An Open Letter to Jill Duggar Dillard: I Was Overdue, Too!

Dear Jill,

I hear that your due date has come and gone. I know the feeling, because I was overdue too. The mornings when you wake up imagining, Maybe today is it! Then the sun sets and you go to bed a little weary, a little less thrilled, thinking, maybe tomorrow?

Due dates are funny because they give us a feeling of certainty, a feeling of deadline. My daughter was due June 30th. My family interpreted that as "she's due in June." I think I internalized the attitude as well, even as I tried to play it cool. As a result, I was waiting with great expectation starting about the middle of the month. We all—me, my husband, the grandparents—felt a little cheated when we realized June was ending and the baby wasn't yet among us.

You are a trained midwife, so perhaps sailing past your due date hasn't thrown you as much as it threw me. But I bet you are still unable to shut off the part of your mind just watching and waiting for the first twinge. I bet each day you look at the calendar and try to imagine it as your baby's birthdate. For me, I can clearly remember showing up to work at my office on July 1, laughing at the idea of telling people—if they asked "when are you due?"—that I was literally due yesterday. I thought my daughter would come on the 1st but she didn't. Nor the 2nd. By July 3rd I decided she was going to come on the Fourth and be my little firecracker. She did not. She didn't come on July 5th either.

Jill, I remember the feeling of waking up six days after my due date, still pregnant. It was a foggy feeling of being on the cusp of something and yet recognizing that I was not in control of it. At all.

And I recall being tired of family checking in on me. It was sweet and loving but what could I say except for "nothing yet." I can't imagine having media speculation piled on top of that!

When I hit July 6th, I woke up and wandered around the house. We were invited to a wedding and had RSVPed no...because I was supposed to be home with a newborn! But we changed our RSVP and went. (The wedding couple was, and still is, great friends of ours!) As they were saying their vows, my first twinge came. We finally met our baby, Grace, a few hours into July 7th, one full week after we expected to.

You're a midwife and have attended births, so you know the many and varied ways that babies make their entrance. But I'm sure as patient as you may be, you're anxious to hold your own little one in your arms. This letter isn't to check in on you; you'll let us know when your newborn is here. This is just to say...hang in there! — Jessica Hartshorn

Jessica Hartshorn is a Senior Lifestyle Editor at Parents and American Baby. If you read her daughter's whole birth story maybe this can be your takeaway: If you're brave enough to get dressed up and go to an event with a photographer six days past your due date, fate might reward you with a baby.

For her second delivery, Christine decided to use various methods of natural pain relief instead of an epidural. Get her tips on how to give birth drug-free.

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