The waiting is the hardest part…
When one becomes pregnant, there are two questions that typically need answers. That is, assuming one already knows who the father of one’s baby is. The two questions are:
- Are we really pregnant?
- When is the baby due?
The first question is the easiest. In my case, the answer is a universal “no,” but Dineen of course is now pregnant for her second time.
The second question is a bit trickier. Doctors, who prefer to show their patients that they know something about this whole “having a baby” thing, invoke a complicated formula, plugging in important data such as date of last menstrual period, length of menstrual cycle, length of previous pregnancies, position during conception, health insurance deductible, current phase of the moon, parents’ astrological signs, and the most current BCS Football rankings.
After gathering all that data, they insert it into the Automagic Black Box Due Date Predictor and Presto! You have been assigned a due date. I do mean that the due date is “assigned” rather than “determined” or even “estimated” because the due date calculation seems about that arbitrary. Anyone familiar with the process knows that a “normal” childbirth can occur anywhere from two weeks prior to two weeks after the due date, interventions aside.
That’s a four week range in which the baby just might mosey out. Chew on that for a moment. Once that window opens, there’s a whole month of uncertainty – one unpredictable day in which everything, and I mean everything, drops but this One Big Thing.
When my son was born, we went through the same experience. His due date was June 6. The date loomed large on my work calendar, as I had several major projects that all had to be complete before I could take any significant time off. I have to admit, the mania I felt at that time led to some mixed results from a work-product standpoint. And that was in June.
This baby, the one Dineen carries now, is “due” today. For the last two weeks, we’ve been in suspended animation – trying to get everything ready for the baby at home, clearing the decks at work, praying we’d got all our Christmas shopping done, educating Alex about what to expect – and now the appointed day has arrived. The baby shows no signs yet of being ready to come out in the next few days.
But you never know – it could happen anytime within the next fortnight. So I’ve got my catcher’s mitt ready, just in case.