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One of the euphemisms for pregnancy is having a 'bun in the oven'. This little gem, is often paired with 'over cooked' and 'undercooked' when referring to due dates.
The thing is, the ESTIMATED due date, is rather a lot like the timing suggestions in the recipe book. The book might say, bake in the oven at a moderate temperature for 40 minutes...but it all depends on the oven. When you get to know your oven, you soon know that the best results might be at 38 minutes, or indeed at 42 minutes, you don't need to poke it with a skewer to test it anymore, because you just know.
Many second-plus time mothers gain confidence in their 'ovens' if their first experience was natural. But when the first experience involves opening the door too soon, poking with a skewer, and checking every minute from 36 minutes (even though the book says 40 is usual), the mother loses confidence and doesn't get to know her oven. Sometimes the temperature is turned up to try and hurry things along (perhaps your guests are due to arrive, and you want the cake out of the oven in plenty of time to decorate it, perhaps a well meaning adviser feels that things need to be helped along...in case your oven is about to explode or maybe there will be a blackout).
Now the oven timer might be necessary, and of course manual removal of the cake is also necessary. When it comes to bodies, the oven timer is pre-programmed. It will go off when the baby is ready. Your body will start to contract and your baby will be born. There is no need to set an additional timer (based on estimated due dates), to turn up the heat, poke with a skewer or have someone else check things out every few minutes (so to speak).
So sit back, and relax...the proof is in the pudding!
PS - and if you're sick of being asked "have you had that baby yet?" share this link with your askers: