So it's official, I am exactly 36 weeks along in my pregnancy today!!
You know, this is our second child, so this really should not be a revelation (Maybe I was just too caught up in the newness, adventure, and excitement the first go round to pay attention to the whole "weeks" thing.) but I've been thinking recently about this whole tracking your progression by weeks rather than months thing and it hit me that I've been duped my entire life.
Everyone knows that the human pregnancy term is nine months, right? WRONG! It's all a scandalous sham that only serves to drive false hope and discouragement into the lives of already waddling, uncomfortable, and inpatient women. 9 months times 4 weeks per month is 36 weeks. Simple math. However, I am now officially 36 weeks along and am I anywhere close to delivering this baby? NO! My "due date" is still an entire month away (Oct 9th)! I still have another week before I'm even out of danger of life threatening prematurity, were the baby to come this early. We're not pregnant for 9 months, we're pregnant for 10! And I think it's shameless to perpetrate this false belief only to have our hope of delivery ripped out of our grasp in the last month of pregnancy when we need hope, support, and sympathy more than ever.
Ok, now I know what some of you are thinking: a month really isn't exactly 4 weeks. That really only applies to February. The rest of the months are 4 weeks and 2 or 3 days. But even with that consideration, the extras times 8 months (most pregnancies will include February somewhere along the line) is only a little over 2 weeks. So we're pregnant for 9 1/2 months. Kind and generous psychology would say that instead of rounding down in this estimation and generating false hopes of delivery only to be cruelly dashed away, we should be rounding up to a "almost 10 months" pregnancy and leave women with that pleasant surprise when it doesn't actually take a whole 10 months.
Instead a lifetime of trust in the 9 month pregnancy myth has been dishearteningly exposed to my eyes, and instead of looking forward to being almost done with waddling, itching, clothes that don't fit, tossing and turning at night, a shrunken bladder, tired legs, and all the wonderful experiences of the third trimester, I'm trying to reconcile myself to the fact that there's still a whole month for things to get worse, before they get better. Sigh!
Ok, enough of the soap box tirade. Aside from the impatient nature that I harbor, I really am excited and happy for this baby to be coming in the next month. 36 weeks means that my midwife visits are now being ramped up from every other week, to every week; my chiropractor visits are being ramped up from twice to three times per week and are changing focus from alignment to stretching and loosening joints and tendons in prep for the birth; I'm having to pay more attention to my posture and lounging habits to assure that this baby settles into an anterior position this time(Little M was a posterior baby; NOT fun!); and I've started collecting all the supplies and such so that our home will be stocked and ready for this birth, whenever she decides to make her appearance. Hey, maybe she'll be more impatient than M was and come a few weeks early, rather than a week late like M did. Here's to hoping!!