Crossing the Due Date

due date calendar

Today, 8th January 2017, was our baby’s calculated due date. But the little angel has decided to make us wait a little longer.

We had come to anticipate that our baby might arrive earlier than its due date. Why? Simply because we had been told that the baby can come anytime from two weeks before till two weeks after the due date. Add to that our excitement, being first time parents, and the fact that both our moms have arrived from India for the birth of their first grandchild. So, starting a few days before christmas, when folks at work started going for holidays, I would leave work everyday wondering if I would be coming back the next day or not. I’ve been going to bed every night half expecting to be woken up at odd hours to discover that my wife’s pains have started. Days have turned into weeks, temperatures have plummeted over 20 degrees, snow has covered the whole of Stockholm, but our baby has not yet shown up.

I remember once asking our mid-wife if it becomes apparent during the later stages of the pregnancy whether the baby might come earlier or later. Maybe the position of the bump might indicate something? She told us that there is no such prior indication and that the baby decides when it wants to come out. “Oh!” said I as I looked at the bump, “So, YOU decide?”

I spoke to the baby a few days back and told it (we still don’t know if it is a he or a she) that we have already completed all the shopping for it. I asked the baby what more it needs me to do before it is happy enough to come out. I did not get any answer, not even an acknowledgement.

So, I thought to myself if there was something I have forgotten to do or was there a certain way I needed to call the baby out? That it has grandparents and great-grandparents and uncles and aunts desperately waiting for it obviously makes no difference to the baby’s mood. I had to try something different.

So, that night I had an idea. Maybe the baby needs some sort of homely Indian stimulation. I created a playlist of top Govinda (a popular Indian actor from the 1990s) dance songs on YouTube and played them for 2 hours while we sat in front of the TV watching. In between, I would ask my wife if she felt anything different. No! So, the next evening, I created an even bigger playlist of other popular Bollywood dance numbers – old and new – from Salman to Shah Rukh to Aamir (amongst others). Despite another couple of hours wasted in front of the TV, nothing happened now too.

I have tried everything else I could. I have sung to the baby, danced, thrown commands at it, suggested dates, pleaded, but nothing seems to work. I guess it gives me a glimpse into the future of our household. Gone are the days when things progressed according to my planning. Something, rather someone, else is going to beat my plans from now on.

So, today, the due date is here and about to pass in another few hours. But our stubborn baby has quietly demonstrated who exactly will be making decisions over the next few decades. And, I better get used to it.

So, we wait again.

Finding out: We’re gonna have a baby

Finding out: We’re gonna have a baby

A morning in May 2016. Stockholm, Sweden.

I knew it even before my wife called out to me and said the words. It was that kind of a morning.

I was about to leave for office shortly, but there I stood, staring at the floor, waiting for the Mrs. to call out and announce that the test was positive. She was pregnant!

I was quiet for a bit, gathering my thoughts together. Not sure how to respond, not really knowing how to feel. Just because we planned it, doesn’t make it any less surprising. On second thought, I wasn’t surprised so much as I was shaken. Surprise is when something happens unexpectedly. I was shaken because I hadn’t really considered how it would feel to hear the words for real.

As she stepped out of the bathroom, I gave her a few nods of agreement, a very slight smile – we were both more nervous than excited – and said we would talk again in the evening. She agreed and I turned around and left.

A little while later, sitting in the metro, it suddenly struck me. I was going to become a father.

Me! Me? ME??

With my head down, I stared into my lap and imagined a day when it would seat a creature that would just pee, poop and burp in it.

But I don’t want to get ahead of myself just yet. Today is only day one. We need to wait. Sure there will be some tests required. Back to the present.