A neighbor stopped my husband the other night when he was taking two of the children for a walk to ask if we had “a new baby” yet. My husband looked at her blankly for a moment and then curtly said, “no.”
I usually tell people I’m due a week or two later than my actual due date so as to keep this type of questioning to a minimum. The last two children, I haven’t done that and have ended up getting my share of the “haven’t you had the baby yet?” questions. I try to tell people that I don’t go (that) early. I don’t induce early. I don’t schedule c-sections. I usually have the child right before or right after my due date. I use the Prem method for determining estimated date of childbirth (EDC) and I’ve found it is much more accurate (for me) than the Naegele Rule that most people use to calculate an estimated due date (EDD).
The difference for some women is neglible. For me, it can be 7-12 days, which can mean the difference between a doctor pushing for an induced labor or letting the child continue to grow until it comes out on its own. Here’s the difference:
EDD (Naegele rule): Start with first day of the Last Menstrual Period (LMP), add seven days, add nine months. (Assumes ovulation on Day 14.)
EDC (Prem rule): Start with first day of overall thermal shift minus seven days, add nine months. (Assumes you are charting your basal body temp each morning.)
Most women don’t know their thermal shift (upward basal body temp pattern) or their day of ovulation, thus making it difficult to get an EDC using the Prem method.
In my case with this pregnancy, my EDD is 10 days before my EDC. The ultrasound we had at ~ 20 weeks showed an EDD roughly 12 days before my EDC. I’ve calculated my EDC with four of five children. In three of the four deliveries so far, I’ve been -3 days (vs. +7/+ 5 for EDD) for two of them and + 1 day (vs. + 8 days for EDD) for one. We’ll see how this one turns out.
Either way, I’m in that “waiting” period with plenty of things still on my ‘to do’ list. If I went into labor early, all required tasks are complete. The to do list at this point includes only “nice to haves” that either can be left incomplete or my spouse can do them himself.
I always say that they are easier to take care of inside than they are once they are out! The only thing is planning in terms of taking care of the other children and my spouse’s work schedule. We have contingencies for each, but a delivery within a certain “window” of days (and time of day) is easier.
But we’ll take it whenever it comes out – convenient or not.