Suddenly Parents

Keeping Our Sanity During Baby's First Year

The Phantom 2 Weeks

I just posted that I am 5 weeks along today. Except I’m not. Really, I am closer to 3 weeks. But I say I’m 5 weeks and my doctor says I’m 5 weeks and the books say I’m 5 weeks. So what gives?

A normal pregnancy lasts 280 days (40 weeks) from the start of your last menstrual cycle and about 266 days from conception to birth. This was a point of confusion for me a few weeks ago and I had to explain it to my husband last night. Here is my calendar:

Based on this calendar, my due date is November 10, 2011 (280 days from February 3). Most likely, I actually got knocked up on February 17 or thereabouts which was 3 weeks ago. But, because the doctors can’t pinpoint the exact conception day, they back it up to the fist day of your last period. Thus, the extra 2 weeks. Maybe if every woman had a ”normal” 28 week cycle, they would start the countdown from your approximate ovulation day but the fact is that a lot of women are not so this method is the easiest way to put everyone on the same page and avoid major discrepancies.

There are many pregnancy due date calculators out there but I like this basic one from because it shows a weekly guide and pregnancy milestones. You will see on there that your “week 2″ is the same day as your approximate conception date. Again, keep in mind that these dates are most accurate if you are lucky enough to have a regular cycle. If not, your doctor will help you determine your due date.

It feels like cheating to me but I love having the extra 2 weeks. Makes me feel more legit, you know?

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  1. I know what you mean! It’s funny b/c when you are pregnant the first time and someone asks you how far along you are, bet you’ll say something like – “7 weeks 3 days” The second time, you just kind of think about it and use months til you’re due – “3 more months”. Enjoy this time!!!