‘When are you due?’ is probably the question you hear most throughout pregnancy. And understandably so. You use it to gauge what symptoms somebody’s suffering, when they’ll be able to drink wine again, how long you have to plan a baby shower, and some people like to shout a star sign at you. I don’t mind being asked, but I have started answering in a way people aren’t used to.
People want dates. Exact dates that they can put in their diaries and plan their weeks around. The problem is babies famously don’t understand this and have a tendency to completely ignore the date you’re told to expect them. Like a bus when you really need to get home for a pee, they like to keep you waiting.
With my first daughter I had my due date fixed in my head. That was the date my life was going to change, I was going to become a mum and I might experience a little bit of discomfort…
That date came and went rather swiftly and I was left feeling disappointed, stressed, and fat. I was inundated with daily texts asking if anything was happening yet and I found the whole situation to be really quite horrible. The waiting game sucks, the waiting game when you feel like half the world is watching and waiting with you is fucking awful!
So this time I’ve decided that I’m keeping that elusive date a little closer to my heart. I don’t want it to be a mark in people’s diaries (as much as I love them for caring enough to want to do that), I don’t want it to be the day I start getting a barrage of ‘you pushing yet?’ texts, and most of all I don’t want it to become the sole focus of me and Matt.
Pregnancy is stressful and hard and lets be honest most of us are counting down the weeks until it’s over, we want to meet our babies and god do we want to not be pregnant anymore! But too much focus on that one date can lead to all kinds of stress and disappointment when nothing happens. I don’t know a single person who has given birth on her due date (and I know statistically there must be someone but who is she?!), what I do know are dozens of women who found them stressed and resentful that baby wasn’t playing ball and fitting in to their immaculately planned out bullet journals.
I don’t want that stress this time around, I don’t want pressure to ‘get labour started’, and I don’t want to feel like the most disappointing show horse ever when I don’t live up to expectations by a given time. And I can have that, because it’s my pregnancy, it’s our baby, and it’ll come when it’s ready (almost certainly not on the day written down in my green folder).
So if you want to know, I’m due around the middle of June.
That’s how I’ll be answering that question.