Due Dates

This time last year was a day that I’d been looking forward to for 40 weeks. A little over 9 months. In many respects, as our journey to have a baby wasn’t as simple as we may have liked, we’d been waiting for this date for longer than that even. You see, Tuesday 2nd June 2015 was Baby Lighty’s due date.

I’ve come to realise over the past year that due dates are a funny thing. They have more emotion attached to them than I’d originally realised before I fell pregnant. For many, like Mrs Lighty, it’s a date of excitement, anticipation and full of hope. The fact that I’d decorated the date on my calendar many weeks before Baby Lighty’s arrival – after his due date wasn’t adjusted any further by the 20 week scan – shows just how excited I was!

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Mrs Lighty’s decorated calendar!
Looking back, I like to think that I had quite a realistic approach to Baby Lighty’s due date. I remember being told when I signed up for my NCT classes that I was “leaving them quite late”; the booking coordinator really wanted me to do the session of classes before the ones that I did, but as I explained, we couldn’t do the weekend classes on the previous session as Mr Lighty has to work some weekends. I received a worried email in response, telling me that if Baby Lighty arrived early, I would likely miss the end of the course. But in my mind, if Baby Lighty arrived very early – which I’m very fortunate and glad to say that he didn’t – I’d be missing the end of the course anyway, even if I’d opted for the previous set of classes.

Similarly, I was lucky enough to never really get to that uncomfortable stage of pregnancy, and was in no hurry to rush Baby Lighty along. Even though I’d had a relatively difficult pregnancy, I was never desperate for him to arrive, and it wasn’t until I was being sent to the hospital every couple of days due to potential complications that I started to think that perhaps it would be better if he came along sooner rather than later, more so that I knew that he was safe and sound than because I didn’t want to be pregnant any more. I think this was probably because I was consistently measuring two weeks small the whole way through my pregnancy, so I never felt uncomfortably big, and as I had been repeatedly told that Baby Lighty was likely to be small when he was born, I wanted him to cook for as long as he needed to before he was ready to make his appearance.

Because of this, I didn’t have a problem with sharing my due date with every Tom, Dick and Harry, as our announcement photo is proof! I didn’t even mind too much when everyone and the kitchen sink came out of the woodwork to ask if there were any signs of Baby Lighty arriving, or even if I’d had the baby yet. Whether they thought I’d forgotten to tell them, or that I’d publically reply on Facebook that my waters had broken and I was currently puffing away on the gas and air as I typed, I don’t know!

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Our announcement photo, complete with due date for anyone and everyone that was interested!
Baby Lighty was four days ‘late’ in the end, arriving on the date we’d been given originally by the doctor at our first antenatal appointment. It was the 71st anniversary of D-Day, as my Nan pointed out. I can safely say that it felt like I’d been through the wars on that day, and I joke now that it was Mrs Lighty’s very own D-Day!

I know for some, however, the idea of a due date and the disappointment that can come with it when this day comes and goes with no sign of baby can be quite the hormonal disappointment. Being 40 weeks pregnant is certainly an emotional time, so I can easily understand how a mum can feel like this. I really felt for one of my NCT friends, whose baby was due just a few days after Baby Lighty, when her due date came and went, and went again, and went some more… Every day we waited for news – as I’m sure she was doing too – and still nothing until she was two weeks overdue, when Baby Lighty’s little friend was ready to make his appearance. She has since told us that her husband once found her crying because one of our other friends in the group had had her baby boy before her, even though she was due after her. We can laugh about it now, but I felt so sorry for her at the time. It’s an emotional toughie when you’ve been working towards a certain date for 9 months and then it passes without fanfare. Being 42 weeks pregnant is hard work, especially when you’re on maternity leave, all set for baby to arrive and yet baby has other ideas.

With this in mind, I wonder whether it’s wise for expectant parents to give a ‘due month’, as Charlene at Note to Self:Employed Mum suggests in her due date post, so that people aren’t constantly bombarding you with questions as to whether the baby’s here or not yet? I started consciously taking my time in replying to messages as Baby Lighty’s due date approached, as I felt that if I was always replying to friends and relatives immediately, and then one day I took a bit longer in replying, people might start speculating that I was in labour, which I didn’t want them to do. Mr and Mrs Lighty also took the decision to change our Facebook pages to have to accept tags (the feature is also very useful for filtering any dodgy photos from wild nights out – if wild nights out still exist after parenthood!!), meaning that if anyone posted either asking for news, or worse still, announcing your baby’s arrival, you’ve got to accept it first before it appears on your profile. It’s not ideal, as mutual friends will still be able to see the post on their newsfeed, but it’s a little something you can take control of at a time when you don’t have control of much else!

Having said all of this, although we didn’t really feel the due date pressure, we did feel the pressure to announce Baby Lighty’s arrival straight away, as we didn’t want to be pipped to the post and have it splashed all over Facebook before we told people ourselves. We sent messages to our close family and friends as soon as Baby Lighty was born, and then felt that we needed to announce his arrival to the world (a.k.a. Facebook) the next day before someone else did it for us. In a lot of ways I’m glad we did tell people before people could tell on us, but I’m also sad that in this day and age there seems to be a need to do this. The first few weeks of Baby Lighty’s life were difficult on us, adjusting to parenthood, getting in the swing of a completely new way of life, getting to grips with – and ultimately failing at – breastfeeding, and generally keeping this brand new little person alive, and I would’ve liked a week or so of just the three of us, no visitors, no messages to reply to, just learning to be a family.

At the end of the day, your baby’s due date is something that you’ll have no control over. We tried for Baby Lighty for 18 months, and were about to start fertility treatment when I fell pregnant. Each month I would estimate when the baby would be due if I fell pregnant that month, and for 22 cycles I was disappointed. Baby Lighty came along in his own time in the end, and although many people would say that I was ‘lucky’ to only go four days overdue, in my mind, I wanted him to decide when he was ready to come out, provided there were no medical complications. I say let’s embrace the due date; or if you really don’t want to, put measures in place from the very start of your pregnancy which will mean that you won’t have to deal with those annoying “when are you due?” and “any signs yet?” questions.

Oh and if it all gets too much? Just answer Great Auntie Maude’s annoying “is the baby here yet?” text with “Oh yes, I’ve had the baby, I must’ve forgotten to tell you!”

That should do the trick nicely!

With many thanks to the very lovely Mrs Wighty who kindly let me retell her due date story above. No friendships were harmed (I hope!) in the making of this blog!!

Proud to be linking up with:

Pink Pear Bear
3 Little Buttons
Rhyming with Wine
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21 thoughts on “Due Dates

  1. Ah I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone! Due dates are a funny one – I had no problem telling people when mine was because I knew I was going to go over, and I consistently told everyone that! I’d like to think I didn’t get too annoyed with people asking if there was any news, and it definitely makes me more conscious now of friends who are having a baby. There’s a fine line between offering support and letting them know you’re around if they need you, and pestering for information!! Great post xx

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    1. Yes definitely a very fine line, it’s true! You never complained about going over (either that or I was just in my newborn fog still and can’t remember). It’ll be the one year anniversary of your due date before you know it!! Xxx

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      1. I think I moaned a little haha but in my defence, it was hot and I was very swollen (do you remember how big my feet got?!) But I knew I was going to go over, I’m pretty sure had I know had medical problems I would have gone the full 2 weeks over due. It’s a year since I went on maternity leave on Sunday (and what should have been my first day back at work on Monday!) I may need to go and have a little cry now at how fast time is going 😒

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  2. Firstly , you didn’t fail at breastfeeding at all. It’ll come with time but feel proud of even starting the journey of breastfeeding as it’s something some Mum’s never even start.

    And yes….due months should be a thing. It really us tough going when it feels like the whole world are eagerly awaiting the arrival and questioning every post (or lack of) on Facebook!

    I must add that I worried people would think we were weird limiting guests those first couple of weeks but it gave us time to not only enjoy our new little family but also adjust. It’s a huge change and you’re emotionally all over the place. The last thing we wanted was an open house and everyone was very respectful of that, some even went through parents to sort visits so we were left alone which was lovely. I share this with pregnant friends and wonder if they too think it’s a bit hippy or if they feel inspired…or if they get fed up of hearing ‘advice’…

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    1. I wish I’d headed your advice more to be honest. We did turn away certain friends (my best friend is almost a mum of three, so she was very understanding) but others we felt we couldn’t say no to. If I could go back in time I’d probably do things differently. Thanks for letting me link to your post, it really struck a chord with me when I read it all those weeks ago now xxx

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  3. Great post! Love the announcement photo! In all reality, does anything regarding children run as we would want.. If only!! πŸ™‚ They sure do bring excitement into the mix! xoxo

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  4. I love that pregnancy announcement! All 3 of mine came before their due date so I don’t have to answer the have I had the baby yet question. My last was born at 36 weeks. #dreamteam

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  5. Have stumbled across your blog and read three posts in quick succession, ending with this one and felt I had to reply, as so much of what you talk about chimes with me!

    I too had my first baby, in March 2015, which had been a long time coming. We had been trying for 21 months, with the same crushing monthly disappointment- or not monthly as my body liked to play games with me and range from as little as 21 days to over 80 between cycles! I was going through another ‘long’ spell, at the beginning of which I had eagerly tested, to no avail. 6 weeks later I decided to randomly start doing ovulation tests in the hope it might all magically come together. And after 4 successive days of the little stick saying ‘crack on tonight!’ did I think to try a pregnancy test, and realise this time we had finally cracked it! πŸ™‚

    I am happy for you that your story has such a happy ending and a lovely little bean πŸ™‚
    There is only one thing you say above which makes me sad, mostly because I was in exactly the same boat: your ‘failure to breastfeed’. I hope one year on you have come to terms with it and moved on, as I have, but the fact you describe it in this way belies the utter despair and frustration I know you must have felt. Yes, breast is best and all that, but for a woman to have grown and birthed a wonderful healthy baby to feel so utterly defeated by boobs that wont perform their primary function is a real shame.

    I agree with you there is too much pressure on new parents to get that announcement out there and launch their lovely little sprog into the social whirl. I fully intend to have a word in the ear of any pregnant friends to hold back on the announcements, and enjoy some quiet time as a family. Following a rather traumatic birth I was juggling rounds of strong medication and huge physical discomfort on top of all the new-baby-hormone-craziness with nearly daily visitors (mostly the Mr’s family which is huge!) leaving me a sobbing wreck every afternoon. Or if there is no way to stop the torrent of visitors, maybe mum can hide away in bed- like in the old days when you got to rest up for weeks!- while daddy does the meet and greet with the new little person.

    Well done on such a fab blog- I look forward to reading more! xx

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    1. Ah thank you, that’s such a lovely, kind comment. I’m glad you have enjoyed the blog so much and could identify. I have come to terms with the lack of breastfeeding a lot more than I had done a few months back (writing my breastfeeding blog post helped) but thank you for your words of support. I hope you’ll find the blog of interest in future too! ☺️

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  6. I loved this! Due dates sure are a tricky thing. I was told my next one will will need to be done via a scheduled c section so I guess it won’t as big of a deal. But I certainly remember all of the emotions I experienced as I patiently waited. #bigpinklink

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  7. Such a lovely post and I can absolutely identify as I went over with both of mine too. 42 Weeks with Miss Tot (Gah!) I was driven potty by well meaning “any signs yet?” queries, but there was just one message I received which really stuck with me. It said:

    “All months have somewhere between 28 and 31 days, except for the last month of pregnancy, which has around 7265”.

    Couldn’t agree more! xx
    #DreamTeam

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    1. Haha!! I was really lucky that I never got to that 7265 days state of mind!! But I do know that I’m quite rare in that, so I have felt for my friends that haven’t been so lucky. #DreamTeam

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      1. It’s funny but I wasn’t so desperate waiting for my second, not that I didn’t want to meet him as of course I absolutely couldn’t wait for that, I think I was just appreciative of the little bit of sleep while I was still able to get it haha. Thanks for sharing with #fartglitter too lovely xx

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  8. Aw, I loved your annoucement photo! It’s so lovely. I think a due month would be a good idea and would definitely keep people from asking you if you’ve had the baby and save yourself from the pressure. I had my babies well before my due date so never really had the problem but I was so big and uncomfortable I think I would have been very irritable if I went past my due date. Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink

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  9. I didn’t even realise that there was a pressure around due dates. We didn’t do the whole big announcement thing, so maybe that’s why it wasn’t really something that crossed my mind. I absolutely love your announcement though. Such a wonderful idea! Thank you for linking up to the #DreamTeam

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    1. I think after all that time trying, I was too excited not to announce it!! But to be honest, I didn’t feel too much pressure around our due date. It was more that I got thinking about it after hearing other people’s experiences and realising that I was more of the exception than the rule! #DreamTeam

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