today is Posey’s due date. it’s also my mom’s 60th birthday.

in my first pregnancy, with Finn, my due date was a source of excitement and mystery. the 4th of August, proclaimed the calendar – or maybe the 3rd, but the 4th was Dave’s mom’s birthday and so we went with that, thinking how fortuitous, how cool – and it never so much as occurred to me that i might deliver anytime before August rolled around in all its grand and bloated swelter.

but when August did roll in that year, we were three months bereaved…shell-shocked still, hurting, trying to put together some semblance of a life. i don’t remember if we ever managed to send Dave’s mom a card for her birthday that year.

when i got pregnant with Oscar a short while later, i barely noted his due date. instead i counted the weeks until viability, the days until we passed the points at which leaking had begun or the airlift had happened…and the 26+1 mark at which Finn had been born. i burned into my brain the date at which we’d clear the 28w hurdle, after which so much goes so much better. that was all i was bold enough to ask for.

but then time had her sweet, merciful dulling way with me and when i got pregnant again last fall, due at the end of June, i was fool enough to imagine a baby born on my grandmother’s birthday, the 20th…a full-term, 39ish-week baby. instead, on a Friday in late November, the day Dave turned 33, the u/s technician turned her face away from us as she spun the empty screen in our direction.

so on the morning of my 36th birthday this past January, when i woke up jet-lagged and bleary and faintly nauseous at a bizarre and ungodly hour in a hotel in England, and quietly and with hammering hopeful, fearful heart peed on a plastic stick i’d brought with me because i am at all times prepared, i didn’t dare shout out to the sleeping Dave dude! i’m pregnant! due on my mom’s birthday! i didn’t want to think too much about due dates, then…just wanted to get through that day, and the next, without blood. i only casually mentioned the congruence of dates to my mother much later, but with the caveat we’re really just trying to get safely to August. and she nodded. she knew.

but today my mom is sixty and her granddaughter is 23 days old and a whopping 7 pounds, 2 ounces and there will be cake and i am grateful, humbled by this happy ending, this coda to my pregnancy and to the whole journey of pregnancy in general, for me. we end with cake, not tears. and my mom is celebrating her seventh decade by getting her first computer so i’m bringing the blog out of the closet as a way of introducing her to this fascinating network that is teh internets (note to mom: intentional spelling mistake) so…wish her a happy birthday if you have a minute.

and tell me…all of you, whether your pregnancies were full-term or cut short, whether you’ve lost or gone over and delivered beautiful, healthy babies…did you note your due dates as they passed? do you think of them? what’s your relationship to this semi-arbitrary spot on the calendar?