Friday, October 12, 2012

Having a baby in France, chapter 7: due date calculated at 41 weeks!

In France your due date is calculated at 41 weeks of pregnancy and not 40 weeks like in the U.S. Why the difference? Good question. I'd love to know. Because the end of this pregnancy feels long!

My first two babes were born at 37 weeks. That, on the other hand, whether you are in France or in the U.S., is considered term. The point at which your baby is no longer considered premature, even if he is born early.

Alex. At 37 weeks my water broke in the middle of the night and I was induced in the morning. He weighed 7lbs. 15 oz. (3.6 kilos)! (Becoming a first time parent was magical until he turned orange like a carrot because he was jaundiced! I thought I had failed as a mother!)

Elena. At my 37 week check-up, Dr. Anderson told me baby and me were ready and asked if I wanted him to "strip" my membranes. He explained that if the conditions were right I'd go into labor within 2 days, if not he'd see me back in a week. Late Saturday night I went into labor and delivered a tiny pink 6lb. 1oz. princess.

Enter Gabriela.
This mama would have to learn a lot of patience.
We were now living in France, so I was given a 41 week rather than a 40 week due date. In addition, 37, 38, 39 and even 40 weeks went by with no sign of Gabriela. When I asked to be induced, the answer was no, I would have to wait. Patience. Gabriela finally made her entry into the world one day before her official French due date at 41 weeks, weighing a whopping 9lbs. 4oz. (4.2 kilos)!

And now? The best is yet to come....

Today I am at 35 weeks, 5 days pregnant, feeling heavy with child! Ready to have this baby! I would be happy to deliver at 37 weeks like I did for Alex and Elena, but this little boy might make me wait, even stretching my pregnancy out its full French 41 weeks!

In the past weeks, I have had a very strong feeling, he would come early and so I hurried to finish the last minute preparations and his baby nook in our master bedroom is ready (I'll show it to you next week). And that feeling I had that he would come early? I have no idea where it went!

I guess it really doesn't matter as long as baby is healthy. After all, it is just an estimation. But boy can the end feel long!


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