Due Dates, Interrupted Plans

Today was the day we had in our heads since January of this year. It is the day we were given as our daughter’s due date. Although we knew that she would join our family sooner than her due date, there is something about reaching this day with her here that causes me to pause and reflect.

With school starting, I am reminded of all the due dates that flood into our students’ attention and calendars. I remember those first days of school trying desperately to keep up with all the due dates for each class for each major assignment. As a teacher, it wasn’t much different. The beginning of the school year brought the whole year calendar that had due dates for when grades were due, when professional developments were scheduled, and sometimes when classroom evaluations would take place.

It’s not the same with pregnancy. You get a due date, but even from the beginning it’s often referred to as an estimated due date. For me, because of complications from previous pregnancies, I knew we would have a scheduled date for our daughter’s arrival. Even when we received the date, I was very aware that babies don’t always adhere to schedules!

When we woke up on August 1, I was grateful and relieved that we had made it to our scheduled day to meet our daughter, but when we arrived at the hospital it became very apparent that the other deliveries had interrupted our scheduled plans and that we would be waiting. I realized quickly that I remembered very little about the waiting, curtained room they put you in for pre-op with our second child because we weren’t in there very long at all. We waited close to five hours in that small room for our turn to meet our baby, something I won’t soon forget.

The waiting reminded me even scheduled due dates have interruptions and disruptions.

Even in the interruption and changed plans, I was in awe of where we were. We were surrounded with the first moments of not only our own child, but all the other families who were welcoming or checking on their children. And as I walked through the double doors when it was finally our turn, I walked into all the unknowns I had been carrying for the last eight and a half months. “What will she look like? How much will she weigh? Will she be healthy? How will our other children react to her presence?”

Today on her due date, I know the answers to those questions. My heart and mind can exhale so many unknowns now that we have made it here to this day. As I exhale, I welcome the new stage we are entering and all the plans and due dates that will be interrupted as we relish life with a newborn again. Maybe this is what new life does, reminds us that we can’t schedule and plan our lives, but rather just breathe in the miracle of today.