So we’re in the middle of Week 39 now, rapidly cruising towards D-Day. It’s funny how everyone treats you like a bomb that’s about to go off when you show up to things a few days before your due date. When I went to a friend’s dissertation defense yesterday morning, people seemed astonished: “You made it!” They exclaimed, as though I’d staggered off a hospital bed to be there. To be fair, I guess this is one of those things I didn’t really understand about pregnancy myself until this year: how approximate due dates are. Only 5% of babies actually come on their due dates, they say, and anytime from two weeks before to two weeks after is unsurprising.
When else in your life do you know far in advance that something transformative is going to happen, but you have only a vague notion of when it will be? “I’m going to be married sometime in this four-week window, but I’m not sure exactly when,” or “I might start that new job next week, but then again, it might be the week after that. You never know.” I suppose only death is similar, and even that only in some cases.
Suppose ta takes ta’s sweet time and lets the due date pass by without issuing any portents. If my presence makes people nervous now, I can’t imagine what it will be like once we’re overdue.
It’s a good time and place for a new person to meet the world. The photo above is my shadow in the bright sunshine that we’re getting in the late afternoons now. The trees are all toothy with buds. The days are sunny, but that summer-trash smell so characteristic of Philadelphia hasn’t ripened yet. I suppose it will still be a rude shock after the cozy burbling womb, but it’s just about as good as the outside world gets. So come on out, kid!