Medical professionals assume that most women have a 28 day menstrual cycle. Mine is not typically that short. When I got pregnant with Nicholas, I had two cycles that were somewhat irregular.
If I had not been charting and recording certain events…wink…wink, then my estimated due date for that pregnancy would have been March 23rd. Now, I had charted fortunately, so I knew my guess date to be closer to April 10th.
My little one arrived on April 19th, on his own, during a very easy, quick birth.
During my first pregnancy, I saw both my home birth midwife and OB for a while. I remember the nurse asking when my last missed period was when I found out I was pregnant with Liam. By my calculations, I had October 27th, because they used the traditional method of 28 days, they wrote down the 24th, even though I asked her not to. I was worried that if it was in my chart as an earlier date, then they would start pressuring to induce early on. When talking to another person in that practice, a nurse practitioner, I asked about induction. She told me, “In Chattanooga, babies don’t come when God decides.” I never went back.
I think about that conversation with the nurse practioner and then I think about the birthing choices that I made from that point on. If I hadn’t been an informed consumer and known what is and is not normal, then I could have headed down a very treacherous road with my second pregnancy. Now, they probably would have done some ultrasounds with Nicholas’ gestation and determined that I wasn’t as far along as I thought, but who knows, they may have stuck with that original March 23rd date. If I would have chosen the traditional route that so many women around me choose, then I would have ended up with a baby that would have been one month early for his needs. ONE MONTH!!!! That may not seem like a lot. Sure, tons of babies are born at 36 weeks, or even earlier and have no problems. However, by allowing my children to signal that they are ready to come out, I gave them better odds of avoiding complications and even the NICU. I know that most parents dread the thought of having to go home while leaving their baby in the NICU for a week or more after they are born.
I don’t like inductions and I think that for most women, they are losing the opportunities to trust their bodies and their babies. When you induce, you are saying, “Body, you can’t possibly work correctly, so I’m going to give you some drugs to make you work on my schedule, and if that doesn’t work then I will just have a cesarean.” Just be patient ladies, the babies will come out, birth is a process, a beautiful, amazing, empowering process. We don’t have to have everything on a schedule, and this comes from a women that likes everything planned…except birth.