I still remember the times I would wake up in the wee hours of the morning like 3 am just to do a PT (pregnancy test). I still remember being excited and nervous about what the result might be. Countless months and PTs and still we haven’t conceived. It was unnerving and a little bit heartbreaking for my husband and I. But fast forward to 8 months after we got married one of the PTs finally came back positive. It was a joyous moment, I had to call my husband who was away for a business trip because the good news just couldn’t wait. After that what comes next? Of course, I had to see a specialist, an Ob-Gyne to make sure that everything was okay with my pregnancy and how many weeks am I on my pregnancy.
A routine visit to the doctor would entail calculating how many weeks pregnant I am. These doctors don’t talk about months they do it in weeks which we will learn about later as well. Then there is the exciting announcement of when I might be due. As doctors, they have charts and specific time tables that quickly show them how to count and compute a pregnant mama’s due date. Today we get to learn the intricacies of it as well.
Weeks Not Months
When I found out that I was pregnant, my doctor said that I was about 5 weeks pregnant. Being new at this I didn’t catch on quickly what she meant since all I hear from other pregnant women when asked how far along they are, they would generally respond, 3 months, 6 months and or 1 month pregnant. The logic behind experts or doctors using weeks instead of months to tell you how far along you are is because most pregnancies don’t usually start at the beginning of the month like for example January 1, you could get pregnant at the beginning, middle or the end of the month. A trick that one of the secretaries of my Ob-Gyne taught me on how she converts the weeks to months is to simply divide your given weeks with 5 and you’ll end up with the equivalent month of your pregnancy. Like if your doctor says that you are 24 weeks already just divide 24 with 5 and you get 4.8 months or 4 months pregnant.
Counting Pregnancy Due Date: Where Do I Begin?
Generally speaking, women can never tell whether they are already pregnant unless they take a pregnancy test and when they do they would usually already be along their 10 weeks. Let’s face it women won’t do a PT unless they miss one of their monthly periods. I know this is what happened to me and most of my friends. The count actually begins on the first day of your last monthly menstrual period. So if you are planning to have a baby or not your monthly menstrual period is a big factor. So be more conscious about your monthly periods. But what if your like some of my friends that have irregular periods. I have a friend who only has her period as often as every 3 months then there is also one friend of mine who is unfortunately only having periods one to three times a year. This will pose a problem since there is no regular cycle. They would most likely end up having problems getting pregnant. What if your periods are regular but with your busy days at work you forgot when your last period was. Don’t worry the doctor won’t crucify you for that. It turns out they also have an even more accurate way to tell how many weeks you are.
What The Experts Say
Though it is important to know the date of your last monthly period, you don’t have to worry if you forgot. Your Ob-gyne or sonographer, someone who operates the ultrasound machine has a clever way to measure how far along you are. They have what you call a dating scan. Wherein they will measure your baby from the tip of his head to his bottom or what they fondly call Crown to Rump Length. The measurement along with some transmutation table of their own will be the basis of how many weeks pregnant you are all ready. Some advice though that this should be done when you think you are right along 10 weeks or roughly two months since some believe that the ultrasonic waves emitted by the machine to see your baby is still harmful to your little water monkey.
Once you already have the most likely week or month of how far along you are all ready. You can begin with the number game. Most pregnancies as experts say last up to 40 weeks or 9 months. Just patiently add the weeks and days and you’ll end up with your due date. There are also some online calculators you can use to count and predict your due date. Be mindful though that your due date is just a prediction there is still a large possibility that your baby could come out a week before or after your due date. Only your baby will know when it wants to come out, that is for natural birthing methods. But if your doctor says that the baby has to come out already due to some factors then your due date will just be another number.
Weeks and Expectations
So you already know when your due to give birth, what next? Well here is a list of what to expect during specific weeks of development. First things first, there are three trimesters in pregnancy each trimester is made up of three months thus completing the nine-month pregnancy cycle. Each trimester and week of pregnancy has specific fetal development.
There will be subtle changes in your body as your pregnancy begins. Changes like the following:
|Extreme tiredness||Morning sickness|
|Tender and swollen breasts||Heart rate becomes faster|
|Voice deepens||Increased body heat|
|Acne breakouts||Increased appetite and strange cravings or distaste for certain foods|
At the onset of your second trimester, even more, evident changes can be noticed with your body especially now that your baby bump is already showing.
- Larger and more expanded abdomen
- Stretch marks could appear as early as the second trimester
- Darker skin around the nipples
- Numbing hands with some tingling sensations
- Swelling ankles, fingers, and face
- Increased body aches from back, groin, thigh, and abdomen
This is the last stretch of your nine-month pregnancy. Here is where changes are bigger and definitely more prominent than before.
|Tender breasts that may leak at times||Belly button sticking out (for some that are)|
|Shortened breath and heartburn||Trouble sleeping peacefully|
|Hemorrhoids||Pressure in the pelvic area as the baby moves downward and positions himself for birthing.|
|Terrible swelling of the face, ankles, and fingers||More body pain and strain since the baby is bigger and heavier.|
|Itchy belly||Contractions that may indicate just false labor or the real deal.|