Monday, July 17, 2006

Walking in Jello

I'm so tired. I forgot how tired you feel at the early part of pregnancy. It's like walking in jello with ankle weights on.

I had decided I was not going to take any more clients after January 15 to give myself a solid 6-8 weeks off before my own baby comes. Then today I got a call from a lady due January 29. It's not her first baby, so I could probably avoid one of those "death by primip" births; but still, she went a week over with her first baby, which is really encroaching on my "just be a mom" time.

I don't know how to say no to these ladies. What am I going to do when they keep calling? There is no one else in this area to serve these women who want a homebirth. The nearest other midwife is over 1.5 hours away. On the other hand, I really need to take care of me and my new baby. I don't want to have to be doing prenatals when my baby is only a few days old. I want to take that two weeks solid rest that I insist on for "my" moms.

I haven't started feeling sick yet. Looking back at some of my pregnancy journals with the girls, I noticed that I started feeling sick before I even saw two lines on the pregnancy test. Maybe a boy? Dare I hope?

Usually I know exactly what day ovulation occurred and since I chart every little nuance of my fertility cycles, I have very solid "due dates". But how many times have I told women how due dates mean very little, and are really an approximation -- a guesstimate? Hundreds of times? Thousands if you include the reminders when they go "over"? Now, here I am. I didn't chart anything this month. Didn't even write down the days that my hubby and I were intimate, because he was leaving the country on day 11 of my cycle. I usually ovulate on day 14 or 15. On day 11 we used a condom (we were going to wait until next month to get pregnant), but I don't remember when it was before that. We did have unprotected sex but when? Day 7? Day 8? Anyway, how did I get pregnant so early?

My friends are laughing at me because I have no way to obsess over the timing of intercourse vs ovulation and try and figure out if it will be a boy or a girl. I have no way to look at the calendar with my slide rule analyzing, averaging, looking at moon phases and storm patterns and trying to figure out when the baby will come. I will just have to wait like women used to have to wait before the whole idea of "due date" came into vogue anyway.

It was 1850 when Dr. Naegle came up with the idea of calculating due dates. He found the average pregnancy to be 266 days from the day of conception. If the average woman's cycle is 28 days and she ovulates, on average, on day 14, then this works very nicely. However, many women are not average and have shorter or longer cycles, ovulate early or late, etc. Making the "due date" accurate only 5% of the time. What other industry in this country would accept a date of "delivery" when it is only right 5% of the time?

I have decided to tell my midwife to make the due date March 17. It's as good as any, I suppose. But a middle of the month baby? Never had one of those either. All six have been born on a weekend (labor started Saturday or Sunday all six times) and all six have been born within the last 5 or first 3 days of the month. I guess it's time to take a big spoonful of my own medicine and be patient knowing my baby will come when he or she is ready to come.

This baby feels like such a special gift, like someone just handed me the most precious present completely unexpectedly. I guess this pregnancy will be a chance for me to be surprised each step of the way. We are not planning on having any ultrasounds at all, so everything will truly be like opening my presents on Christmas morning and having no idea what is in them. So much better than peeking ahead of time.

1 comment:

ladyelms said...

How exciting. I've thought more than once how neat it would be to experience a pregnancy as a midwife or apprentice; living it from a completey different angle. Congratulations! I look forward to following your journey. :)