Mathemagination: 12 weeks

I am officially 12 weeks preggers! According to some sources, this marks the end of the first trimester, although according to most sources, 13 weeks does.

This is because pregnancy math is a special kind of math not entirely based on principles of consistency or logic.

For one thing, pregnancy starts a couple of weeks before you’re pregnant, on the first day of the last menstrual period (LMP). The reasoning is that most women know when they get their periods, but don’t know when they ovulate. But why isn’t the first day of the last menstrual period counted as negative two weeks? Pregnancy math doesn’t do negatives. Zero and up only.

(Forget that two weeks between the beginning of menstruation and ovulation is only an average, and people who ovulate on day nine–ahem, me–or day 29 end up with totally inaccurate due dates.)

Sometimes pregnancy resources count pregnancy weeks using gestational age, which starts at the LMP, and sometimes they use age since conception, which starts at ovulation. Sometimes the resources don’t specify which they’re using. Pregnancy math? Confusing.

And what is with this counting in weeks business? The rest of the world wants to know how many months along we are, and we pregnant ladies are like, I have no idea but I can tell you exactly how many weeks and days I am.

Here’s another chapter in the pregnancy math textbook: the Xth week vs. X weeks. Different. For example, I am now 12 weeks pregnant, but I’m in my 13th week. If this is weird to you, consider that after a baby is born, she’s in her first year, yet she doesn’t turn one until her birthday rolls around. Then she’s one, but in her second year. Right?

Right, except that some websites use, for example, 12 weeks and the 12th week interchangeably, which they’re not. So which is it, random website? Eleven or 12 weeks? And when a website simply refers to Xth week, are its writers good counters or bad counters – should I assume that the number is correct?

I know, I know. I seem really uptight right now. But I can’t stop, won’t stop.

So trimesters. “Trimester” is a combination of tri (three) and mensis (month).  I’m not entirely sure why trimesters are used as a way to count pregnancy, because they’re not based on any developmental milestones. (But this won’t stop me from joyfully celebrating the Changing of the Trimesters.)

If I start counting three months from the day I conceived–December 20th–I won’t reach three calendar months until March 20th, which happens to be the day I reach 15 weeks. If I start counting the three months from the day of my LMP–December 12th–I reach three calender months when I am 13 weeks and six days. Finally, if I start counting the three months from the day the medical establishment assumes I got my LMP, my three calendar months is up on March 7th, or 13 weeks and one day.

Of course, others just assume that trimesters break up pregnancy into three equal parts. That would be an entirely different set of calculations.

Whatever, pregnancy math. You don’t make any sense. And that is why, as far as I’m concerned, thirteen weeks = beginning of second trimester. Because who’s going to stop me? Nobody, that’s who.

Well now that I’ve revealed the true depths of my nerdiness, it’s time to win you back over with a bump update!

Not too much of a change since last week, and despite me thinking that my belly is gigantor, most people can’t tell I’m pregnant even when I point it out. Next week I’m planning on doing a round up of each week’s photos, so you’ll see what I mean when I say it’s a huge change and nobody should ever be concerned with having a flat stomach for cosmetic reasons because the entire world won’t notice anyway. (For the record, I try to eat well because of what it does to my body on the inside, not the outside. I love all manner of curvaceous and thin bods.)

Cow hugger (me) and mini cow hugger (fetus)

This awesome cow hugger shirt from Herbivore Clothing is totally going to carry me as I bust out of my other, shorter t-shirts. The cow hugger shirt hugs my belly. It’s the circle of hugs.


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