worked around in our usual way: by going out to dinner pretty much every night until Zac arrived. (I’ve never shifted the weight gained as a result of that, but hey.) However, with a two-year old to look after, that’s not such an easy option this time around – although, obviously, that’s why God created the takeaway and then bettered Himself by following that up with the invention of delivery services. (I’m betting He then invested heavily in Domino’s Pizza shares. Well, you just would, wouldn’t you?)
So there we are. We sit. We wait. We use the birthing pool as a spa bath. Speaking of which, it’s time to empty, clean and refill the pool again tonight. If that doesn’t invoke sod’s law and induce labour, I’m not sure what will.
Still, at least this is one situation where being overdue doesn’t involve the accumulation of fines or threatening letters to send in the debt collectors. Small mercies and all that, eh?