I was not recording my fertility cycles when my first child was conceived, but I suspected (based on my memory) that the due date my doctor calculated using the date of my last menstrual period (LMP) was a few days early. I didn’t worry about it at first because my mom had all of her children early, so I assumed my daughter would be early too.
At my 39-week appointment, however, my doctor told me that it didn’t look like my baby would be coming any time soon and that we needed to schedule an induction for some time during my 41st week. I spent most of the next week crying because I was convinced that my body was not ready for an induction and I would end up with an unnecessary C-section for this child and all my future children.
Fortunately, my daughter came on her own a week before the planned induction date. In fact, she came exactly 40 weeks after the suspected date of conception.
Most doctors cannot let pregnant women go past 42 weeks without an induction because of increased liability, and many will not let women go past 41 weeks. This is challenging because, while there can be problems after 41 weeks gestation, due dates based on LMP assume that a woman conceived on the 14th day of her “perfect” 28-day cycle. More often than not, however, this is not the case.
This was not the case for me at the end of last summer, either. I got pregnant during a long cycle but, fortunately, I had been tracking my cycles with the FEMM app at the time. Because of that, I was confident that I knew exactly when the baby was conceived.
At the initial consultation with my midwives, I refused to tell them my LMP and told them I wanted my baby’s due date calculated based on the date of ovulation. I went into a long explanation about how fertility awareness was not pseudo-science and how I knew what I was talking about. The midwife smiled and said, “If you say you ovulated on that day, we believe you.” I was very happy to hear that and hired them as my providers.
My daughter arrived two days after the due date calculated using the ovulation date. She was 6 lbs, 10 oz. If my due date had been based on LMP, she would have been considered 9 days overdue, and I would have had a non-stress test, extra office visits, and (depending on my provider) possibly an induction. My daughter’s average weight and somewhat small length, however, reassured me that she came exactly when she was supposed to. I am so thankful to have been tracking with the FEMM app when I conceived and to have providers that were open to other ways of calculating my baby’s expected due date.
Thank you for making such a wonderful app and from saving me from unnecessary medical interventions! I will definitely continue using it so that I have accurate dates for future pregnancies!
Mother, FEMM App user