Fear of Friday the 13th, also known as paraskavedekatriaphobia, is still widespread in today’s society. Known as a day of doom and bad luck in western civilizations, this day has become taboo when it comes to planning any significant affairs, for example, the birth of a child. No, not everyone can plan their child’s birth to the day. But due to gestational size, I was lucky enough to know in advance the arrival dates of both my sons. And son number two was scheduled to be induced on – you guessed it – Friday the 13th.
Of course I would have preferred another day, but I was happy to know that he was coming a week before his due date. The weather was getting hot and I felt very uncomfortable. My husband on the other hand, was not too keen on a Freaky Friday baby.
What could be so bad about this day? Basically it stems from Christians wanting to suppress pagan goddess worship. Spiritual observer and psychic reader, Edward Shanahan discusses the history of Friday the 13th on his BlogTalkRadio program, The Unexplained World. Here are some of the facts he and his co-host Annette have compiled about the special day:
• Friday the 13th is one of the most widespread superstitions
• Both Friday and the number 13 have foreboding reputations dating back to ancient times
• Many buildings have no 13th floor
• Many cities have no 13th street
• Chinese and Egyptian cultures considered 13 to be lucky
• Friday is named for Freya or Frig, the Norse goddess of marriage and fertility and sex.
• Friday the 13th is a sacred day in pagan goddess worship and became known as the witches Sabbath. Christians who wished to suppress this worship said the day was unlucky.
• A month must begin on a Sunday for that month to have a Friday the 13th.
David Emery of About.com sums it up:
Unlucky Friday + Unlucky 13 = Unluckier Friday.
If that's the case, we are guilty of perpetuating a misnomer by labeling Friday the 13th "the unluckiest day of all," a designation perhaps better reserved for, say, a Friday the 13th on which one breaks a mirror, walks under a ladder, spills the salt, and spies a black cat crossing one's path — a day, if there ever was one, best spent in the safety of one's own home with doors locked, shutters closed and fingers crossed.
I wasn’t going to let a day and a number upset me. Something told me that this was written in the stars. This was the day he was to be born. So I didn’t fight it. If anything, this day would make him more special.
On Friday, the 13th of July, I arrived at labor and delivery at 7:15a.m. (7+1+5=13). The nurse brought us to room 113. I marked that in my mental notes. After they broke my water and gave me pitocin, I endured about two hours of contractions which progressively became more intense. I was ready for my epidural. Once my pain was eased, I felt better than I had in the last nine months. I sat there with a huge grin on my face.
1:30 p.m. arrived and I felt an intense pressure even through the numbness from the epidural. I told my husband to get the nurse because I felt like the baby was pushing out. At 1:40 we began delivery. And at 1:44 p.m. Owen Carmine came into the world without a peep. Can anyone ask for a better labor and delivery? Luck was in my corner.
After some thought while lying in my hospital bed I put all the facts of the day together. I found out I was pregnant with Owen on November 13th. He is the 13th grandson on my side of the family. He was delivered in room 113, during the 13th hour of the 13th day of July.
No longer will we think of dooming superstitions when it comes to the number 13. And Friday the 13th will always be a day of joy and blessing.