There are a lot of weird things about having a pregnant wife. I’m sure anything I find weird pales in comparison to what Jen is experiencing, but there are two things that absolutely baffle me:
#1. The strange obsession with rating a fetus to the size of a food
A food? I acknowledge that food size is almost universally understood as a convenient unit of measure. But you know what’s also universally recognized and way more precise? The International System of Units. How big is a papaya? What a strangely uncommon fruit choice to use as a measurement comparison. And what about variations in vegetable size? A potato? Potatoes can vary in size considerably. NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THAT WE EAT FOOD. How big is your unborn child? Oh, about the same size as the apple that you’re chewing on right now. That weirds me out. I’d prefer centimeters and kilograms thankyouverymuch.
#2. 40 weeks isn’t 40 weeks. It’s 38. Stop lying to us OBGYNs across America.
This one bothers me more than it should. According to general practices the age of a fetus is calculated from the end of the menstrual period prior to conception. Typically, conception takes place two weeks into a cycle. That means that at the moment of conception, it (zygote, morula, baby, whatever you want to call it) is ~two weeks old. This is stupid. In a way, one could argue that if you’re a woman within the first two weeks of your cycle you are pregnant. Some websites actually describe the first two weeks as “Pregnant, but not.”
“But wait!” I thought, “Maybe this is just a better safe than sorry method to keep track until the OBGYN can more accurately gauge the age of fetus. It’s gotta be hard to determine exact conception dates, but humanity has developed amazing technologies that do a great job of determining size and progress of an unborn kid! That’s gotta be it. I’m sure it will be updated after the first ultrasound.”
The age in weeks is never corrected. This gross approximation is carried all the way to the delivery room.