just in time for all the possible christmas babies!
I was expecting my fourth baby and I knew that yet again, I would have another little one born around the holidays. (Fun fact about me- three of my children are born within three weeks of each other!) With an estimated birth date of the 18th of December, the inevitable "oh! I bet you're going to have your baby on Christmas!" comments were relentless. I didn’t find any of them amusing, to say the least!
While many parents are hoping they won't go too far past their baby's estimated birth date for a variety of reasons (discomfort, fear of induction, feeling emotionally “done”, etc.), I was actually willing my baby to wait and hold off until after Christmas for arrival. Why?
Postnatal recovery is NO JOKE! The last thing I wanted to do was try to navigate Christmas with a newborn and a maternity pad the size of Noah's Ark in my underpants. I didn't want to worry about trying to make Christmas special for my older children (aka making sure they didn’t feel left out) while I was recovering from the possibility of stitches and feeling sore. I wanted to participate in all the Christmas-y things like making cookies, preparing our big family meal and helping my children with new toys, etc. I wanted to be well-rested and not sleep deprived for the holiday. I didn't want the added headache of trying to decide which family members we did or did not want visiting and the guilt of not going to my in-law’s if I just wasn't up for it. (While my in-law’s are very understanding, I also know many families who sadly are not and would expect new parents to travel very early on postnatally). Postpartum recovery also means navigating the world of infant feeding, helping your older children adjust to life with a new baby, trying to find a new normal and navigate the huge hormonal shifts that come postpartum. My eldest son was born the 22nd of December so I had been there, done that. I had navigated all of the vast physical and emotional struggles of new parenthood with an infant over the holidays. I did not want to experience it again if I could avoid it... and I did!
I understand why some expectant parents would want to have their baby before Christmas but I knew it wasn't my preference. I also realise in many instances there is a medical reason why a baby would have to be born before Christmas. With a very healthy pregnancy and no medical reason for my baby to be born before the holiday, I went ahead and told my unborn child still in the womb that I was ready whenever they were and that it was okay if they would like to remain comfy and cosy nestled inside me for a little longer. My youngest baby boy arrived the 27th December when spontaneous labour began!
Note to self… stop getting knocked up in March!