Today is January 3rd.
To most of you, it’s just any other day. To a lucky few, today is a snow day (yay northeast!) or perhaps it’s a birthday or an anniversary. But for most people, it’s just January 3rd.
But this January 3rd is different for me. Today is MY DUE DATE.
I joked on Twitter yesterday about how someone asked me when I was due and when I told them ‘tomorrow’ they backed away slowly, as if I was going to projectile birth the baby or spew amniotic fluid everywhere. While that may have been an exaggeration, I think general attitude towards the ‘due date’ in modern society is probably worth addressing, and no better day to do it than today!
So, here’s the thing about this whole ’40 week gestation’ deal: it’s an average. Meaning that just as many babies (if they were all left to their own devices, which Lord knows is another blog post) would be born at 38 weeks as are born at 42. Now, our modern medical system has all but eliminated the 42-weeker, what with it’s 1,001 reasons to be induced, so it feels a lot more foreign to think about a lady going a week or two late. But it’s just like I said- if babies were left to come out when they are ready, we’d have just as many 38s as 42s- or pretty darn close.
In addition, we have to look at what goes into figuring out a due date for many women. Yes, doctors have that fun little spinny-wheel thing in their offices that tell you exactly when your due date is, which is great if you’ve been keeping track of your cycle and know exactly what’s going on with your body. But for many women, they are left guessing when their last cycle started, or going off of an ultrasound measurement, which is notoriously inaccurate- up to a week off even in the beginning of pregnancy, and up to three weeks off at the end.
In my case, I had recently had surgery to remove one of my ovaries and fallopian tubes, and found myself pregnant less than a month later, with a totally screwed up cycle and no real clue how it happened (ok, I had a little clue how it happened). Dates of things didn’t seem to line up at all, and my midwife and I were left guessing as to when my due date might be- educated guesses, but still estimates. Thankfully, the dates we came up with have matched ultrasound results and fundal height measurements throughout my pregnancy, so I am pretty confident in this date of January 3rd, but you can see why I’m not holding my breath!
That being said, the number of women who actually go into labor on their due dates is extremely low- less than 5%! So if you see me out and about today, have no fear, I’ll be just fine- though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a change of clothes with me or at least in the car, just in case!
When will she come? Whenever she’s ready. But for now, we’ll wait patiently and know that really, today is just January 3rd- any other day of my pregnancy. 🙂