In all of pregnancy I don’t think there is a day that is quite as difficult to get through, with a baby still in-utero, as one’s ‘estimated’ due date. The medical establishment makes this big deal about how the date is just an ‘estimate’, and that 50% of babies arrive before, and 50% after that date. Well, according to my slightly unreliable sub-doctor here in Calgary. The one who couldn’t quite figure out that if I was 40 weeks pregnant on August 21, I’d be 41 weeks pregnant on August 28.
But, I digress.
I just think, if the medical world really wanted to keep you from holding fast to a delivery date, they should give you a one or two-week window instead of an actual date. ‘You’re due the last week of August, most likely’ they could say. Instead of allowing you to fixate on a particular date for nine (ten!) months.
So, though I steeled myself for going well past my due date…I still managed to be highly irritable when my ‘estimated’ due date arrived. And I was still ‘with whale’. I went to my weekly appointment with the doctor who couldn’t do basic math, and felt my zen-like attitude slip away. Quickly.
I arrived home to tell Jason the details, which amounted to ‘not much to report’ and he actually had the (in)sensitivity to say: ‘why are you so irritable?’ Has the man not endured two pregnancies with me, with similar outcomes?
And then I made the mistake of logging on to Facebook. Only to learn that a Facebook friend, due 3 weeks AFTER me, had gone into labor. On my due date. The cruelty. The nerve. The unfairness of it all.
But I displayed an unusual level of maturity and perspective about the situation; choosing to email only four or five (likely disinterested) individuals about the terrible fate that had befallen me. One friend took pity on my petty-ness and brought me a frapuccino. Which helped my mood considerably.
Friday passed and with the breaking of Saturday’s dawn, my mood lifted. The Hen had tossed us a bone by ‘sleeping in’ until 7.30 and I felt ready to face the world. I decided to go for a walk. Maybe walking the dreaded hills by our old house would help evict B3. But of course, the minute I put on my walking shoes, I had two children clamoring to join me, which was not what I’d had in mind.
So I ‘compromised’ and put Jason on playground duty, while I turned to the hills. He was beyond excited to be sitting on a park bench before 8am on a Saturday.
I walked down the two hills and crossed the footbridge over Bow Trail, and walked up to the start of the trail towards the river. I decided to turn around. I also decided I was too tired to go back up the hills to the park, so I walked along Bow Trail instead, circumventing the hills altogether.
I arrived at the playground, ready to walk home with my boys. Except they were gone. They were nowhere to be found. And I knew….they’d ventured downhill to look for me. And wouldn’t come back until they’d found me.
A jogger was walking up the hill, so I asked him: ‘did you see a guy with a stroller and two kids, by any chance?’
‘Yeah, he was just crossing the bridge,’ the man replied.
So, back down the hills I went, and across the foot bridge. I saw my posse heading up towards the trail. Noooooooo, I wanted to scream.
Since it was not within me to run and catch up with them, I decided to use my lungs instead. ‘Jasooooon’ I yelled, hoping he’d somehow hear me above the din of Saturday morning traffic; in spite of the considerable distance between us.
He turned around. I waved my arms like a desperate idiot, which I pretty much was. He saw me and turned the boys around. We walked back up the hills, together.
‘I need to take a break,’ my oldest demanded.
Really. You need to take a break?
As I was lying in the bathtub that evening, with bubbles up to my eyeballs because I’d pressed the ‘jets’ button after dumping in some bubble bath, I began to sing a song. My usual ‘borrow another tune and make up some ridiculous lyrics that speak to my current situation’.
‘I think you’ve officially gone insane’ the professor called from the other room. He hadn’t even seen that I was playing with the kids’ bath toys. Strangely therapeutic, I must say.
‘Whatever,’ I yelled back. ‘I’ve been in the best spirits of all the Johnsons today.’ Which was mostly true.
See, if I didn’t know better, I’d swear Jason’s actually the pregnant one these days. All grumpy and cabin-feverish, asking me every five minutes ‘anything? Anything at all?’
Seriously. Have we not done this twice before?
By Sunday he’d formulated a plan for evicting the baby. Pronto. We got home from church, and he started looking on the internet for Thai or Indian restaurants. He’d latched on to the ‘spicy food’ induction technique. We went to the grocery store and he insisted I purchase raspberry leaf tea. (Complete waste of $3.99.) He even drank some (labeled a ‘uterine tonic’) with me. ‘I’m starting to feel it’, he said. ‘Feel what exactly?’ I wondered aloud.
‘Do you think you can just gnaw on the tea bag,’ he asked, as if that might speed things along.
As Sunday waned, he tried to make an excuse for his failed tactics. ‘Well, I’ve said all along it was going to be the 24th. Didn’t I?’
And, so, the 23rd turned into the 24th, and, with only four hours to go until it’s officially the 25th, I’m guessing his prediction will not be realized. Though, I did come across a helpful statistic today; that women are 14% more likely to deliver on a Tuesday than any other day of the week.
So, there’s always the 25th.
Or the 1st.