Friday, August 31, 2012

How Do You Due?

Tomorrow is my official "Due Date".  Really it is called your estimated due date or EDD. I have decided that having a due date is just cruel and they should be done away with completely.

"How do the estimate it?" You may ask.  There are many ways.  

1- The most basic is 40 weeks from the first day of your last period.  There are many problems with this.  It assumes conception occurs on day 14 of a 28 day cycle.  It is common to have bleeding in pregnancy that can be mistake for a period.  Some women just don't keep that good of track. 

2- 38 weeks from conception. Yeah, most people don't know this one. Fresh swimmers can live for up to 5 days in ideal conditions and an egg can live about 1 day, so sex isn't even a real indications. However, if you are like us and using a frozen donor and tracking a million different signs, you may actually know this. 

3- Ultrasound dating. The earlier the better.  They measure different things depending on how far along you are.  At the 20 week anatomy scan I believe it is based on femur and head measurements. (Late ultrasounds can be off on estimating weight by up to 2 lbs either directions! Yikes!)

So, you can have many due dates.  These are ours (corresponding to they way they were determined):

1- August 27th
2- August 31st
3- August 30th

Notice how none of those are tomorrow?  The midwives have a little wheel that they can put in a date for the first two options and it will tell them the EDD.  This wheel, however, doesn't have leap years, so we got an extra day. So yes, we have 4 due dates because we are just that awesome!

We are okay with the extra day because if you go past 41 weeks you are considered past term and become high risk which means no birth center birth.  As it turns out, most births occur after their EDD (I believe 60-65%, depending on your source). Only around 3% actually happen on it. Although with 4 option, our chances may be higher.

This brings me back to why they should do away with due dates.  After your EDD is calculated they count backwards 40 weeks and that marks the beginning of your pregnancy (so yes, you are pregnant for two weeks before conception.  Scandalous, right? It created a lot of controversy with recent abortion legislation, but that is a whole different can of worms).  You are considered "Full Term" from 37-41 weeks.  So you are actually "due" for almost a month.  Having a specific date just makes average babies seem early or late and average pregnancies seem short or long.  Even with this knowledge, I have September first in my head as when everything needs to be done, rather than when she was actually full term.  It is very hard to not fixate on the date.

Lately I have be extra sensitive about this because everyone's new favorite follow-up to "When are you due?" is "Are you going to be induced?"  Um... no.  Why would I? She will come out when she is ready! Convenience inductions are leading to more and more babies being born pre-term. Even with 3 ways to calculate the due date, sometimes the doctor is just wrong. On top of that, induced labors can be much more  intense and carry more risk that spontaneous labors. She will come out when she is ready!

As the last of my 4 due dates approaches, it is becoming harder and harder to remember that.  Repeat it with me: "She will come out when she is ready!"  This doesn't mean that every night that I am woken up by a contraction I'm not disappointed when it is the only one. Lately I'm even more disappointed when I'm woken up and I don't have a contraction! It doesn't mean I'm not ready and A isn't ready and our families aren't answering phone calls with "Are you in labor?!" We are all ready, but it isn't up to us!

I always told myself she would probably come after her due date and I was prepared for that.  Until 2 weeks ago.  That was the first time I woke up with a contraction that wasn't the same as a Braxton-Hicks.  It was followed by lots of nesting and the dog following me around looking worried all weekend. I felt like she just may be coming sooner than we thought.  However, here I am, still pregnant and trying to get back in the mindset that she may spend another week in there (hopefully not more...).

With that said, our fingers are crossed that our Little Evie will make her grand appearance tonight, because how awesome would it be to tell her she was born on a Blue Moon?  

Here are some pictures of the moon from last night-

And here is my 39 week photo.  In the nursery with the full moon/owl night light my mom made-

I have a midwife appointment in 2 hours, so maybe they will have some good news, but most likely they will just say I shouldn't gain any more weight and that everything else is normal. Very exciting.

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