Today is Elliott’s due date.
Like many infertile couples, our due date was easy to calculate. It isn’t a guess at all.
So, my precious little love is just now crossing that invisible threshold from negatives to positives. He was born at 37 weeks, 4 days — early, but still full term.
Hundreds of times, I imagined his birth. In the later months, it was our favorite topic of conversation: rehearsal. We’d studied, taken classes, prepared, prepared, prepared. I had a very well-researched birth plan that became useless to us almost from the moment we entered the hospital.
Our Elliott had his own agenda. So as all of our plans fell away, we did what we’ve done now for years: we made the best of the unexpected.
And, it really was the best, because he is here. Hallelujah, he is here.
I fully expected to still be pregnant right now. And, that again ties back to the ludicrous notion that I have any control over the whats and whens of such things.
Admittedly, I’m glad to have these first two and a half weeks behind me. Even as I say that, I know I will look back at these first terrifying days with a tenderness that I’m too tired to comprehend right now.
I know even as I struggle to understand and fulfill the needs and wants of this most adorable of dictators, I will look back on these as some of the most precious days of my life. Hell, already I have tears in my weary eyes at the idea of retiring his newborn clothes. As I feed feed feed to help him gain his weight, I find myself trying to memorize each wrinkle, each angle that will eventually be covered by delicious baby rolls.
And, of course, even as I mark this day with a little wistfulness in my heart for the birth that might have been, I am profoundly grateful for the birth that was. My body did not make it easy to bring him into the world, not before conception, not during labor.
Remarkably, that no longer matters.
I’d do it all again, twice over if I had to, just to have my stubborn, beautiful boy right here against my chest.