Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Due Month

Yes, I have a due date.  No, I'm not going to tell you.

The idea of a due date is such a wonderful thing, especially if you know when you ovulated.  You can know the exact date your baby should be "ready" for birth!  That's huge!  Or is it?

The biggest issue with due dates is that date is implanted so far into your brain that even if you know you aren't overdue until 42 weeks, your mind automatically goes from "I have time left" to "OMG WHY WON'T THIS BABY LEAVE MY UTERUS, YOUR TIME IS UP!"

Which is actually a very understandable thing when you're big and sore and exhausted, but it's rough seeing women all the time going from happy to completely miserable all because they have passed their due date.

Back in the day, when birth was normal and something to not be feared, you didn't have a due date.  You had a due season.  It was perfectly acceptable to tell others that you were due in the spring and they wouldn't keep prying.  Their eyes would gloss over and they would imagine a baby in the spring and how wonderful that would be.

Now, if you don't tell people your exact due date, obviously something is wrong.  They push and push until you tell them or you walk away from a very pointless conversation.

A due date should not be that big of a deal to other people.  It just shouldn't.  Is it their body growing and birthing another human?  No, it isn't, and your "eviction" date shouldn't be the highlight of their information.

Due dates have become so entrenched in our society that everyone's pregnancy is defined by this one specific date.  Some doctors won't even accept a date that isn't from your last menstrual period even if you know your ovulation date.  It's all so controlled and laughable!

Pregnancy is a time where you should be focused on the journey to motherhood, not focused on one particular date.  I may be different because of my history, but I believe pregnancy should be enjoyed for every second (even when you are miserable, you're still growing another human which is amazing!) and not counted down until the end date you receive.

I wish we could go back to due seasons, or even due months.  That would be so much less stressful for everyone, but especially for the pregnant woman not needing to count the days until her baby is ready for birth.

So yes, I give out a due month or season.  And no one, no matter how much they beg and prod, will change that.


Anastasia said... [Reply to comment]

Thank you for this! I am due "any day now," and definitely feel like there's an invisible clock counting down the days. I feel fine, my baby's super active, I'm excited--and I know due dates are somewhat arbitrary. I know I need to focus on the end result and stop worrying about when I will go into labor.

Amy said... [Reply to comment]

As someone who went to 42 wks 1 day, and spent the last 4 weeks of that dodging incessant phone calls from people who couldn't grasp our rule of "no news means no news" (if you don't hear from us it's because there's no reason to)...I'm happy you addressed this! I've said ever since that it should actually be a "due month." Maybe from 38 wks to 42? Kudos to you for keeping it to yourself. If I ever get pregnant again I will probably only give people an approximate month!

Brenda said... [Reply to comment]

Reminds me of 7 Brides for 7 Brothers. "A Spring Baby...sigh" That is why I've always wanted a spring baby. :)

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