Estimated Due Date: February 18th
Today, February 18th, is my due date. It is the day that I have been told I will meet my baby. We have been waiting for 40 weeks now to meet this person that has been so close to me, growing in my belly. A person with whom I share such a connection. A person I have talked to, sung to, read aloud to, and yet have never held their hand in mine.
Soon they tell me. Any day now, they say.
What's in a due date?
A due date is an estimation. I could be based on the mother's last menstrual period (LMP), or it could be from the measurements taken in an ultrasound scan. Either way, there is no "perfect" estimation. There have even been studies that suggesting due dates to be more accurately 40 weeks + 5 days, but who knows.
To the healthcare profession, a baby is in good shape if he arrives after 37 weeks, but that the ideal term of gestation would be between 39 and 42 weeks. Many impatient doctors can create a "scheduled" birth by admitting the mother for an induction. This might be because of doctor's discretion, or simply of maternal or infant conditions. A further guide to inductions can be found at Childbirth Connection.
So for me and my baby, we will wait. We will wait and wait until those first real waves of contractions surge through my uterus.
When approaching their due date, it is so common for family and friends to offer their estimation of baby's arrival. It is a fun way for everyone to get involved. Some of the common ones are people asking about my mother's births and adding that mine will likely go the same as hers. Other people choose dates of particular significance, such as their own birthday or an upcoming holiday. There is one birth date estimation that stands out from all of the rest.
"The baby will come on the full moon."
My grandfather said this. He has a small cattle farm in rural Nova Scotia. There he breeds his cows and has done so for all of his life. He is the kind of man riddled with arthritis who can sense a storm coming by the feeling in his shoulder. He can smell rain, assess how long the snowfall will last, and added to this list - predict when his grandchildren will birth their children.
Now, this man is smart. There has been research done linking lunar cycles to birthdates. If you ask any seasoned nurse, midwife, or doula, they will often be describing a busy night as having something to do with the moon. Humans, who are comprised of more than 3/4 body weight in water could surely be impacted by the moon and the tides it shifts. Much folklore and wives tales can attest to this, and many many many people believe it. I would lump myself in with that group of people.
What I am saying is that my Grandpere is a smart man. As such, I consider myself to have two due dates: the one given to me by my midwife, and the one given by my grandfather. It is up to the baby now to decide which one is to be true.
When do you think my baby will arrive?