I say six-ish because my OB/GYN mentioned something about inducing me a week early. See, my second pregnancy ended in my water breaking at home at midnight (surprise!) six days before my due date, and my daughter being born three hours later in a different hospital than I intended, by a different doctor, which in turn resulted in no epidural or anything like that. Did I mention that she weighed over eight pounds?
I think I still have a little PTSD about that situation. One thing I learned with the Girl's birth is that "water breaking" doesn't sufficiently cover what went down. You've probably seen a movie or television show where a woman's water breaks, right? You hear a little spatter, and the mama-to-be seems surprised. Oh my, she seems to be thinking, did I just wet myself? Or was it something else?
THERE IS NO WAY THESE TWO THINGS COULD BE CONFUSED.
You know those images of a bunch of kids who open up a fire hydrant in the depths of a gritty summer? THAT is what it is like. A tsunami of liquid evacuating from your body. And the weirdest part is that this painless, seemingly unending gush of amniotic fluid releases itself and you possess no shut-off valve. Mostly everything else that exits various parts of your body does so with you acting as the prime mover, so to speak. Even (sorry for the squeamish) menstrual blood is generally accompanied by some cramping so you have some awareness of what's happening with your body.
This is the first in a series of lessons that you just don't have any calculated control over what's happening to you during birth. Your body just takes over and is all, "Okay, dummy, time for me to handle this now. You just go ahead and watch a movie or something to pass the time." The best you can do is manage your pain and push when your doctor tells you to, but even that is something that you have to figure out as you go. You can't really practice pushing, you know? Sure, you can, ahem, exercise the necessary muscles. But this is a production for which there is no rehearsal, a game for which there is no practice. You just get out there and GO.
I'm not sharing this to get mileage out of the only real war stories I have. Mostly, I'm trying to plan for this next one so that we can welcome the (hopefully less than nine pounds) guy with as little sturm and drang as possible. We're about twenty minutes closer to the hospital for one thing, which is a bonus. And then there's this induction thing, which will help us plan a date, time, and firm childcare options for the Boy and the Girl.
Of course, it also takes a little bit of the romance out of the whole thing when you pick a birthday. But man, I would really rather not encounter bloody amniotic fluid at midnight again.