Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dating a Pregnancy

There is a new pro-life law up for debate in in Arizona. The new law is outlawing abortions after 20 weeks gestation. Here is how this law is being presented in the news:

"A new bill up for a vote in Arizona could mandate that pregnancy be considered to have started up to two weeks before conception may have actually occurred."

"If passed, the law could take away up to two weeks of available time for a pregnant woman to get an abortion."

- CBS News

Source


Yes, the law is including a time frame that could potentially be counting 2 weeks preconception as part of the pregnancy. Do you know why it was written this way? Because that's the way medicine dates a pregnancy. Modern medicine has always dated a pregnancy using the women's last menstrual period as the start of the pregnancy. (i.e. Patient goes to doctor to confirm a positive pregnancy test, once confirmed the doctor asks "so when was your last period?" to which the patient could respond "Oh about 8 weeks ago" and then the doctor says "Well you're about 8 weeks along then. Congrats!") Because that extra two week buffer is in there pregnancy consists of 40 weeks. This is not new. This is not some radical measure concocted by the evil anti-choice nutjobs to screw women out of two weeks of abortion availability.

So naturally you may be asking "Why does the oh-so advanced medical community not come up with a better way to date a pregnancy?" Well, they have. It's called fertility awareness. Knowing the actual date of conception (or at least when the woman ovulated) is the best way to date a pregnancy. The way to know these dates is to chart your cycle. Women who practice fertility awareness and natural family planning are very capable of doing this. In fact NFP-ers have been known for proving their doctor's wrong on due dates because they know their actual conception date. Yet we're the ones who are oppressed practicing backwards, archaic methods of witchcraft medicine. Makes total sense.


16 comments:

  1. This is the exact sort of thing I get riled up about! NFPers are MUCH better at determining date of conception than OBs using standard LMP-wheel practice. I was certain of the two-day window where I must have conceived, a date that was confirmed by my first (~8 week) ultrasound, yet my doctor refused to adjust my due date accordingly because it was "within a week" of what the nurse had calculated. Which led to a due date 5-6 days too early, which led to an induction with Pitocin, which led to an epidural, etc. But yeah, we're backwards and archaic. RIGHT.

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  2. I'm currently going to an NaPro doctor at an NFP-only women's health center, and y'know what? They're still dating pregnancies from LMP. Five weeks is not five weeks, it's really three weeks, but because that's the way the whole world has been counting it for decades - that's how the books count it, the websites, the prenatal experts, everyone! - they still count it this way.

    And y'know what else? So have the abortion providers, and the funny thing is here in Tucson they were only doing abortions up to 20 weeks, and in Phoenix up to 22 weeks. And that's why they're upset. If they started counting from conception, nothing would have to change at all. If they count from LMP (like they always have) then the Phoenix clinics have to make a change.

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  3. First of all - you shouldn't title posts "Dating a Pregnancy" and have the image be a positive pregnancy test because at a glance in my reader or blogger home page I was like "what?!?! yay! Katie's pregnant!" Only to come here and discover that 1) no, you are not pregnant and 2) the world continues to go to hell in a handbasket :(. It was like the worst kind of double-whammy. It's a good thing I heart you!

    Ugh! Seriously, between this and Leila's FB share today...can we all just leave for Malta? Or better yet, Jesus, c'mon back!

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  4. I second that....Jesus come back! I thought you were pregnant too, haha. Oh well, all in good time. I finally got a new post up- check it out when you have time and let me know what you think.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry, I posted all that and then accidentally published it too soon.


      We're moving to Poland soon. Best thing about Poland...no abortion clinics, anywhere. Here, in Austin, we drive past 2 clinics just to get my kids to school. Horrible

      That being said, we also live in a city with 2 doctors who are NFP only. It's great to not have to defend your conception date because they know you are right.

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    2. You are very blessed to have an NFP doctor at all. There are none here, and the Catholic physician I see told me not to have more children unless I planned and wanted them.

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  6. I didn't think you were pregnant (mostly because I read all your #iuseNFP stuff) so WINNING for me?

    If I hadn't had the preeclampsia situation, I probably could have pinpointed my due date b/c I was doing fertility awareness at the time.

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  7. I love my midwife, yes her first question was LMP but then she asked how long are your cycles generally, aka adjusted my due date to my 30 day cycle.

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  8. Amen! I've contacted someone regarding the Creighton Method this week! I will email soon for more advice.
    Excellent post!

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  9. I will be learning Creighton this weekend. I have been relying too much on temp. It is time for a refresher on mucus anyway!

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    1. How exciting! We should talk. I know NOTHING at this point. Although based on what I've read I think I may very well be ovulating this week!

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  10. I don't know, Katie, clearly we're the backwards ones with our zeal for life and fertility awareness. [sarcasm]

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  11. I just find it hard to believe that people could consider abortion as late as 20 weeks... up to, I don't know, maybe 9 weeks? you might be able to fool yourself into thinking the baby's not a person yet (though that seems ludicrous to me), but at 12 weeks all of the baby's systems and parts are formed, and just need growing time. At 20 weeks, couples who want their babies are joyfully finding out the sex and imagining what the baby (who looks JUST LIKE A NEWBORN) will be like when it's born. How is this parallel not noticed?!

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  12. This was VERY confusing when I first found out I was pregnant. Am I 8 weeks? 6 weeks? The doctors and the baby books aren't helpful, but you just have to adapt to the conventional dating system. I have friends with long cycles who just lied about their LMP to be exactly 2 weeks before ovulation/conception. Made everyone's life easier.

    The bonus of charting is that you can guess pretty quickly there's a chance you're pregnant, before you'd even suspect that you're period's late. :)

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  13. Oh my goodness, I thought maybe you were pregnant too....!!!

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