From D-Day to V-Day

With war on everyone’s minds, I have decided to devote this editorial to D-Day. However, with all due respect to those involved in the war effort, I must admit it is a D-Day of a different nature. For those who may not know or have been too polite to ask – yes, I am pregnant. Forty weeks and counting by the time you read this. For those who are unfamiliar with obstetric speak, this is the prenatal equivalent to being a stuffed Butterball whose thermometer has just popped out.

So when I say D-day, I am of course referring to that arbitrary and elusive date every expectant mother and father knows as the due date.

And while comparing this event to the battle fought on the beaches of Normandy may be a stretch, I have found there are parallels. For starters, both events signify a day of liberation. In my case, it will be the day when my bladder will no longer be treated as an oppressed Whoopie Cushion nor my ribs used as the cross bars in a rousing match of World Cup soccer. Furthermore, I have more in common with our men and women in uniform than most realize. Thanks to thrice-nightly trips to the bathroom, my night vision now rivals that of the best ultraviolet heat-sensored goggles out there. I am able to navigate sleeping-dog and bedroom-furniture minefields and conduct on-the-fly t.p. refueling with both eyes closed. And with a diet heavily dependent on extra-strength Tums, of which I own an industry-sized supply, there is no MRE out there that I can’t stomach.

Unfortunately, much like any military operation, the outcome of D-Day is highly subjective. Although the troops are well rehearsed and the arsenal of diapers and burp cloths well stocked, there is always the outside chance of a sneak attack. And of course, it is this factor that is the constant source of speculation and fascination for bystanders. For the last several months, I have endured the ever-present question of “when are you due?” At first, I took it as a polite inquiry into my well-being: “I’m doing fine,” I would reply (selective hearing is yet another casualty of the hormone surge, I have found). However, after a few episodes of perplexed looks and awkward silences, the intent of the question finally sank in. They wanted to know about D-Day – the day the proverbial little, wriggling, bald bomb would be dropped on my life, forever altering the course of my history.

Like an old war horse, “April 2” became my battle cry, quickly followed by “no, I don’t know what sex it is” (we are hoping for either a boy or a girl) and “no I haven’t had any weird cravings” (unless you consider downing a box of “Peanut Butter Bumpers” in one sitting a craving.)

Of course, all this is not to say I have grown tired of the persistent questions and conjecture. To the contrary, I have rather relished the attention, figuring it may very well be the only time in my life it will be perfectly acceptable to nap mid-day, cry during Kodak commercials, wolf down an entire pan of brownies, wear the same sweat pants for two months straight and step out into the crosswalk knowing cars will take pity and stop – so I better enjoy it.

But when D-Day comes and goes with nary a pang of indigestion and coworkers start placing wagers on “when she’s gonna pop,” it’s time to draw the line – or at least get in on the action. So, although I am undoubtedly jinxing myself as I write these very words, I am willing, for the sake of easing inquiring minds and to make a quick buck (which I swear will go directly into a college scholarship fund) to divulge my battle plan. After all, I’m a gambling gal by nature (which would explain how I got myself into this mess in the first place.)

That’s right, in a precedent set by Pete Rose, I am betting on the outcome of my own team. And just for the record, despite the “sixth sense” some people think expectant mothers possess, I have no more insight into this than I do oceanic temperature oscillations or the inner workings of the U.S. Postal Service. In other words, it’s a stab in the dark. So here goes.

Sorry, mom, despite the perverse humor you found in a due date so close to April 1, you’re not going to have that little fool quite yet. And to my husband, Sean, apologies to you. I’m afraid May 1 is out of the question, not to mention physically impossible. To all the loved ones traveling great distances for the big day, sorry for the delay. My midwives promise it won’t go on forever. And to all you out there with April 8 birthdays, close but no cigar.

I have put my money on April 9, early evening to be exact. I know, it’s a week late. But considering said child will be the spawn of two people who have never been on time for anything in their lives, I think it’s a safe assumption. Plus, my selected time slot falls conveniently after the newspaper’s deadline, ingenious don’t you think? In the meantime, the extra week will give me time to savor my last remaining full nights of sleep, finish that stack of half-read baby books gathering dust under my bed and figure out how those pesky diaper things really work. And of course there will be some preliminary strategizing for my next big endeavor: V-Day. But that’s still 18 years off.

-Missy Votel




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