Due dates are a little like the expiration dates on milk jugs. They really are just an estimate for expectant parents and not something to fully rely on as your baby’s future birthday, but once you have that date in your head, it’s there. Most babies don’t come on their due date—something that really ground the gears of this new mom, who likes to plan and doesn’t like surprises.
Well, would you believe it? My baby complied with his estimated due date. Well, he tried to comply. It started out promising. He announced his impending arrival at precisely the stroke of midnight on that day. The pragmatic side of me was so proud—that’s right, buddy, it’s the right date! Come on time, be one of the rare babies who pays attention to calendars, and make me proud!
My husband and I arrived at the hospital in the wee hours of the morning on March 9, and we commenced to wait.
And wait. And…wait.
I was in labor, the hospital staff kindly assured me. I wasn’t feeling phantom pains just because I wanted him out of my belly so badly. But it was going to be awhile. I kept glancing at the clock. Soon it was breakfast time. Then, mid-afternoon. The doctor came into my hospital room periodically to check on my progress.
“Do you think he’ll be born before midnight?” I asked her.
She smiled at me. “Well, I’m no fortune teller,” she said. “But if everything goes the way I think it will, you’ll have a baby by daybreak.”
Just as the doctor predicted, Hudson Michael was born at 7:25 a.m. My mom was one of the first people in the family to see him. “You know what today is, don’t you?” she asked. “Today is your grandpa’s birthday.”
That’s right! Hudson shared a birthday with his great-grandfather, who was born in Hamburg, Germany on March 10, 1933. Grandpa turned 82 that day. This was his first great-grandbaby—quite a present!
Germany, 1933. One World War had passed, and another World War was looming in the future. I struggled to imagine it: a country to which I have never travelled, a language I do not speak, relatives I will never know—their March 10 baby would grow and learn, struggle and succeed. All of his adventures and adversities, all of those thousands of days folding into one another, all culminated into today—March 10, 2015, when 82 years after one life began, another life sprouted from it.
Maybe he didn’t come exactly on his due date, but Hudson came on the perfect day.