35 weeks (and 4 to go)

Twenty-nine days and counting…

We grow up learning the “simple truths” of pregnancy, in much the same way we start out by learning the simple truths of math. I grade school, as far as you know, 5 – 10 = illegal. In junior high school, the square root of -1 is illegal. These are simple truths. With pregnancy, it’s the same. We learn that it takes nine months for a baby to be born. Nine months. It really isn’t until you become pregnant that you discover that nine months is a simple truth, and it isn’t until you have nearly reached the nine month mark that you realize how frustrating that simple truth can be. In reality, it’s closer to 10 months, and nine months is a simple average. For one thing, the length of gestation is based on the date of the mother’s last period. For another, months have a variable number of days, and all but one of them has at least 2 days more than 4 weeks. This can add weeks to a pregnancy, as we have discovered. At 35 weeks, we are one week shy of “nine months”. That is, if you assume every month has only 28 days.

In physics, we learn that nothing can travel faster than light. The speed of light, C, is the maximum achievable speed in the universe, representing nearly 300,000 kilometers/second. A biproduct of this, and of general relativity is something known as “time dilation”. This is often illustrated in the “twins paradox”. If one twin stays on earth, and another climbs aboard a spaceship traveling at nearly the speed of light, time slows down for the sibling on the spaceship. While many years might pass for the sibling back on Earth, hours or days pass for the sibling on board the spacecraft. And while we don’t yet have a spacecraft that moves fast enough to see this effect in action, there is a similar process at work in pregnancy. Take a pregnant woman (and her spouse), and some random acquaintance. During the pregnancy, time moves at it’s normal rate for the random acquaintance, but time slows down for the pregnant woman and her spouse in inverse proportion to the distance to the finish line. At 3 months, time has slowed to 1/3 the normal rate. At nine months, it has slowed to 1/9 the normal rate. For every minute that passes for the random acquaintance, nine minutes pass for the pregnant couple.

Trust me, I can vouch for this effect–another one of which no one ever tells you about before you are pregnant.

Kelly managed to get the “nursery” set up over the weekend and it looks great. (At some point, I will have to post some pictures.) We had a doctor appointment on Friday and everything is looking good. Our next doctor appointment is on May 22 and at that point, we see the doctor every week until the baby is born. We noticed that over the course of this last week, Zach shifted his position a number of times, moving from his usual spot on Kelly’s right side, over to the left, and then back. It reminds me vaguely of how a cat that has been laying on your lap, who suddenly stands, walks in a completed circle, and then plops down again.

We are both eager for Zach’s arrival.  Kelly, I think, has been trying to bribe him with goodies if he comes a little earlier.  We’ll see how that goes.

Originally published at From the Desk of Jamie Todd Rubin. You can comment here or there.