When I found out I was pregnant, the nurse gave my baby a gestational age based on the start of my last menstrual date, even though I knew that I didn’t ovulate 14 days into my cycle. So when the little beating heart on the ultrasound screen was measuring 3 days “smaller” than the gestational age, I wasn’t concerned. That was right on track for my ovulation on cycle day 17. The doctor smiled & agreed with me, that ovulation is such a tricky thing that as long as the baby is within a few days either way, we are golden. & the little guy caught up to be just perfectly average in size for the rest of the pregnancy.
Then the tides turned 40 weeks later. I knew when I ovulated. So at 40 weeks & 4 days, my little man was officially late. I was uncomfortable & sore. People offered sage “advice” about having sex & eating eggplant & walking, but I knew that Harrison wasn’t going to budge on his own. Each check at the doctor’s confirmed that he was locked tight when the doctor would give a wry smile & shrug, reminding me that anything could happen in just a few hours. She said that due dates were just “guestimates” anyway, since nobody knew when they got pregnant. People went “early,” people went “late,” but mostly they went on time without realizing it. I gave her daggers with my eyes. But I knew, thanks to this chart:
At 41 weeks & 2 days, he was definitely overdue & it was no surprise when my amniotic fluid was measuring low. Things were getting all used up & tired in my pregnant body at almost two weeks overdue. I was induced & after a grueling labor & two failed epidurals, Harrison was born with the most amazing blonde hair & curled up old-man hands. The hands of a kid that had been baked too long, complete with water wrinkles & too-long fingernails. But then again, I kind of figured he’d look that way. After all, he was hella-overdue.