KATHY MITCHELL AND MARCY SUGAR \ Annie's Mailbox The pregnancy couldn't have lasted 11 months
Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for 15 years. We have a wonderful marriage, and between us, we have five terrific children.
Here's my question: When my husband was young and in the service (long before we were married), he came home on leave for Christmas and left after New Year's Day. While home, he ended up sleeping with a girl he knew from the neighborhood. Six months later, he received a phone call that the girl was pregnant, and both sets of parents decided the "proper" thing was for the two of them to marry.
What concerns me is the pregnancy lasted 11 months. I have never heard of this, and it amazes me that no one in my husband's family ever questioned it. Annie, is it possible for someone to become pregnant in late December and give birth at the end of the following November?
This incident happened over 25 years ago, and the paternity no longer matters. What's done is done. My husband loves his son, as do I. I'm just tired of him sounding ignorant when he shows the baby pictures. He says, "My son had a red rash on his face because he was in the womb so long he dried out." That was the official explanation given by the child's mother.
My husband is not an idiot, but he's rather naive about "female" issues. Can you please settle this nagging question once and for all? Perplexed in Pennsylvania
Dear Perplexed: Doctors calculate 40 weeks from the last menstrual cycle until delivery. That translates roughly to nine months. It can be a bit longer, but 11 months is excessive. And babies do not "dry out." If there were any danger to the baby, the obstetrician would have induced labor or performed a Caesarean section.
Now that we've answered your question, here's our advice, even though you didn't ask for it: Your stepson, an adult, is entitled to know the truth about his medical and genealogical history, but this information should not come from you. Please discuss the situation with your husband, and let him handle it.
Dear Annie: I disagree with your answer to "Offended in South Dakota." She was upset because the DJ at a wedding reception asked the guests to bid money in order to go to the buffet.
I have been to more than one wedding where this new tradition has taken place. It is simply a fun way to get money to the bride and groom for their honeymoon. To me, it's a lot better than the dollar dance, which I find repulsive. If you don't want to participate, you can just wait at the end of the buffet line. It was rude for "South Dakota" to walk out of the reception. After all, the bride and groom paid plenty for her meal, which she self-righteously refused to eat. Offended, Too
Dear Offended: We know we're fighting a losing battle, but here goes: There are some ethnic traditions that include a dollar dance. Otherwise, using the wedding reception as a fund-raiser is in poor taste; we don't care how you do it. The bridal couple is supposed to plan a wedding they can afford, inviting family and friends to join in their celebration. Guests send gifts to wish the couple well. That's it. No additional extortion to dance with the bride or be first at the buffet, so that the couple can have a fancier honeymoon, a bigger house or a cheaper reception.
Dear Annie: This is in response to "Violated," who was embarrassed to undress for a prostate exam in front of a female practitioner. I also see a female nurse practitioner. It's like a mechanic looking at your car -- it's just her job, and she's seen a million of 'em. Been There in Pennsylvania
Dear Been There: We hope "Violated" is reassured by your words. Thanks.
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