May 27, 2008
I’ve been pregnant 845 times. Possibly only 5-ish but it sure felt like 845 times. I was overdue just about every single time, but the longest was my oldest son. I think. Let me explain.
I was 19, and pregnant for the first time (hope so at 19!) and I honestly knew not much about babies, having a baby, diapers, babies, or babies. I obviously knew how to get knocked up, knew where the baby was going to come out (HELP ME!) and assumed it would hurt like hell. However, as far as all of the technical jargon, the details, I was pretty naive.
I was sure I was pregnant in early January, but put off going to the doctor because I was afraid. By February, I was newly separated, still figuring I was pregnant but still not wanting to have it confirmed, but finally managed to make a doctor’s appointment. The obvious fact of me being with child was proven. The doctor wanted to know when my last period was.
I don’t know.
Do you have any idea?
I dunno. (at 19, I didn’t keep track of much)
A guess even?
I gave him a guess, which looking back was probably wrong, thus putting me in the upsetting situation of being 2 months overdue, or 4 weeks early, or being pregnant for 26 months (I’m getting to that).
I was given a due date of June 8th. Seemed okay I guess. Still officially spring time, so I wouldn’t be sweating up a storm with a hot, sultry summer baby. I had moved back home with my parents and siblings, worked until I was about 8 months pregnant (what I thought was 8 months pregnant) and then started my maternity leave. It wasn’t too bad – sat out and got tanned every day, helped my parents look after my younger siblings, did some shopping to get ready for baby, basically loafed around for what I thought was my final few weeks.
I went to all of my doctor’s appointments during the pregnancy, didn’t gain a lot of weight, still wore mini skirts and my hooker pumps and big hair (hey it was the 80′s) and felt okay for the most part. Of course by the first part of June, I was really, really hating pregnancy and didn’t understand women who gushed about loving pregnancy, how they felt sexy and beautiful blah blah blah. But I was comforted in the fact that my due date was June 8th and being naive, and not super knowledgable about babies and due dates in general, didn’t realize that due dates aren’t a guarantee that your baby will actually arrive on that given day.
I went to what I thought would be my last regular apointment before baby was to be born. Wrong. So very wrong. I remember being on the examining table, waiting for the doctor to come in to do that ever so uncomfortable “check of things down there,” and assuming (I did a lot of assuming back then) that he would say, “baaaabbbeeee time!” which he totally did not.
Doctor comes in and does the exam, listens to the heartbeat, checks my blood pressure, and then tells me he’ll be right back. He comes back with my chart and a “look” on his face. He clears his throat and matter of factly, tells me that although I was originally told that my due date was June 8th, he said that he was now putting me due around the middle of August.
Things just aren’t where they’re supposed to be, and there’s no way that your due date is June 8th. You weren’t sure of your last period date were you? That makes a difference.
I, uh, I’m due in August? Shouldn’t you test me? My mom’s neighbor said that there’s a full moon soon, like in a few days and that the baby would come then. So, right?
Well some people believe in the old wives tale about babies being due and coming on or around the time of the full moon but since it’s only June, there’s no way that you’re having this baby now.
But I’m like due now. How can I be pregnant for like 11 months?
I’m not laughing. My lip is quivering. I’m seriously thinking about punching the doctor in his old, fat face because there is no way I’m going to be pregnant for another 2 months. It was horrible enough that my shoes were becoming tight and my days of wearing my beloved high heels were coming to a horrible end and the thought of wearing stupid flip flops was making me nauseous. Plus, just because he’s a doctor, and an old one at that, doesn’t mean he knows about babies and pregnant chicks. Sure he was an ob/gyn and had been for 100 years, but still, he didn’t know everything. Like, my determination not to be pregnant for another 2 months was overwhelming and I was going to get this baby out.
I left the office feeling very sad, so sad that I stopped for icecream on the way home. What did doctors know anyway? They were just regular people with white coats and medical instruments in their offices. Big deal.
Since this was not the land of computers or the world wide web, it’s not like I could just go home and google shit about babies and shit. I had to call people and ask them questions. Like could the doctor be right? Could I infact be pregnant for another 2 months? Yes, I was assured that that could actually be correct. Why? Well dear, when you don’t know your dates, then the doctors can’t know your dates. Sure they can guestimate, and give you a basic idea with an ultrasound but it’s not a guarantee. It’s not? No, sadly, it’s not.
By the first part of July, I was so sick of being pregnant, I decided to become creative and make the baby fall out. Yes, I seriously thought babies could just fall out in the right circumstances. And no, not because my vagina was huge.
My friends, who by the way, were not mothers nor were they ever pregnant, gave me some suggestions, to which I gladly decided I would try. One friend told me that her mom had drank a bottle of ketchup and then a few hours later had her. I ate one tablespoon and barfed. But unfortunately I didn’t barf a baby out. Just the ketchup. I was told that skipping rope would induce labour. I had a skipping rope and after about 56 jumps, realized, that doing that was not going to make baby fall out. It just gave me heartburn. I was told sleeping on my stomach would make the baby uncomfortable and then it would want to come out. Nope. Just made me uncomfortable because what 89th month pregnant lady can sleep on her stomach? Not one. I dare you to find me one.
One friend held a “let’s get this baby out” party – which only she and I attended. The baby didn’t even make an appearance. Someone told me to watch a scary movie and that would make the baby active, thus making me go into labour. Nope, the scary movie didn’t work. Just made me pee my pants. Another person told me to have sex. Uh, I didn’t have anyone in my life to have sex with, and that’s what got me in this mess to begin with, duh, I’m not dumb.
The month of June goes by in a blur of trying stupid, not working things to try to get the baby out and before I knew it, it was July.
Monday, July 13th, I went to another doctor’s appointment. I was resigned to the fact that, at 19, I would be in the record books of being pregnant for the longest time ever. Considering most women have their babies within 9 months, give or take, I was going to be 11 months pregnant by the time the middle of August rolled around.
As I sat on the table in the office, I wondered if Guiness would be calling me and wanting photographs of the chick who was pregnant for nearly a year? Should I get a new tent to wear? The doctor comes in and it’s not my regular doctor, new doctor introduces himself and explains that my doc is away for a few days. We do the whole routine of small talk while he checks my vajayjay, he finishes (that sounds gross) and tells me to get dressed and he’ll be right back. He comes back a few minutes later and says that everything looks good and that I’m dilated and my cervix is soft.
What? I’m what? My what is what? Is that normal?
Yes, it’s normal and it means that your body is getting ready to have the baby.
Whaaaaaa? Really? Like when?
What is it with doctors laughing at their pregnant patients?
It means that yes, you’re very close to having the baby.
Could I have it right now? Well, I don’t mean like right in the office, but soon right?
Yes, maybe even tonight. (laughs)
For real? Like tonight?
Well, don’t get your hopes up, I was half kidding about tonight, but baby seems ready and things are moving along nicely, so it will be soon.
So, like I won’t be pregnant for another month?
No, no, no. You’ll have that baby within a week. I almost kissed this new, unfamiliar baby doctor!
Instead, I almost shit myself. I went home that day and it was sorta like winning the lottery. My water broke on July 14th around 2 a.m. and 8 long hours later, I did win the lottery. My first son was born.
To Sam, who is 567 days overdue (okay, maybe only 6, but I bet it feels like 567 days), my point is, that baby will come out eventually (I hear you’re being induced!) and that baby will be so worth the very long, impatient, uncomfortable, did I mention very long? wait. Good luck, and happy birthday to your baby.
So, I was either 2 months overdue, 4 weeks early, or right on time. Depends on who you ask.