Back in week 15, I talked about progesterone shots and “Grey’s Anatomy.” Neither is really related to the other, but “Grey’s Anatomy” seemed like a good pop culture reference to something medical. Also, Patrick Dempsey.
Week 15 seems like such a long time ago, and it was from a gestational point of view. As a person with no patience, I started counting down the weeks to delivery at week six. Needless to say, it’s been a long year for me.
Finally, with only four weeks left to go and the ability to feel every single ligament in my pelvis, I was granted permission to stop taking my progesterone shots at week 36. It was exciting news for me because:
- I thought I had to take them until 40 weeks, which made me irrationally worry the medicine would prolong the duration of my pregnancy until my child was a year old.
- It means I’m almost done with this pregnancy.
- I feel that there’s more my husband and I can be doing to bond than shooting a synthetic hormone into my butt cheek every Saturday night.
I was given this news two weeks ago.
At the time, I assumed week 36 was three weeks away. In my excitement, I started to dream about the moment when I wouldn’t have to remember to take my shot. Let’s face it, at this stage in the game, my memory is about as useful as a bag of wet socks. But the more I thought about week 36, the more confused I got. Did this mean that my last shot would be week 35? Because each dose lasts a full week, that shot would carry me to week 36. Or, did it mean that my last shot would be on week 36 which would carry me to week 37?
As an added confusional bonus, I didn’t know when my 36th week even was. My doctor said I was 33 weeks and one day, while my What to Expect app insisted that I was 33 weeks and three days. My husband stubbornly refused to believe I was anything but 34 weeks and three days as he did not count the week of the first day of my last period as a valid pregnancy week—he’s an electrician, so he clearly has the medical credentials to simply omit any weeks that he deems unimportant.
The problem was, due dates aren’t as accurate as we’d like to think. They’re really just an experiment in educated guessing. Let me explain.
The first month of pregnancy consists of two weeks where you might not actually be pregnant, those two weeks count because your doctor needs them to estimate your due date. Because no one knows when you ovulated, no one knows when your egg was fertilized. And if no one knows when your egg was fertilized, no one really knows how far along you are. Therefore, no one knows when your baby is actually due.
As a result, you’re given a due date. Which is really a due guess. For example, say your due date is August 15th. That’s August 15th, give or take one or two weeks early, or one or two weeks late. That makes it a due month.
Even if you go to BabyCenter.com’s due date calculator it says:
“Congratulations you are due on or around: [insert unconfirmed date here]”
That’s the same as saying:
“Congratulations at some point you will have your baby.”
Welcome to parenthood. Where it will continue to be just as confusing, if not more, for about 18 more years. Give or take a year or two early, or a year or two late.
Until then, there’s “Grey’s Anatomy.” Also, McDreamy.
In case you were wondering I still don’t know where I am exactly in my pregnancy. However, since I started my shots at the end of each week, I was given the OK to stop them at 35 weeks and 5 days meaning my final shot will to take me to 36 weeks and 5 days. Which is tomorrow … I think.