When my doctor told me my due date for my daughter was December 17, I didn’t think anything of it. We were just thrilled to be having a baby. The due date doesn’t matter, right? Right?!
We began telling friends and family that we were expecting, and whenever we mentioned the due date, we noticed a trend in their reactions. It would start with a sympathetic look, followed by a comment.
“Oh, I hope she’s not born on Christmas!”
“December birthdays are the worst.”
“She’s going to get a Birthday/Christmas combo gift every year!”
“My sister/cousin/hairdresser was born near Christmas and hates it!”
You get the idea.
Those interactions left me feeling pressured to give my daughter the perfect birth date. What kind of mom would I be if I had her on or close to Christmas? She would be doomed to have a terrible birthday for the rest of her life! I made a promise to myself and my unborn daughter that I would do everything in my power to have her before the holidays.
As it turned out, she had other plans. My due date came and went, and she showed no signs of budging anytime soon. The holidays were inching closer and closer, so I opted to be induced on December 22 thinking she’d be born that night or the following day and we’d be home in time for Christmas fun. Boy, was I wrong! After 30 hours of labor, our beautiful Abigail made her appearance at 6:20am on December 24. A Christmas Eve angel! And guess what, the date didn’t matter. I was so overjoyed to finally be holding this precious girl that we waited 41 weeks to meet.
What I’ve learned from my experience is that there’s no such thing as “the perfect due date.” Unless you’re being scheduled for a C-section, you have no control over which date your baby is born. Your only option is to make the most of your child’s birthday, no matter what date it happens to be.
Abigail will be celebrating her second birthday this month, on Christmas Eve. To this day, when people ask when her birthday is, we’re often met with the same sympathetic looks and comments. I no longer let those comments get to me. While having a birthday around the holidays is not ideal for everyone, we’re making it work. My husband and I have promised each other to celebrate her birthday the same way we would if it fell on any other day, with a few minor adjustments. Parties may have to be earlier in the month, we may be out of town or traveling on her actual birthday, and the house may be filled with balloons, streamers, AND a Christmas tree. But the chaos of Christmas can be put aside for a day to celebrate her, our Abigail.
The next time you encounter a mom who is due to give birth in December, instead of telling her what a terrible time of year it is for birthdays, offer her a smile and “congratulations” instead. She’ll thank you!