From the time you learn that you are pregnant, the countdown to your due date begins. But the simple question “When are you due?” can be answered by only one person: your baby.
Not one of my girls arrived on their due dates. My first – 39.5 weeks, second – 41 weeks, and third – 40.2 weeks. So the chance of delivering exactly on your magically assigned date is rare.
Did you know only 5% of women give birth on their due dates?
So there’s a pretty good chance that your due date is wrong too.
The date based on your ultrasound can be off by ± a week depending on the skill of the technician, the timing of the sonogram, and the size of the baby. Until 13 weeks of gestation, most babies grow at the same rate, but as the pregnancy progresses, fetal size corresponds less and less to the amount of time that the baby is in the womb.
Still, predicting due dates is an inaccurate science, largely because we rarely know exactly when pregnancy begins. This means there’s a lot of guesswork involved. Due dates are estimated by taking the first day of the last menstrual period and adding 280 days. But this assumes that we all have a cycle lasting exactly 28 days (which we don’t). It also assumes that ovulation always happens on the 14th day (it doesn’t) and that we can accurately remember our last period (nope, not me).
People who conceive with IVF have more precise information about their EDD (estimated due date) but even then, exact predictions are incorrect.
So for the long and short of it, pregnancy teaches you something that will be crucial during motherhood – PATIENCE.
Yes, you feel like a humpback whale with blotchy skin and sweaty armpits but from the outside, I think there is nothing more beautiful than a pregnant woman.
If you are pregnant at this very moment thinking ‘oh great this is exactly what I need to read right now’ (Cue emoji eye roll), sit tight mama, you will miss those flutters and kicks, even those jabs in the ribs as they are a lot harder when they are earth-side.
Your baby is STILL in there baking for a reason. Sit back, relax and enjoy the gorgeous journey that will bring you into motherhood.
By the way… Six years later, my daughters are still making me wait: “Hang on, Mama, I’ll be there now now!”
Katrina Meek is a qualified WOMBS doula and a mother to three beautiful girls. Her aim as a doula is to empower women to make informed decisions and choices about their labour and the delivery of their baby.
She believes that birth is incredibly beautiful and powerful. It is a sacred moment and quite possibly one of the most important and life-changing events in a woman’s life. Katrina believes if women can carry the courage and strength they gain from a positive birth experience and transfer those qualities into their daily lives, the possibilities are endless.