This past week saw 09/09/09, which is cool in a numbers-geek sort of way. I saw several facebook comments on how many women had probably chosen to be induced and/or sectioned so that their child could have this date as a birthday. Why? No medical reason — that’s for sure! If there is a medical reason to induce or have a C-section, then that should be done regardless of the day or date. If not, why do it? The Unnecessarean had a story of a woman who was planning on having a C-section on her due date (reason not given), and opted to have the surgery done four days earlier, so that it would fall on 9/9. The mother said she chose it because it is a “really easy date to remember.” And added, “I just had to convince my doctor that it made sense.” Not medical sense! On one hand, it’s probably not that big of a deal that the baby was born four days earlier than they had originally planned; but on the other hand, why not wait until labor starts, and then you know for sure that the baby really is ready?
So, there were certainly a lot of birthdays on Sept. 9; and I hope they were all happy, and no mothers regretted having an unnecessary induction or C-section just so they could remember their baby’s birthday. [As if they’d forget it were it some other day in September. Sigh…] There were probably also a lot of babies born on “Labor Day.” I wonder how many of those mothers chose an induction just so they could give birth on Labor Day? Probably not as many.
One of the facebook comments also noted that some women may have chosen an early induction to avoid giving birth on 9/11. I can understand that if the woman lost a loved one on that day — I would want not to give birth on the anniversary of my father’s death. I don’t know that I would have an induction just to make sure of that, though. For myself, however, I am far enough removed from that tragedy (not having known anyone actually affected personally by the terror attacks) that I would not care whether my baby were born on that date or not — just like I wouldn’t intentionally avoid D-Day, the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the assassination of JFK, or any other well-known day of death. Birth and death. Joys and sorrow.
One of the children I used to babysit was born on 9/9 several years ago. [Not an induction!] Happy birthday, T.! Also that day, was the first anniversary of the untimely death of a mother I know. She had some sort of brain aneurysm or something like that. She knew about it — knew it was like a bomb always waiting to go off. Last year on 9/9, the bomb went off. Sept. 10 was the 5th anniversary of the death of a young man from a car wreck. And tonight, we celebrated the 80th birthday of one of the best men I know. Joys and sorrow. Birth and death.
Every day, almost 11,000 babies are born in the United States. And about 6,500 people die. Mixtures of joy and sadness. But more joy!