Monday, 29 April 2013

Two plus two equals five

I don’t know how pregnant I am.

Ok that was an exaggeration. I know exactly how pregnant I am (23 weeks and six days, I could do hours but that'd just be boasting) but I don’t know how pregnant I should tell people I am.

Back in the day, before I started on this whole trying to conceived thing, I had very vague notion of pregnancy (I hope you are impressed I can remember that far back). I knew women were pregnant for nine months. So when I asked people how pregnant they were I’d get a bit flummoxed when they would respond in weeks.

Five months meant much more to me than 20 weeks.

This a problem that followed me after the birth as well. Why did people bother with telling me their baby was 18 months when “a year and a half was” a much more manageable figure to get my head round. Don’t get me wrong I can do the maths, sometimes even in my head without the use of my fingers and toes, but I didn’t see the need. “One” is anything between 11 and 13 months, “turned one a few months ago” will get the baby through to 15 months, then progress onto “nearly one and a half”. I didn’t need a to-the-minute age.

The upshot is, when I got pregnant I decided to just use months (unless talking to someone who had given birth and therefore understood the significance of getting past the first trimester or that 20 weeks was a big milestone for the second scan).

All was fine until I was asked how pregnant I was today.

24 weeks – give or take. Divide that by four and you’d think I was six months pregnant.

But I’m due towards the end of August – it is the end of April now. So end of May should be seven months, end of June would be the eight month mark and that magical nine months ... Tadah ... End of July.

Hmm not so much.

Ladies, we’ve been sold a pup.

Pregnancy is approximately forty weeks (although admittedly this includes the two weeks between finishing your period and actual release of sperm into the right orifice / having the embryos popped back in). So one's pregnancy is actually ten months rather than nine – this is based on four weeks in a month.

Thank goodness no one is nosey enough to ask about conception, because they’d probably be very confused if I explained that happened back in February 2012.

This was a full year and a half (give or take) before my due date. Which if Doug was in the womb for that whole time wouldn’t quite take me to the dizzy heights of an elephant’s two year gestation period but puts me on a par with the Dolphins.

Oh there's a thought, maybe I should call Doug 'Flipper'.


  1. My first child wallowed in the womb for 43weeks (based on the date of last period calculation). I've yet to find someone who can top that! Eventually, after all other encouragements tried, he was extracted in a swift 'slash 'n' grab' motion. Only 61/2 lbs and not in the least bit 'overcooked' as it turned out. I rather wish I'd called him Murray (too good to hurry).
    p.s. it's an old lie, pregnancy is 9 months....definitely more like 10 in my books.

  2. Coming out of lurkdom to say go by calendar months, it's a bit easier :-)

    And Jessica - my first was 43 weeks too although many years ago now, he'll be 34 this year. I was then induced, dear son decided to take the scenic route and had a good look round on his way out! This led to him getting stuck head sideways and being unceremoniously shoved back up (not nice and definitely not recommended!)then hauled out on the end of forceps. Also not nice or recommended. He was 6lbs 9oz and most surely overcooked. He was very hungry, grumpy, and all of his skin peeled off over the following week. Coupled with the forceps marks, not quite the bundle of chubby joy we had anticipated. My second was induced at 41 weeks to avoid the same problem. Seemed once I finally managed to keep a pregnancy beyond the first few weeks, no way was my body letting go of it!

  3. Just tell people you're not telling how far along you are because you don't want to hear how big you look. ;)

  4. I've never understood why people think 4 weeks = a month, since that is true for only 1 month out of the 12 (and only for 3 out of every 4 years). 20 weeks = 140 days = ~140/30 months, i.e., 4.5, not 5.

  5. My kids are grown but I just wanted to weigh in on this. With my "baby" being 19 now, I don't remember this whole weeks thing being as much of a trend back then. When asked, my pregnant friends and I always said 4 months then 4 1/2 months etc. The way I calculated mine was by my due date. With my first baby, I was due Jan. 24th so on the 24th of every month, I'd update how many months I was. He was born on the 29th so I was pretty close.

  6. I think the reason we do weeks more than generations past is because we see doctors more throughout our pregnancies than in generations past. There's a visit at 8 weeks, a visit at 12 weeks, a visit at 16 weeks, 20 weeks, 24, etc. etc. So when you're making visits based on how many weeks you are, that's how you tend to think about it. Not to mention the baby center emails telling you every single week how far along you are.

    You tell people what you want. I did weeks because I worried and every week I was further along and closer to 12, 20, 24, 34, 37 felt like a victory. And it's just how I thought about it.

    As to ghow old we say our kids our ... it's the same thing. You make appointments based on how many months they are 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 18 months. So that's how you think of them till their 2nd birthday. My son turned 3 on Monday and he's three, not 36 months. So it does change at some point.

    1. That explanation sounds right and makes total sense. I went to the OB on roughly the same date every month so if they do it by weeks now then times, they have changed!

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