The crib is set up.  The baby clothes are washed, folded and in drawers.  Newborn diapers are bought and ready for filling.  The house has been rearranged, cleaned, washed and rearranged again.  So when is this kid going to show up?

I've passed the 38 week mark.  My first pregnancy (which is supposed to go longer - or so I was told) ended at 38 weeks with the birth of a six pound six ounce red head.  When it came time for number two to be born, I was all set up to go into labor early.  Everything was ready and waiting at 36 weeks.  So we waited and waited and waited.  Almost 6 weeks after everything was ready, my little blond made his appearance.  Here I have two very different lengths of time.  One child who showed up early surprising us all, and one who showed up late - surprising us all.  For this pregnancy - I'm trying not to expect anything.  This little man may show up tonight, tomorrow or sometime in late March.  He could be later than my little blond, who I thought would never show up.

I learned an important lesson through waiting for number two.  It's a lesson parents (one would think) learn early - since every child does things differently.  This one walks at eight months, that one walks at sixteen months.  This one is ready to potty train at two, that one won't even consider it until three.  This one likes the same story read every night (twice) and that one picks four new books per night.  Why is it that when it comes to these life lessons we let our children do things on their time, but labor and delivery has to happen at 40 weeks for every baby?

If trying to do things naturally has taught me anything it is the unpredictability of my children, and by proxy their own unique selves.  The timing that must be watched and not pushed (well okay maybe pushed a little).  Each child's own special gifts, talents, and personalities.  These differences are God-given and need to be respected.

As parents we sometimes have to make difficult choices or medical decisions that are not what we would have planned for our babies.  But I find God's plan for their lives in those decisions as well.  In all matters concerning our kids, we need to be constantly praying for direction from God and from Our Lady.  In that way we can have confidence that waiting on the Lord (and sometimes for that slow moving toddler or late coming baby) is many times the best decision we can make.

Addendum:  As timing goes, our #3 came right on time.  It just so happens that right on time for him was his due date!  I hope to be writing more now that this latest baby is a little older.

Copyright 2009 Katherine Barron