Monday, 7 April 2014

My 10 month pregnancy

Do you remember that I was quite proud of the fact that I avoided contact with doctors and gynecologists during my pregnancy as much as possible? Do you remember that I said it gave me a feeling of being somewhat liberated from the more and more medicalised business of having a baby? Well, an unintentional impact of this approach was that my pregnancy lased 10 months instead of 9. Let me explain.

I paid for an ultrasound at 12 weeks just to check that all was ok with the baby and of course this was carried out by an ultrasound operator and not a doctor. All was well so as far as I was concerned and I had been given a due date of the 22nd March so that was all I needed to know for the rest of the pregnancy. But then the ultrasound operator explained to me that in France pregnancies last 42 weeks instead of 40 weeks. “Really? How come?” I asked. He explained that statistically babies are more likely to arrive after 40 weeks than before and for this reason in France a pregnancy is often measured as 40 weeks from the date of conception (as opposed to the first day of the last period) which gives a total pregnancy time of 42 weeks.

That was the only explanation I had and so when I arrived in the UK for a check up (in order to be accepted in a low risk birthing unit) and explained this to the midwife she said “OK, we’ll just take 2 weeks off your due date and call it the 8th March”.

This made sense to me until the 8th March came and went.

Now I should also say that Henry was 2 weeks early so I was pretty convinced that baby number 3 would also be early and as such I made plans to be back in the UK by the 17th February in order to be sure we were there for when she arrived.

Then the 15th March also came and went and all of a sudden I found myself having appointments with the community midwife to discuss options for induction. This was not how I wanted my low risk and low intervention birth to play out at all!

Thankfully she understood my reluctance to be induced and we compromised on me having a scan to confirm the size of the baby and expected due date. So I had a scan and guess what??? They told me that the due date was the 22nd March! It appears that despite what I had been told in France the date recorded on the scan was indeed consistant with a 40 week pregnancy and not 42. In effect I had confused the whole matter and nearly had to be induced just because I hadn’t understood my scan notes: something that a doctor or midwife would have done if I had had an appointment with one.

So what do you think happened? When did she arrive?

The 22nd of March of course :)

All in all I felt like my pregnancy lasted 10 months as I had been so convinced that she would arrive in February but of course the most important thing is that she is here and happy and healthy.


  1. Aaaaawwwwwww! Welcome little one! What's her name?

    (also was confused by the counting of the number of weeks, Germany's also different than France)

    1. Thank goodness it's not just me that was confused!
      Her name is Amélie and I just posted about her birth.

    2. Amélie is a beautiful name! xx

  2. Congratulations, that is amazing and such a wonderful miracle.

  3. Congratulations! I thought you were not writing because your baby had already been born, hahahah!
    I hope you enjoy every single minute with her.

    1. Thanks Cris! We are settling in together very nicely!

  4. Congratulations Rachael. Hope you and baby are doing well.


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