Today is February 13th. Last year it fell on a Friday and was, according to the more recent scan, Paisley’s due date. We’d had two other dates before then, the 21st and the 15th. Turns out the first was nearest as she arrived 12 days ‘late’ on the 25th.
I’ve always had an issue with due dates. I didn’t want to tell anyone as friends before me had complained of their well meaning friends asking at every opportunity ‘is the baby here yet?’. Like you’d forgotten to tell them…
Research shows that the majority of babies won’t arrive on their set due date. Some are earlier, most are later…much later in our case. So why is it so important to have a due date and not a sort of due month? Especially if it stops this pressure of the baby arriving on a specific day. I found telling people ‘end of feb time’ or not telling them at all helped avoid lots of questions or that onslaught of Facebook posts when the due date arrived. And then that disappointment as it passes. I had tried to mentally prepare myself, I knew I could go past the day and felt I was happy to do so. Even so, I still got to about day 7 and started to feel a little fed up. I wonder if I coped better for longer because I worked at home and spent a lot of time by myself before maternity leave? I wonder if a lot of working Mum’s who go out to work struggle with going from an office environment to being home alone quite a dramatic change? Being alone can be challenging at the best of times, even when you’re used to it!
I still very much wanted Paisley to arrive when she was ready but with pressure from hospital about setting in an induction date (sorry, it’s a no from me!) I hoped she’d come soon. Thankfully with such a great pregnancy and a very supportive midwife (thanks Sue) I was able to arrange an additional scan to check all was well and ‘only’ a consultant meeting in hospital for day 12. I think Paisley knew and she decided to start making signs to me the night before that meeting…phew!
It’s every parents call but if you can avoid sharing a due date I’d certainly consider it. You’ll be giving yourself enough pressure when you go past that date that other people pestering you adds unnecessary stress. It did help telling a handful of people as one friend kindly sent me a huge pack of Grassington Gingerbread to cheer me up! Choose those friends wisely would be my best advice!
And while I’m on the subject of sharing. If it’s not for you don’t feel you have to share your news the second your bundle of joy is in your arms. Lee and I enjoyed some new baby snuggles for a little while before he text the parents and immediate family (she arrived at 2:43am, seemed a bit early to get people excited). We stayed in until that evening before finally being sent home and it wasn’t until the next day we had his parents and Grandad over. Then my Mum, Step Dad and Sister at the weekend and then we decided to make the official announcement (and really only felt we had to because someone had texted my sister in law asking if all was OK because she’s not heard from me in over a week…oops). For us, having that time to enjoy Paisley all to ourselves and let family meet her slowly made the whole life change a little easier to deal with. It also meant we could all rest as much as possible and not feel overwhelmed by everything. We were pleased to find everyone was very respectful of our wishes and waited for the invite, something I know not everyone is lucky enough to have with their friends and family. It also meant everyone who did visit got some quality time with her instead of having to pass her around like a birthday pass the parcel!
Always wondered if I should have added a filter to our announcement photo…
Ooh and you can change your Facebook settings so you have to accept any tags before it’s shared on your wall. This means you’re less likely to have someone share the news before you’re ready! Letting people know you don’t want anyone saying anything before you should also help not being ‘outed’.
I hope for any of you Mum’s ready to enjoy maternity leave and looking forward to meeting your little you don’t feel the pressure. And if you do, don’t feel you have to conform and make sure you’re doing what you feel is right for you and your new family.