Why You Should Toss Your Due Date Out the Window
Your birth can be inspired. Even ecstatic.
But you may be saying “Yeah, right. I just hope I make it through. Forget ecstatic.” There are at least a dozen reasons why we get all nervous and over-the-top anxious about birth. But if you can become aware of them and deal with them, you’re well on your way to opening the doorway for a birth experience you not only survive but actually enjoy.
For starters there’s that pesky thing called the Due Date. It’s got a hold on you.
We are programmed at an early age that when something is due on a certain date, it’s performance time. Time to show our stuff. And the longer we have to work on something, the greater the pressure to impress, to get it right and to be a success.
So it’s no wonder that when our doctor pulls out a little date-calculation-chart (because everything that’s laminated is official), we believe with complete certainty that our due date is our deadline for giving birth.
Shift gears with us.
Think of the last time in your life when you felt crazy creative and had the ability to express whatever it was your heart desired. No time limits!
There was plenty of space to unfold whatever your endeavor, and there was no pressure to even complete what you were doing until you knew it just “felt” done.
When you finished, you might have felt a deep satisfaction that was equal parts proud and unattached. Some people have referred to this state as “in the flow”–a state of deep focus and pure inspiration in which the work itself is more important than the outcome.
Conceiving a child is one of life’s utmost “create-ive” moments. To be able to create this union of you and your mate, you needed space, you needed safety and no pressure at all to get anything right.
You trusted that everything would work just fine and move into flow and rhythm with your instincts and each other–giving and receiving.
Birthing a child is the other utmost creative moment we can experience as humans. Like other creative epiphanies, when your focus is deep yet your perception is expansive, the act of giving birth–one productive contraction (surge) at a time–has a way of drawing you deep within yourself. At the same time, expanding your sense of boundaries and consciousness to places far beyond. After all is said and done, when you are holding your tiny little person, you see how birth has the potential to leave you feeling calmly satisfied, even joyful regardless of how it unfolded specifically.
This is ecstasy at its purest.
The predicted date of your birth is not what you need to focus on.
What matters more is how present you will be. How will you stay calm and focused? How will you create safety? How will you show up in each moment–will you be fearful, resistant and hesitant, or will you be calm, aware and brimming with curiosity and a willingness to surrender with each unfolding surge?
You will always be both prepared and unprepared, no matter when or how your baby comes into this world. Embrace it and relax.
So back to this Due Date business. Let’s loosen our grip on this concept of a deadline. Because it’s sapping your enjoyment out of this amazing and amazingly short (in the scheme of things) time in your life.
It’s keeping you from moving into exquisite harmony with your own body’s perfect rhythms and yearnings. It’s keeping you in your head, when baby growing and birth happens from the neck down.
Need statistics to loosen up? Ninety-eight percent of all babies are born by 42 weeks with a spontaneous onset of labor. Generally every day they spend in the womb is helpful.
And there are many things you can do to feel prepared, without the idea of ‘perfect’ stressing you out more.
Because there really is no such thing as ‘perfect’.