In a world where you can get almost everything on demand when you want it at the touch of a button, it’s nice to know that there are still some uncertainties out there. The “now” society we live in teaches us to think how to make things faster and more accessible, to cut out the middle man. Never has this been highlighted to me more than by one of the only things in life that cannot satiate you when you want; waiting for your child to be born. (Except for those that 'book' the birth in).
Yesterday was the nominated due date for our baby and whilst we and the rest of our family and friends were ready for the arrival of this unknown person, the baby was quite content to let the day pass by without a concern. Of course the baby will have enough concerns in its later life, so to spend another day or two on the inside of Mum, there is an unknown appeal.
I tried to describe the feeling of waiting to a friend last week as like waiting for Christmas or your birthday when you are younger. The problem is of course that even at 4 years of age when you are told there are 4 more sleeps until Christmas you understand that it’s closer than 10 more sleeps.
As you progress through pregnancy, you learn many things as a couple. There is the whole story of how your life will change; the unconditional love that you will feel for your baby; and that you can’t make inappropriate jokes in the hospital nor should you bring smelly food into the room whilst your partner is in labour. Then there are the other more tangible things like only 3- 5% of babies arrive on or before the due date. Terrible statistics. Surely with these numbers the medical world should push the estimated date out a little?
The problem with providing a date to expectant parents is the expectation is that the baby will arrive on that date. Worse still is the fact that friends and family also think that the baby will arrive on that date that you have told them is your due day. Fair enough for friends who maybe have not had a lot to do with babies in their lives but when you take a call from your parents on the due date and they ask, “Have you had the baby yet?” some questions of your own are raised.
Did you not think that we would let you know if the baby was born? Were you not a parent to me and can you not remember that most babies are late? With more than 80% (sources vary on the percentages) of babies taking their first breath after the nominated due date, I wish there was a formal market to bet on. Certainly it’s more of a certainty than trying to pick four winners in the finals this week.
It’s great that people we know are interested and obviously care enough to write a message or call, don’t worry we want the baby to hurry up and arrive too. However we won’t deny that responding to the calls and messages with, “yes, we had the baby three days ago, sorry we haven’t been telling anyone” has not crossed our minds more than a few times.
With all this in mind, it’s great to acknowledge that even with all the advances we have in everything a baby still makes us wait until they are ready. That is a great thing, one we should be happy and content about because after all, the other major uncertain date in our lives is when we take our last breath move on to the next life.
So hurry up unknown person, we are all dying (although we don’t know the date yet) to meet you, but ultimately we are not too concerned if you want to hang out in a big ball of fluid for the next few days. When you do get moving, we look forward to welcoming you and of course letting everyone know that you are here.