Due Date Anxiety

I had no wild pregnancy dreams tonight.  I know what it means: I’m coming to terms with the fact that I will probably give birth earlier then officially predicted. 

Relying on predictions of an inexperienced OB doesn’t seem like a good idea.  As a rule OBs do not observe their patients for prolonged periods of time.  They walk into examination room, measure expectant mother’s stomach, listen to baby’s heartbeat and have a short conversation discussing said measurements and test results.  Sometimes they do exciting things, like ultrasound.  When they walk in, mothers are already sitting down.  When they walk out, mothers are still sitting down.  OBs don’t take time to look at their stomachs and see if they are dropping.  They don’t get observe women running to the bathroom every 5 minutes.  In many cases they wouldn’t be able to tell if the baby is positioned correctly just by looking at one’s stomach.  I’m no hippy, but I came to conclusion that a good doula or a midwife is in a better position to observe and make conclusions about certain things.

My OB does not appear to be able to measure anything if her life would depend on it.  Early on in my pregnancy she determined my due date by measuring the fetus on the ultrasound screen.  Her estimated conception date was a week later then what I thought might have been the case.  Later on a sonographer measured my baby and moved the due date six days ahead.  The OB said that she won’t move up the date because some variation is expected, and perhaps my baby is bigger then average.  Another couple of months goes by and she tells me that my baby is small because my stomach measures almost 1.5 weeks smaller.  In a couple of weeks she does another ultrasound and tells me that my baby is good size, and that my stomach might be a little smaller because I’m petite.  None of it, of course, is that important so long as the baby is healthy. And she might still be right about my due date.

One more observation though: If sonogram measurements are off, they are probably smaller, not larger then the baby actually is.  OB told me that being off is easy because of the tiny size of the baby in early-mid pregnancy.  The baby might move a little in one direction or another, and there you go – you got a discrepancy.  However, the sonogram measures the longest distance between points in scull or body.  The longest measurements can’t be longer then the ones taken, but they might, if the baby moves, be shorter.


April 25, 2007. Breedosaurus.

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